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Fair Calls and Due Process

Photo by: Scott

I remember hearing my dad describe how surprised he often was to hear the second side of a conflict. He said that when a co-worker came to him with a complaint about another, his first impression was to think the person really had a case. But if he took the time to hear the other side, he often ended up with a  different impression.

Over the years I’ve recalled dad’s words whenever I happened to read the 17th verse of the 18th chapter of Proverbs.  The last time I read this proverb, I went to Biblegateway.com to see how it sounds in several different translations. Here’s some of what I found:

1.  He that is first in his on cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him. (King James Version)

2.  The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him. (New King James Version)

3.  He who states his case first seems right, until his rival comes and cross-examines him. (Amplified Bible)

4.  The first person to speak always seems right until someone comes and asks the right questions. (Easy to Read Version)

5.  The first speech in a court case is always convincing—until the cross-examination starts!  (The Message)

With a little more cross-referencing I found that the proverb seems to have an ancient connection to Jewish due process  (Deut 1:16) as Moses recalled for the nation of Israel how he had urged their “elder-judges” to deal fairly in matters of dispute.

Interestingly, the next proverb talks about the wisdom of settling a dispute by the “casting of lots” (Proverb 18:18); while the next one then indicates that “a brother wronged is more unyielding than a fortified city (Proverbs 18:19).

Am thinking that “drawing straws” or “rolling dice” might be called for as a matter of last resort, if there is no other fair way to resolve and when agreed upon– while remembering the truth of 19 (Prov 18:19).

At this point, my thoughts went to the matter of application that we’ve talked about so much about in the past. How do these Proverbs relate to our point that the purpose of the Bible is to help us align ourselves with the Spirit of Christ—and through him to  reflect the heart and presence of our God (in showing consideration for a brother/sister/neighbor/outsider)?

Am hoping  this might be enough to get our conversation going today.

PS Cold weather and snow expected here today to confirm that winter has arrived. Your weather reports and general location  (i.e. region of world, state, or country) are always welcome :-)


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90 Responses to “Fair Calls and Due Process”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Mart this subject really has me smiling this morning; because it reflects the necessity of people to be honest and not self serving.

    Smiling because you have described my life as one who always seen everything as right or wrong, good or bad, never wanting to get into the confusion of grey areas.

    Because I was the President of our United Mine Workers Local Union and because I have been the Municipal Court Judge for nearly 40 years, I have a great many experiences in dealing with disputes.

    The problems arise when people lie, or want something not deserved, earned or have a legal or moral right to.

    They will twist the truth, lie and use every tool of mental manipulation in order to get their way and achieve their goals.

    An arbitrator or a judge has the onus of seeing through the din and smoke in order to ferret out the truth.

    As stated earlier, the truth is not often the case, nor are the restraints put upon the legal system always interested in the truth.

    Too often also are people wronged by the very people or system in place in order to see *justice* prevail.

    Too often the best we can do as followers of Christ is know we are right with Him and suffer at the hands of those who are not, and look to God to set matters straight according to His will, His time and through His methods.

    All the while never being guilty of lying or bearing false witness or wanting something from another so badly as to use a flawed or corrupt system in order to obtain it.

    09 degrees this morning after a day of light snow yesterday and promise of more today.


  2. SFDBWV says:

    Also Mart I get quite the mental picture of a judge deciding to flip a coin to see who wins a case in courts of any level today. That may make “Utube”and go *viral*….


  3. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart and Friends –

    My time apart yesterday was fruitful for me. As I combed through the past few topics, I picked up the names of 36 participants to pray for. It was a privilege to step aside and consider who I am – perhaps who I am or seem to be in the midst of the fellowship. I realized I am praying for folks I see only by their “voice” – and that is in print…an interesting virtual fellowship.

    Mart you wrote:
    “How do these Proverbs relate to our point that the purpose of the Bible is to help us align ourselves with the Spirit of Christ—and through him to reflect the heart and presence of our God (in showing consideration for a brother/sister/neighbor/outsider)?”

    As I read your words, my Bible-brain began to recite that wonderful teaching Jesus spoke on the hillside: “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:44-45)

    The writers and readers of the Proverbs took their grievances to the city gates – there to benefit from the wisdom of the elders. That family/tribal model of justice is more like bringing the argument to the kitchen table with parents than retaining a lawyer, investigating evidence and filing a suit. Would we rather have a fair call – or due process? Once the code of law kicks in, the consequences are far more severe than “working it out among yourselves.” (Matthew 5, 24, 25, 26)


  4. remarutho says:

    My reference is Matthew 5:24, 25, 26 — sorry for the lack of crucial punctuation! ;-D Maru

  5. florida7sun says:

    Good morning.

    Mart, your picture illustrates how blind man is in administering justice. Pilate shouted for all the world to hear, “What is truth?” Without truth, there can be no justice: “If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both, someone to remove God’s rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more. Then I would speak up without fear of him, but as it now stands with me, I cannot. – Job 9:33-35

    When we consider the truth of Romans 3:23, we are blessed to now have an arbitrator who understands the deceitfulness of the human heart: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” – Luke 4:18-19

    In this year of our Lord 2012 the nations and our country would be richly blessed in applying His commandments throughout every aspect of life and within every location on earth.

    Man must first open the door of his heart and remove the scales from his eyes for the truth to be seen.

    Love to all, Ray

  6. florida7sun says:

    P.S. It is a beautiful day today in Florida. Bright and sunny. Temperature headed to high 70s.

  7. isaiah43123 says:

    A former department head came to mind when reading this. Her first question to a complainer was, “Have you talked this over with (whoever was being complained about)?” If the answer was “No” she would not intervene until the two parties tried to resolve the issue themselves.

  8. remarutho says:

    Hello Isaiah 43:1, 2, 3!

    I am crazy about your “handle,” since it is a life-changing verse in my experience.

    I feel the same attitude you describe from your work supervisor is called for in the church. When we are dealing with adults (-: — we can expect much in the way of self-control and social skills/even handedness.

    Conflict management in schools, with children and adolescents is another matter — since the adults are teaching and modeling good social behavior.

    Seems appropriate to repeat a news item from this morning: a lawyer forgot her handgun in her carry-on; it made it past the screening at the airport. Airport security did at last see the x-ray and stopped the take-off. Ten flights were delayed for about 30 min. — while the lawyer was removed from her flight. What’s needed: fair call or due process?


  9. remarutho says:

    Forgot to mention: the gun was loaded!

  10. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    “Finding hope in adversity is one of the themes of Christmas. Jesus was born into a world full of fear. The angels came to frightened shepherds with hope in their voices: ‘Fear not’, they urged, ‘we bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

    ‘For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.’

    Although we are capable of great acts of kindness, history teaches us that we sometimes need saving from ourselves – from our recklessness or our greed.

    God sent into the world a unique person – neither a philosopher nor a general, important though they are, but a Saviour, with the power to forgive.

    Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith. It can heal broken families, it can restore friendships and it can reconcile divided communities. It is in forgiveness that we feel the power of God’s love.

    In the last verse of this beautiful carol, O Little Town Of Bethlehem, there’s a prayer:

    O Holy Child of Bethlehem,
    Descend to us we pray.
    Cast out our sin
    And enter in.
    Be born in us today.

    It is my prayer that on this Christmas day we might all find room in our lives for the message of the angels and for the love of God through Christ our Lord.”

    This is a transcript of part of the message given by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 2nd to our nation and the 53 nations of the commonwealth on Christmas day 2011.

    Only when we turn to Jesus for Wisdom in Judgement and except His forgiveness will we find a true sollution to our disputes and Peace between us.


  11. yooperjack says:

    Mart: This is what happens when political correctness gets out of hand. There is no right or wrong on a blog. There is no need to be sorry; if you don’t mean it don’t say it. It’s no more than opinions we can’t even use our names that’s how bad this world is getting. You wouldn’t believe the comments on the internet I get at some news papers when I send LTE; people get down right nasty when they don’t have to put their name out there. I just laugh at them they have no value to me other than we’re all human beings trying to survive in a country that has no fear of the Lord any more.

    I pulled poohpitys chain a little for paste the blog rules in her post then someone challenged her for policing this blog and now we’re talking judging and respect, this is really foolishness. “Give me a Break”. “When we all get to Heaven?????”

    Rocky: You’re right my idea is always try it first before you say: “It will not work”.
    I’m a problem solver I fix things, I’m not that good at coming up with new ideas but when I look at something I’m always thinking of how to make it better. I even write to companies with ideas on how to improve their stuff.

    I do that with people too; maybe that is why some say to me: “You’re always finding fault with people”. In a way that may be correct. But it’s not to hurt them but to make them better. We all have that one thing we do not want to surrender to God and I point it out to them and they go ballistic on me. “A soft answer turns away wrath” I refuse to argue with anyone. I can’t stand liars, thieves or phony people at any level of society.

    I am temped to tell some on this blog what their problem is but this is not the place for that and you have rules. I really have a hard time staying on topic thank you for your patents.

  12. oneg2dblu says:

    Bob, You’ve caught me up into tears as I sang the ending of that caroll just now. Maybe, if there was someone within the sound of my voice they would have cryed for “me” as well. LOL
    I posted my response this morning even before I read todays topic, but I believe context will rule the day.
    Thanks for sharing that whole entry and especially that last paragraph!
    May I quote those as your words, or His?
    Be Blessed, Gary

  13. yooperjack says:

    zero degrees 2 inches of snow. Time to start running the water. In the U.P.

  14. SFDBWV says:

    Yesterday Matthew had a doctor’s appointment in Keyser; it is about 40 miles from here and a couple thousand feet lower in elevation. We left in the snow and returned in the snow but once we got to the Allegheny front there was no snow, bare roads and sunshine.

    Funny how just being in the sunshine and away from the gray winter skies puts one in a better frame of mind.

    At the doctor’s office we got to see and talk with other people, I love the friendly interaction between strangers and Matthew loved the new audience to hear of his workout. I noticed a Bible setting on a ledge in the waiting room, and smiled at how the people who operate the clinic know the need for Christ in the patients they serve.

    As we were attended to by the staff, we laughed and told stories and shared some of our life and our faith, we always try and leave with the best impression we can put forward knowing that this could be the last time we ever see these people or the last words they may remember from us.

    We then went to a local grocery store to get some things Matt wanted, so he went in with me in his wheel chair. He loves to do that because he gets to push the cart and see all the different things available, it can also be a little like Christmas as he wants everything he sees.

    Getting back into the car Matt was having a little trouble swiveling around to get lined up with the car seat to get in and a young woman stopped to ask if we needed any help, we thanked her but said we were ok.

    We then went up to Burger King and made a rather large order as we take some things home with us as well as eat there in the car. The young lady at the register insisted on helping me carry out our order to our car, I thanked her for her patience with us and her help.

    We returned home exhausted but happy, as it was a very pleasant day, and it was the pleasant interaction between all the various people we were involved with that had made it a good day.

    A smile leads to a smile a laugh to a laugh, a frown or an unpleasant comment can ruin the remainder of a day for every one you meet. If we are to reflect the heart and presence of God in our actions sometimes we have to try to and remember to.

    Then hopefully there will be no need for an arbitrator.


  15. oneg2dblu says:

    Maru.. great post. “Once the code of law kicks in the consequences are far more severe than working it out among ourselves.” Perhaps the Elders of this Blog, are also seeking “Resolution before Rules!”
    Could you imagine what this world would look like if man could have settled himself, instead of coming under the Law of God?
    Wouldn’t Godly people, those who by their very new nature should be seeking “His Rules,” where they will always become more settled among themselves if they just would surrender to Him first.
    Where against such things there is no law…Gary

  16. fadingman says:

    In my mind the principle in Proverbs 18:17 is one of the main reasons for what James says in 1:19-21:

    Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (ESV)

    (…interesting that he ties rash judgement with “filthiness and rampant wickedness”.)

    Mart, this ties in with your previous Infinitely Interpreted post. Yes, we need to be aware of how what we say may get misinterpreted, but it’s also important for listeners to learn to hear what is spoken before passing judgment.

  17. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… I bleieve there are no accidental meetings in the grand economy of God. As everyone we come in contact with, even the tough ones, may just be an open door to share the Love of Christ in us. You had a blessed day and blessed others as well, because when we are allowed to live, we can also share! Gary

  18. yooperjack says:

    Mart: I see you cracking down, about time good luck. Catch you on the next topic.

  19. SFDBWV says:

    As long as Mart allows it I will bring all of you along on my journey, with my son Matthew and wife Glenna. I sometimes can connect to the topic through our life experiences and sometimes not, when I can’t, bear with me as I must follow the urgings in my heart and hope you are all blessed or touched by our life and walk with God.

    If you are familiar with stroke victims or with brain injuries you will understand that the voice of the person afflicted may change from before their injuries to their present state.

    Having said that, Matthew has two voices, the one before the wreck and the one after. What has become his now voice is the one he uses almost all the time, however sometimes when he talks in his sleep it is in his old uninjured voice.

    The night before last in the middle of our night somewhere around 1:30 am I heard him say clearly and distinctly in his old voice the word “Gott”, I understand a little German and recognized it right away to be German for God.

    This woke me fully up; in a few minuets he wanted to be rolled over, after doing so he went back to sleep and I thought I might, then I heard him say dada. He never called me dada always daddy or dad, but I recognized dada right away to be an old version of “daddy”.

    Clearly this event startled and puzzled me as Matt speaks no German nor has ever been exposed to the term dada being a term for father. What furthered my amazement is that he said these two words in his old uninjured voice while sound asleep.

    Matt has been out of a coma for over 12 years but not fully returned to his former mental state. Earlier when he was first home from the hospital, he often told me of speaking with God but can not remember any of it now.

    I am sorry; my story has no conclusion, and has nothing to do with the topic. I just wanted to share a little of the weird and odd things that sometimes tweek our lives here and perhaps give you something to ponder.


  20. phpatato says:

    Passing on a prayer request. It kinda ties in with the topic.

    Youcef Nadarkhani was sentenced to death for refusing to renounce his Christian faith, but the story is not over. Iranian authorities have gone through an array of new, unsubstantiated, false charges as alternatives to justify their sentence, even though Youcef was never charged or tried for them. The story is continuing to develop. Pray that he will be spared from execution, and that God will be glorified in all things.

    You can follow this with a google search.

  21. narrowpathseeker says:

    I have clicked on here several times today and then clicked off because I feared I would say the wrong thing.

    I know there are few things that I can point out in anyone else that I am not now or have not in the past been guilty of myself. I think we are all still human, no matter how far we’ve come and I think that means we are all still a little full of ourselves. I am often Reminded of Mathew 7:3 when I am feeling the urge to point at others. I know if I stayed focused on God and followed his directions, I would always do and say the right thing. BUT I DON’T stay focused on God 24/7 and I don’t always say and do what God directed us to do in any given situation. Moreover, I don’t think any of us do or we would all be perfect and I am fairly sure that none of us are perfect. Hopefully we are all climbing the ladder. I think we should be offering our brothers and sisters in Christ a hand up and pointing the lost towards the ladder as well and I don’t think we all do that either.

    Peter was walking on water as long as he stayed focused on Jesus but he started to sink when he took his eyes off from Him. I spend a good portion of the day asking forgiveness for saying or doing the wrong thing because I was thinking about ME, my puffed up ego, my feelings, my kids, my grandchildren, my etc. Now I TRY to remember to pray as soon as an adverse thought comes about a brother or sister or the lost. More and more often I remember all the things I have been forgiven and I am so overwhelmed with gratitude that I forget about someone did or that I THINK they did to me.

    OK I’m done. If I am wrong and wrote too much, I am truly sorry. Peace to all.

  22. SFDBWV says:

    The weather channel called for 1 inch of snow overnight, we got 7.5….oops. 18 degrees.


  23. SFDBWV says:

    Narrowpathseeker, I have been here a few years and the one constant that remains for me is that I am honest and am just me. I don’t try to impress others with knowing more Bible verses nor do I have a firm grip always on wisdom. I am just as you read me, no pretense.

    When I first came to this site I had to fight for my place at the table and learn real quick just because it says Christian on the label doesn’t mean everyone inside acts that way.

    I try not to say something just for the sake of saying something unless the participation falters and people are not saying anything, and then I throw out a few thoughts and see if I can get us talking again.

    If it is on topic fine if not, so what. We need to be people first and socialize bringing our thoughts views and comments along with us concerning our walk with Christ.

    If this were a place where we had to be stiff and mechanical, I would have nothing to do with it. This has been a place where we can discuss Mart’s topics and allow the thread of conversation to go in many directions. This is so because Mart likes it that way, if he didn’t things would be very different here.

    Personally I enjoy your insights and participation, don’t be afraid to be yourself and speak your peace. I do.

    Because of the weather this morning I am quickly out of time, I will see you all after Matt’s exercises.


  24. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart –

    Thank-you for giving us this to chew on for the week-end:

    19 A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city,
    and quarreling is like the bars of a castle. Proverbs 18:19 (ESV)

    It seems to me that the lady Blind Justice has nothing to do with the situation described in this proverb. The NRSV says: “An ally offended is stronger than a city; such quarreling is like the bars of a castle.”

    Solomon is describing someone whose heart has closed to the other. Shut up inside his own castle, he has put up the KEEP OUT sign. This situation is beyond evidence, persuasion or reason.

    When I apply the proverb to my own life, why would I even share my opinion or feelings in this forum if I would not or could not listen to others with an open mind and heart? That would be like mounting a loud-speaker on the roof so I could transmit, and not receive any feedback.

    As someone has stated, this one should simply start his/her own blog.


  25. oneg2dblu says:

    Good Morning… Are His Mercy’s really new again? Of course they are and we can walk in them today, if we choose to recognize who is really in control here. I trust it is not those of us who are battling to have things go their own way today, but to those who will surrender and grow in Him.
    If we really search our hearts we know He alone leads us into the higher way, and even though all other ways seem right to a man, “Every knee shall bow!”
    Thanks Pat for your sharing of that Hymn, “This is my Father’s World.” It sings in my head today for as a young and defiant teenager, I found hope in those words that our school sang at the beginning of every Corporate Assembly. Thank God, our Public School Principal was also a Pastor! Thank God, he got his own way on that choice of song for we all benefited from the singing of it, although we did not all display it at that time. He also occasionally showed us his fallen humanity as well for he was a helplessly unrelenting alcoholic until he died! Two sides to every man-made coin seem to be the human condition. May God continue to help us all see both, and still be able to choose His. Gary

  26. SFDBWV says:

    Maru you have spoken very wisely this morning; I have known people who have been guilty as well as myself of punishing myself while thinking I am punishing another.

    What good is all the pearls of wisdom and all the teaching we can learn from Genesis to Revelation if we do not try and live these precepts and principals taught there?

    One thing I have learned very well is that you can not reason with unreasonable people. Better to forgive, forget and move on. Otherwise you stay in their trap of keeping an argument going just for the sake of arguing.


  27. narrowpathseeker says:

    Thank you Steve. I was not sure what to expect this morning and I can’t tell you what relief I felt when I read your comment. Inasmuch as I know you have a heaping plate to deal with, I appreciate even more, the time you took to respond kindly. I have learned many lessons in life first hand and I have forgotten many as well, but they come to mind when I see myself or someone else heading in the direction of someplace I’ve been. I can’t REMEMBER much scripture, chapter and verse word for word, but I can remember the principle of many when I most need it. Right now, I am thinking of “suffering builds character” and from the jist of what you have shared in collective comments, I think you have confirmed that principle.

    I am a little disappointed that so many here have seemed to disappear as I enjoyed the sharing of what Christ has done for so many of you. Again, we are all still human and our feelings get hurt. I used to get very easily offended whether a big or small offense, from Christian or unbeliever, but over the years, the principle of the massive offense Christ suffered…especially on the Cross…and His response has calmed me down quite a bit.

    I will be praying for all to come back and share again.

  28. narrowpathseeker says:

    Gary, Maru, you both posted while I was still writing and I thought Steve was the only one left here. Thank you both for sharing the wise insights. Steve, your comment about people being unreasonable reminded me of something I have framed and hung on the bathroom wall. Have any of you ever read the piece attributed to Mother Theresa that begins “People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered…forgive them anyway” ? If not would any want me to post it here?

  29. oneg2dblu says:

    Maru… I feel this is a blog for all, and we need not individually run off to start our own. But, search ourselves as you say, and turn down the volume or its apparent sounding off, not so much its other side as in the length of words. I’m not trying to define any parameter, but only trying to re-open a thought about staying and growing right where God has planted us. He’ll give us ALL, the right light, food, and just the right amount of His Living Water to grow. We need only to submit to Him.
    Of course, if I had any patients at all… I’d already be a Doctor! LOL
    But, the fallen Dr. G in me “thought” I should be only open to God talk, until I learned to listen more to my now favorite God-given Teacher found right here, contained in the thoughts of the rest of the body…Gary

  30. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    I would like you to post the Mother Teresa piece if it is not too long.

    Praying for you and Matt as always. I was very interested in your post January 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm. about Matts two voices. As you say there is no real conclusion but it intreagues me that Matts “real” voice is still intact and that somehow it is as if he is trying to reach out using baby words that will one day grow back into the young man he is meant to be.

    I am loving whatever God is doing in your life!
    I used to struggle sometimes trying to understand what point you trying to make, but recently your thoughts and words have been so uplifting and a blessing to me.
    Whatever your doing, keep it up!


    Very windy here by the sea today. My Drying frame and all my clean washing got blown away. Frame broken but clothes ok. +10C (+50F)

  31. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you all for writing, Narrowpathseeker, I wil pray with you. This morning I did not know what to post, or I did know write but was not sure to post it.
    I liked your mentioning:that you calmed down, it is by accepting Jesus more and more in our hearts that we calm down!
    Sorry Bob, for your frame breakdown, Genesis 28:20-21 Jacob left his clothes in God’s hand. I pray God will be with you where you are now.

    This is what I wrote this morning:
    The weather here is too mild too, we had two days of winter last tuesday and wednesday, now the rain is here in the Netherlands. There has been so much rain, last week it became a bit hard for some of the dikes, when they get too wet they tend to become weak. Some dikes started leaking, but no major crisis. Mart had asked us some time ago, before Gary participated to tell about local weather and things happening. Why not?
    I know of a relative who wanted to talk deep spiritual matters only, he didn’t like the natural chat. And right this man had wronged me in a hard way. I told him that, but the only thing he would answer was: I was just living my own life. Like a boy who would come in the playfield riding his bike, knocking all his siblings over, but not even seeing that he did, so busy he was riding his bike. Some people do not see other people, not intentionally.
    Two sides, the ones being knocked over, and the side of the one who is just busy with his own life.
    So he wanted to talk spiritually deep, but did not want to look deep into his own doing.
    Well, there is no court I could go to. I tried to leave it in God’s hand, that is a heavenly court. And that trying was a good discipline for me.
    We are reading the bible now, and are going through Genesis. The brothers of Joseph wronged him in a very bad way. Were there two sides to it? Years later when Joseph sees them in his palace to beg for grain, he does not show himself immediately. No, he tests them severely.
    God showed me to do that, although I considered it to be hard.
    I tested him, to see if he would go passed his own life, and he failed the test. Now I remember, Joseph had a second test (he is a very good example for me). And only after he heard the speech of Judah, in which he shows how sorry he is, then Joseph reconciled to his brothers. Genesis 44:34, 45:1
    Even after that Joseph had to reaffirm his brothers, Gen 50:15,17. There is a lot of work in reconciling people who have wronged each other, the reassuring part is the aftermath to it.
    I was so busy being hurt by people who were only busy with themselves, that I was just as bad. It is one thing to want to hand it over to God, with all the hurt feelings, the anger, the waiting, and actually doing it and wait, going on with your life as Joseph did, in submission to God.
    Sometimes it is so hard for people to see how they have been, and when they finally do, they need a lot of reassuring, Gen 50:21
    So then the one who was the victom now is the one reassuring, that needs a lot of calming down in Jesus.
    Does this make sense, does it go along the line of what Mart started in the discussion?

  32. foreverblessed says:

    Well the sense in it is this: where there are two sides, both sides need the calming down in Jesus, and sometimes that takes time, years and years, but as long as we reach out to Him in everything we slowly grow more gracious, and less like a fortified city. from being unyielding now yielding to Jesus and after that to each other.

  33. narrowpathseeker says:

    Foreverblessed…this is the piece that has been attributed to Mother Theresa by some, but I am not certain of that as I received it with no name.

    People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway. If you are successful you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway. If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway. What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway. The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you have anyway. You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It never was between you and them anyway.

  34. narrowpathseeker says:

    Sorry, Foreverblessed I got mixed up again…Bob in England asked for the Mother Theresa piece. I hope it touches everyone here like as it did me. I have kept it hanging in the bathroom where I would be reminded of it everyday. Unfortunately after a few years it just became part of the decor and I had almost forgotten about it. Steve reminded me of it with the words about unreasonable people. Thank you for sort of giving me the green light to post it Bob.

    Forever, I am relieved that you, Steve and maybe others understood my position of fearing to post and that you both took the time to lift and advise me. Thank you

  35. bill34sl says:

    Casting of lots was first mentioned in the Scriptures in Leviticus 16:18, and was an instruction from God to be part of the rituals in connection with the observance of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). The lot decides which of the two male goats for sin offering goes to the Lord and which one is the scapegoat. This is a solemn act, and God did not intend to use it to settle controversies between two parties in Israel, and therefore has to be treated with due respect. But why did the wise king mentioned about casting of lots as a means of settling disputes? Not just because it was written in the Bible, God really approves of it. Take the case of divorce. We read in the same Bible the instruction for carrying out this deed. But we know that God hates divorce. Jesus’ own words to the Pharisees proved that (Matt. 19:8). Same thing goes with the casting of lots to settle differences – because the hearts of the disputants are usually hard and unyielding. This is a last resort.

    Moses was the first judge of God’s people. But even he, had to go to God to ask what should be done to fix any disagreement among the people, he didn’t decide on his own. God, later on assigned the Levites to be the “lawyers” in Israel. I believe He didn’t leave the Levites to fend for themselves. Somehow he gave them a portion of the spirit of wisdom to do the job. Even so, they could come to Him anytime to seek counsel for tough matters, most especially the prophets. That was in the Old. In Jesus’ time, He warned his disciples about going to court. He told them as much as possible to settle disputes among themselves. Because Jesus knew that man’s devised laws were flawed. There’s a possibility that they could go against the innocent. One way to avoid bringing a matter to the court was to practice FORGIVENESS (Eph. 4:26, Luke 6:37). This is exactly how it is aligned to Christ’s Spirit in showing consideration for our fellowmen, Christians or not. Our Lord Jesus Christ did not die to accuse the world but to offer FORGIVENESS.

  36. foreverblessed says:

    What a wonderful word from mother Theresa, thanks. I have to go now. in the city there is a prayer night with all different kind of churches together. Love you all, and be blessed by God our Father in Jesus Christ who rescuedus from darkness so we could walk in the light.

  37. SFDBWV says:

    Narrowpathseeker, thank you and you are very welcome. I have not seen the quote you shared from either Mother Teresa or whomever; however I liked it very much, it could become my credo.

    I think a less eloquent form is “spit in the wind, pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger and tug on Superman’s cape” Just joking a little.

    I do like the wisdom and leading of the quote whoever said it.

    Bill34sl, didn’t also the Levite Priests wear a vestment that had some device attached to them they were to use in order to *know* God’s will on certain matters?

    Bob, sounds like you may have to put out an anchor in order to keep your clothes there in Cornwall. I will email you more about Matt and his old voice, it is his same voice he had as a 21 young man prior to his accident. You have to imagine how startling it is for me to hear it.

    Foreverblessed I am always impressed by your countries ability to hold back the sea and create more land. I also enjoy your views and your special ability to look for the best in others always looking for ways for forgiveness to win.

    Gary thank you for all the energy you put out in your posts, your love and enthusiasm for our Lord shines through in every word, you are a blessing to us all.

    Looks like more snow followed by sleet and freezing rain is in store for us, that is quite normal for this time of year here and why I have a generator, but for now the sun is shining on our new fallen snow and even if it is hard for me to say….it does look pretty.


  38. bill34sl says:

    Steve: I believe you’re right. You might even know better than I do with regards to the “breastplate of judgment” worn by the high priests of the OT. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, it was where the Umim and Thummim were attached – objects of divine oracle for actual consultation with the Lord God. They believed Umim signifies God answering “Yes” and Thummim a “No”. How they worked, I have no idea. Thanks, that’s very interesting.

    Yooperjack: Your post in the previous blog was no doubt very insightful – passing away with Dignity.

    Foreverblessed: My father used to be obsessed with working in your country. Just let you know.

  39. oneg2dblu says:

    Living near the Space Coast as I do has its pluses where last night I walked out my door at 7:45 and looked to the North to see the Ttian Four rise into the darkness and light up the absolutely clear sky. Free IMAX if you will. No sound effects for a couple of minutes, then the neighborhood dogs begin to bark as they hear what we still have not, and soon after that, the low rumbles and shaking of the Tera Firma.
    An amazing show indeed, it never fails to capture me.
    How man has gone from his first flight of a few feet, to then traveling to the moon and back in a just over hundred or so years. Yet, we seem to still live in a society of self, where we don’t even cross the street to help a neighbor find the Lord, lest we offend them! How small we can become when we focus on ourselves first. Where is Lady Justice in that particular parody? She is of course as Silent as Prayer in the public schools today I’m afraid!
    Like Bob has said, we really need a Revival in this land we call the Earth. It all starts in the Heart of Common Man, and what he can do with God’s Help! We too can Shine in the Darkness, as we Elevate and Display His Wonders in us! Gary

  40. narrowpathseeker says:

    Gary, I think God’s love and power are flowing mightily here today. I really liked the inspiration from your comment,”We too can Shine in the Darkness, as we Elevate and Display His Wonders in us!” Thank you.

  41. oneg2dblu says:

    Thank you all for kind words expressed. I believe we all here make our contribution to hit the greater mark, which is not about us. It is about Him who has gathered us, Him who has elected us, and Him who has so Gracioulsy given us His all. He alone is our strength, our guiding hand, and our Saviour! To God be the Glory.

  42. SFDBWV says:

    I have been thinking this morning about our topic of being confused as a result of hearing two sides of a story and worse being able to see or relate to both offended parties. Then try and settle the matter as to who is in the right and who in the wrong.

    It is sometimes possible that both parties are right especially from their point of view yet if the matter has to have a winner and a loser then we come to that point where we can understand the need for a higher authority to render a decision.

    I am reminded of the story of the only American soldier shot and killed for desertion during WWII. I realize the *oxymoron* of the term military justice, as anyone who knows of the subject knows there is very little “due process” in military courts. It is more just a process and the following of rules without justice being a factor.

    This unfortunate young man was found guilty and sentenced to death by firing squad by a Courts Martial, the sad following set of circumstances were that the *judges* at the first trial expected their appeal judges to reduce the sentence to a prison term, they themselves not wanting to look too soft they handed their decision over to another to do the *right* thing.

    Each appeal judge did not want to look soft either and so handed the matter on up the appeal ladder until the order to execute was upheld. Each officer in the appeal system thinking that those below them had done their job and that death was warranted were upholding the decision of those below them and each officer at a lower of appeal expected those above them to reduce the sentence.

    The young man was executed by firing squad.

    No one wanted this to happen, but it happened.

    I guess what I am trying to say here is that sometimes what looks good at first may not be such a good decision later, so patience and cool heads are always the best tools to use when attempting to render any decision between offended parties.

    Gary I love the mountains I live in, but I do envy you your window on the space rocket launches.

    Ice covering every thing this morning at 30 degrees, bad, but not as bad as it can be. We still have several inches of snow on the ground as well.


  43. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends –

    I have kept this saying on the wall in my workspace for some years now:

    “We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.”
    ― Mother Teresa

    Mother Teresa began with nothing – and without the support of her own larger organization. When she died, she had built a ministry that reaches the poor beyond Calcutta – to other parts of India, Asia and Europe. Her mission of giving only food, water, shelter, medicine and encouragement has drawn the support of all the peoples of the world. The Missionaries of Charity, with the permission of the Pope – and several prestigious awards, including the Nobel Peace Award – have not conquered poverty or the exclusion from society’s rewards that causes poverty.

    I do not believe Mother Teresa had/has any enemies – yet the deep injustices and prejudice of humanity remain. She taught, and her ministry still embraces “align(ing) ourselves with the Spirit of Christ—and through him reflect(ing) the heart and presence of our God (in showing consideration for a brother/sister/neighbor/outsider).”

    There comes a point in the Christian walk when we face the reality that we change the world only temporarily as disciples. We depend completely upon the Holy Spirit to do the heavy lifting where the souls of humanity are truly transformed. Our highest aim is to follow Christ, and embrace the transformation of the journey. May we see our smaller disagreements in this perspective.


  44. remarutho says:

    My prayer for us is that we see all our disagreements in the perspective of Christ’s commandment to love one another. “Do no harm — do good — stay in love with God.”

    I miss you, Pooh — and I aplogize for any harsh word I have written


  45. SFDBWV says:

    Maru, when I was in the Marine Corps in the 60’s we had a saying that was very similar to the one you have quoted as being from Mother Teresa, given her age it could have been *borrowed* from her and tweaked a bit to the one I was introduced to.

    I hope you are having a blessed day.


  46. narrowpathseeker says:

    Claudia, being relatively new here, I am not familiar with everyone that posts. I don’t think I’ve had the opportunity to read any of your contributions before this, but I hope to hear more from you. I can confirm the profound statement you made, “but to forgive us and lift us up over the stumbling blocks that we ourselves put before us”

    In my very early walk with the Lord, I was very ignorant of His ways. The jist of what I believed was that God was real and that I was a “good guy” because I went to church and those that didn’t were the “bad guys”. That was just a little seed of self righteousness that grew and multiplied massively as I wallowed in false pride over the scriptures that I would learn and use to correct everyone but myself. When God Himself began to correct ME, it was extremely painful. He was Kind and Patient(although I didn’t recognize that at the time) and did it one step at a time over the years. It took awhile before I was able to recognize that much of the painful reaping I had endured was from the very seeds I had sown myself or as you so eloquently put it…stumbling blocks that we ourselves put before us”

    Although, I hope I never need another long term major recontruction job(I know we all will always need Repairs of some kind)I know that each painful experience brought me closer to Him and I am grateful that He loved me enough to correct me. Pruning isn’t pleasant but the after effects certainly are.

  47. tracey5tgbtg says:

    A quick google search of “we the unwilling” shows first that it is a quote of MT, then that it is questioned as to who said it, then a Mother Theresa site lists it as one of many quotes falsely attributed to her.

    The thing that made me wonder was the “led by the unknowing.” From what little I know of Mother Theresa I believe she would say she was led by the all-knowing God.

    Pooh, I miss reading your comments.
    What can we believe online? I confess that I am too easily gulled and when I see a statement anywhere, I tend to think it must be so. Lord, give me wisdom.

  48. Regina says:

    Good Morning All,
    Hope all is well with you today. Getting ready to have a late breakfast, and finish preparing for choir rehearsal this afternoon. I LOVE the picture you chose for this blog topic, Mart! Justice is definitely the principle thing (just as important as life, liberty and the freedom to pursue happiness…but I don’t think anyone can be truly happy without God-the Father, Son & Holy Spirit in their life). I hope you’ll all have a great day!

    Love to all…

  49. oneg2dblu says:

    “We the unwilling…” what a starting premise to open the door of needed change, as the perspective of self-serving is taken to its basic nature and the totallity of the surrender that must take place, to place ourselves at His Feet and be able to STAND with Him, in His Correction. Gary

  50. remarutho says:

    Hello Mart & Friends —

    I have loved the “We the unwilling…” quote for those times when I am prostrate and helpless before a task that I KNOW I cannot accomplish. The spirit in me is willing — but the body can only muster so long without exhaustion. I have gotten a laugh out of that expression when there was nothing left to do but laugh. A fellow youth director shared it with me years ago — when we were strategizing for outreach and praying for the Lord’s guiding. We made it through!

    Apparently, Mother Teresa did not make the “Love them anyway” speech either, according to one online source.


  51. remarutho says:

    It seems to me Mother Teresa herself — her witness and her tireless work for Jesus — are the source of inspiration in my faith walk — perhaps the journey of others as well.

  52. dja says:

    I couldn’t help think of the passages in James, Steve, when you wrote about the only American soldier shot and killed for desertion in WWII. As I was reading, these passages came to mind: “So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” -James 2:12 & 13

    The first Christian School I taught in was always quick to judge students (Sinners!!!) While we are all sinners, I think there is nothing that pushes a child (6th to 8th graders are really still children in many ways) away from the love of Christ than a holier than thou teacher/administrator beating a child over the head with God’s Holy Word and treating any offense like they deserve to be condemned to death. In many instances, the “offenses” were really just the old “boys will be boys” kind of things. But everyone had to follow suit and many of these kids were looked down on for really just being a kid. And many of those kids left the church as soon as they could. Very sad. I remember talking to the administrator about the passages in James, but I’m not sure if it ever made a difference. I left after that and then taught at another Christian School where they were very merciful towards the children. They treated the children like they were a part of the Christian community. And the attitudes of the students were different from the first school.

    Mercy does triumph over judgment!

    We had a bit of snow in NEPA-about 5 inches. It’s cold, but we really can’t complain because at this time of the year in the past we have had so much more snow. I’m very happy with the little bit of snow we have been getting. Although it’s pretty, I sometimes would prefer to be in a warmer climate like some of you:-)

    May the Lord bless you all on this day He has made!


  53. narrowpathseeker says:

    I was interupted by a phone call and had to leave before I could finish commenting on all the great analogies, quotes, outreach to the hurting, and all the rest enveloped in the Love of our Almighty Merciful Creator God. Now I’ve come back to find even more of the same. I am feeling very very VERY Blessed. I Thank God for using all of you to brighten this day..even the snow here in CT is falling in a very peaceful beautiful manner.

  54. bubbles says:

    Not to dispute what Mother Threasa did in her lifetime, and I realize she did many good things for people.

    BUT, was she putting her faith in good works or in the Lord Jesus’ death for her salvation?

  55. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    I was speaking with my friend Joyce in Southampton on the phone today and we were talking about Mother Teresa and also Billy Graham. One attended to the body and the other to the soul!
    These are two people who put God first and self second.
    As for works?
    Works is what follows when YOU follow God.
    Read the book of Ephesians!


  56. bill34sl says:

    Bubbles: I would like to give a little of my insights to your post. I believe Mother Theresa belonged to the biggest Christian group on the world at present. This group believes in Jesus’ death plus works to earn salvation instead of Jesus’ death only. It’s like Jesus Christ death is not enough. But that is not to say that all of their members believe this way. No doubt, Mother Theresa’s undertakings were one of the noblest that happened on earth. Even so, where her faith really was, only God knows.

  57. narrowpathseeker says:

    Regina, I agree. I can’t imagine living in this world without God in my life and knowing that He is ALL powerful and in absolute control over any powers anywhere near or far, no matter what things look like or how frightening things get. Thank you. I did have a great day.

  58. poohpity says:

    Mart, I really liked how #4 was phrased. When the police are gathering information they seek many witnesses to get their take on what they saw or heard. The more information that is gathered the more able they are to solve the crime but there is always he or she said or saw and then possibly the truth comes out.

    When we are children of the King He even knows the heart and eventually the truth will come out whether in this life or the next but the truth will be known and we all will be humbled.

    I think the smaller a persons perspective or world is the less informed they are not that that is wrong but it limits one’s field of information. All of us have areas that need work and if we do not get some vision from those around us we may stay stuck into our little worlds and never get our eyes opened like Ted opened mine. Correction is a gift from those who love us and want the best for us but to refuse it is to deny that we are capable of doing any wrong. Proverbs 9:8 NIV

    We are only allowed a sneak peek into others lives on this blog and normally it is only the good they wish to share and withhold the negative. The lesson I am still learning is no matter what, be kind because we never know what another is going through and due process or fair calls is more than what we may see from our little windows.

  59. bubbles says:

    Bill, yes. I agree with you.
    God alone is the only one who really knows our hearts.
    I have heard many even in my own church (Sunday School) say that she was in heaven and were appalled when her salvation was questioned. I am sure she was a good person and loving person, but that does not earn any one a ticket into Heaven.
    Thank you.

  60. yooperjack says:

    What is the matter with you people why are you rubbing the scab off that old sore again. “NO ONE HERE IS RIGHTEOUS ENOUGH TO JUDGE ANYONES SALVATION.” So stop it.

  61. remarutho says:

    Good Evening Mart & Friends!

    One last reflection on Mother Teresa – whatever her religion, she was a leader in Christ’s mission to the lost. She “preached” A Simple Path: “The fruit of silence is Prayer; the fruit of prayer is Faith; the fruit of faith is Love; the fruit of love is Service; the fruit of service is Peace.” (Mother Teresa – A Simple Path, Vardey, ed, Ballantine, 1995)

    Her little way is the way of salvation. She was focused upon saving souls much more than operating a medical clinic for treating the sick, or a kitchen for feeding the hungry. She was criticized for her insistence upon the love of Christ over and above everything else. Some thought she should have built hospitals and housing projects. She majored upon mercy, not justice.

    When the work before me is so great I am completely overwhelmed – all I can honestly do is share the love of Christ (the center fruit in The Simple Path). MT was one little person in the midst of the monumental despair of a city such as Calcutta, India. If nothing else, we can persevere in a calling or a ministry with inspiration from her life. She was not perfect, and I understand she was impatient with anyone who did not exert themselves at all times for the mission the way she did.

    Hey Pooh! :-)


  62. saled says:

    My favorite MT quote: “We can do no great things for God; only small things with great love.”

    Steve, I love your recounting of Matthew talking in his sleep. “Gott” and “dada”. Does it give you hope that his time asleep is filled with more hope than his time awake? While reading MLK’s I Have a Dream Speech last Monday, the Bible quote about every mountain being made low and every valley made high made me think of the most severely disabled child in the school where I work. Someday the playing field is going to be made level for all of us. Until then, all we can do is small things with great love.

  63. saled says:

    4 degrees above zero (Fahrenheit) here in eastern Maine tonight. Our snow cover is currently less than 4 inches.

  64. yooperjack says:

    I noticed people use alot of “buts” when they’re writing. Doctor Phil says: “But” means forget what I just said; this is what I really mean.” Blah, blah, blah.

  65. lovely says:

    Hi Steve
    i’ve been reading about your story with Matthew and i just want to say people like me will give up anything to have someone care for them like that so much so sometimes i wish i am like Matthew.Well i believe God has plans for everyone ironic that one wish to be sick so people can take care of them.

    Maru i agree with you about the castle that keeps people trap inside that there is no reasoning with them .Boy it takes lots of sufferring and pain for God to bring that wall down in me..

    Gary, Love your encouragements keeps many people going

    to keep in the subject i find it interesting that God called us all into the ministry of reconciliation in
    2 Corinthians 5… Imagine being a peacemaker in the midst of war and conflicts where nation are rising against nation ,,,,
    Have a blessed week and continue your walk with the Lord

  66. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Lovely, Your user name says it all, it is all about love. I know God loves you enough to care for you and though I would never compare my love for Matthew to God’s love for us all, I would say God has led by example.

    I pray you never get to a point where you need the care I give Matt, but if you do I pray God provides for you just exactly who you need.

    When I try and figure it all out, I always come to the same conclusion each time; we are all here by God’s design and so have a purpose for being, so when we find that purpose we should do all we can to fulfill that purpose.

    The news media played up Mother Teresa because she did good things for people in some of the worst conditions of life. If we are able to do as much for at least one person at a time, there would be no one left alone without someone to help them through their life.


  67. SFDBWV says:

    Still thinking about this subject of seeing two sides of a position and being able to *see* each side as being right. It is a curse sometimes to have that ability because what was clear suddenly becomes muddy.

    I think Della says a great deal when she said that “Mercy does triumph over judgment!”

    In trying to find an example where Jesus applied the proverbs Mart mentioned, I am left to a broader concept of example rather than just one quote. The matter being not to rush to *judgment* but to listen to all parties before forming a final opinion and then applying mercy whenever applicable.

    Jesus was often ask to judge between examples of infractions of the law, but used the situations as a platform to teach a higher principal from or to show error in understanding, always giving *mercy* the higher goal no matter the circumstance or at least showing that mercy should be our goal.


  68. yooperjack says:

    lovely: Be very careful what you wish for the enemy would be happy to make your wish come true and put you in a nurseing home. Wouldn’t it be better that you wish to be like Steve and love someone enough to take care of them. God would be so pleased with that wish He may grant it.

    A big amen Steve about finding our purpose, I hope Lovely will take you advise and use it.

  69. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pooh, AMEN to your comment on correction. It reminded me of Amazing Grace…blind but now I see. I love that hymn.

    I remember that those who loved me tried to correct me ever so gently, but(sorry Yooper… lol) I think sometimes God uses anyone He needs to use to get the job done. One time a very rude arrogant(almost as rude and arrogant as I at the time)unbeliever stopped me dead in my tracks with,”Who the “expletive” do you think you are?!!” I was speechless and furious, however, in retrospect that man played a big part in opening my eyes. I began to keep my ears open as well for correction from those who loved me. I didn’t want another encounter like that! lol.

    Good Morning Yooperjack. That was very wise and loving advice you gave to Lovely.

    Lovely…I love your honesty.

    Della, like Steve, I also think you are right “Mercy does triumph over judgment!”

  70. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Mart – you said, “Am thinking that “drawing straws” or “rolling dice” might be called for as a matter of last resort, if there is no other fair way to resolve and when agreed upon– while remembering the truth of 19 (Prov 18:19).

    This is something that was brought up a few months back. I still feel that something is wrong if two parties who are in opposition to each other are so enamored of “being right,” that rather than let go of the matter, they will rely on luck.

    This can’t be a matter of someone standing for the Truth of God and someone standing against it because then we wouldn’t need dice to determine who is right. All God-fearing people would stand on the side of Truth. This is a matter of no other “fair” way to resolve the disagreement between two people.

    I didn’t think Christians were supposed to demand what is “fair.” Christians submit to the will of God. Christians turn the other cheek and pray for those who hurt them. Christians give their coat to someone who takes their shirt.

    Steve said, “Jesus was often ask to judge between examples of infractions of the law, but used the situations as a platform to teach a higher principal…” I see that in Luke 12:13-14. Jesus obviously didn’t want people to be caught up in the petty details of life to such a point where they bring enmity and hardness of heart.

    We shouldn’t bring our brother’s flaws to God and say, “I am more deserving of justice. I am right and he is wrong.” We should turn to God and say, “not my will but Yours be done.”

  71. poohpity says:

    As a parent when the kids got into battles against each other I used questions to get to the bottom of what happened and found that during the questioning that both parties played a role in getting them into the situation they were both in. They both had areas of fault and each accepting the responsibility for their own role. I would ask each to apologize to the other for their own part then it came out in a win, win situation. When one continued to blame the other and not take credit for his part then we continued no further in any activities so we all lost out. I also used to stand both boys in the mirror when they said I wasn’t being fair to identify I do not deal with them a like because they are both so different. God on the other hand is the only one who deals justly with both sides.

    As lovely stated that the purpose for forgiveness is reconciliation and that was the lesson Ted taught me. We can say we forgive someone but has it lead to the relationship being mended or do we want to draw straws just so one can be right and one can be wrong. Normally both parties have an area that needs work and it is sad to not admit that so it can be a win, win situation.

  72. poohpity says:

    A good example of this in the NT was when Jesus told the story in Luke 18:12-14 NIV.

  73. narrowpathseeker says:

    Tracey, your profound message has shaken me because I know I have not conquered the “give them your coat too” aspect. I often proclaim that God is in absolute control and as you said, we are to be concerned with God’s will being done, not our own. Yet, in the world today I fear that rewarding the “taking”, with giving more, would put me in a cardboard box on the street without a coat to give. Then they would take my box as well. Right now I see myself as a major hypocrite…because I do not want to suffer that fate to be obedient. I truly believe I WANT to be obedient and yet right now I am feeling that I am just one of those that He said honors Him with their lips but their heart is far from Him. I do not want to be one of them. I really must go reflect on this and pray to understand where I am at.

  74. yooperjack says:

    God is in absolute control as to His Kingdom in Heaven and on Earth; no one will prevent that from happening. As far as controling every aspect of our lives He has given us “Free Will”. He can interfear if He wants to because He’s God but most of the time will not unless we ask Him to. There are a lot of things God cannot do. I’ll let you think about it for a while.

    The coat thing was taken out of context, that verse is about if someone sues you.

  75. yooperjack says:

    Note: If you want to know Gods will read it, it’s on the table next to your reading glasses. LOL

  76. poohpity says:

    narrow, remember Phil 1:6 NLT :-). At least you are identifying things within yourself that need work rather than looking at others.

  77. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Narrowpathseeker, when Jesus said these things to the crowd, I think it was to show them how far from the mark of perfection that we are in these earthly bodies. No one but Jesus ever fully lived up to the Sermon on the Mount. These words are to show us how far we do fall and that we need a Savior; there is no other way for us to have eternal life with God.

    Besides, how many people have actually taken your coat from you? A friend related a story of a woman that she had brought to church with her. This woman was a down and out soul and my friend was trying to help her. Later, my friend found out that the woman had taken money out of her purse sometime during the service/fellowship/Sunday School. At first she was upset and felt violated, although this friend does not have any money worries. Then she came to think that if this woman had asked her for money, she would’ve given it to her. So she let it go and considered it that she had given the money to the woman.

    Yooper, I think you’re thinking of Matt 5:25-26. I was referring to Luke 6:28-31. ;>)

  78. poohpity says:

    yep, jackie, he can not make people be kind and compassionate to each other.

  79. yooperjack says:

    Tracey: Matthew 5:40

    Pooh: He could but won’t.

  80. poohpity says:

    What is the difference? Think about it for a while.

  81. yooperjack says:

    Tracey: Remember at that time they were under the law not grace, they had over 600 laws already to obey; can you emagine the looks on their faces when Jesus was peaching these things. Some were thinking: “Man this is impossible” they were right, in their (our) own strenghth the Christian life is impossible. What they didn’t know but we do is: “Help was on the way”. Arn’t you thankfull God supplimented our free will with His “Holy Spirit”.

  82. tracey5tgbtg says:

    I am incredibly thankful for the Holy Spirit, the Counselor who guides me and convicts me. I can’t even explain or understand why God opened my heart to know Him, but it is so. It is all by the grace of God and not by anything I have done. I am so thankful to Jesus Christ, my Lord, my God, my Savior, and my Redeemer whom I love.

    He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

  83. Regina says:

    Good Evening All,

    Just read your blog topic, Mart, and it brought to mind the Bible passage that my Pastor used for his sermon, “What’s The Big Idea?” this morning. The Bible passage was Gen. 45:11, and he explained that God allowed a series of trials and unfair treatment to occur in Joseph’s life (e.g. he was sold into slavery, he was lied on, forgotten about, etc.) in order to eventually bring him to the purpose that He had ordained for him. Even after suffering wrong-doing, Joseph was willing to forgive his brothers and have a positive influence on them instead of a negative one. My Pastor went on to explain that forgiveness is a *BIG IDEA* because we have to be *big* enough to see the greater purpose of the pain (be it emotional, psychological or physical)that we go through, or we will never be able to “let it go.” He told us that every bit of energy that we put towards anger, malice and bitterness is energy that’s not available for the purpose and destiny that God has for our lives.

    Glad you had a great day, narrowpathseeker. :)

    Sunny and beautiful in Texas today (44 degrees-Morning/75 degrees afternoon/evening).

    Love to all…

  84. nyekis says:

    Nelson Madera once said that resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.

    Bitterness is not just a negative outlook on life; it is a very destructive and self destructive power. Like a spore it thrives in the dark recess of the heart and feeds on every thought of spite or hate .

    Bitter people have an amazing memory for the tiniest details and they wallow in self pity and resentment, have a record of every offence done to them and are ready to show others how they have been hurt .They defend their grudges saying they have been hurt too many times, thinking this exempts them from the need to forgive.

    However, forgiveness does not require apologies instead deal with the bitterness, anger, hatred among others.

    Bitter people appear calm and composed but inside are about to burst with pent-up feelings. Actually they need to forgive more because they have no capacity to love and this affects everyone close to them.

    Hatred is like an out of control disease, if not dwelt with it affects everyone who comes across you. It is for this reason THAT Confucius said ‘who opts for revenge should dig two graves’

  85. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends –

    Mart, your reference to Deut 1:16 calls to mind the way Moses handled matters of dispute in his nation that had grown “as numerous as the stars of heaven.” Jethro of Midian taught Moses to delegate hearing and judging the peoples’ quarrels to tribal leaders who are wise and reputable (Deut 1:15). The leaders of the twelve tribes were organized into commanders of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Controversies not settled at the neighborhood level were passed up the chain to more senior judges – the most difficult cases came before Moses himself.

    The NRSV translates verse 16 with “give the members of your community a fair hearing, and judge rightly between one person and another, whether citizen or resident alien.” The instruction Moses gave his judges is simple (Deut 1:17). Whether here in a virtual meeting of minds and hearts – or in our lives in communities all over the world – it seems to me the Lord smiles with pleasure when we treat one another as he does – with super-abundant grace. In the case of the Israelites, God took them to the Promised Land even though they grumbled, and rebelled. God’s people questioned God and even said he hated them (Deut 1:26, 27). Still, the Lord showered his grace and mercy on them. The destruction of that generation was his call. Not even Moses could make the final judgment.

    First John Baptist and then Jesus preached a new thing (Mark 1:15) and Jesus called his disciples (Mark 1:17). Today, the door of heaven is still propped open. Nobody can close it until the Lord has accomplished his will here. It just makes me wonder about our human tendencies to grumble and suspect the Lord and one another. Surely there is more happening than we know about.


  86. nyekis says:

    In the sermon at the mount, Jesus teaches us to not only love our enemies but also bless them. This is exactly what he did on the cross ‘father forgive them for they know not what they do’.

    Remember Stephen as he was being stoned to death ‘father, do not hold this against them’

    Jesus command of love you enemies is probably the most difficult to follow, because it is easy to love those who love you, however the command of loving one’s enemies is an absolute necessity for our survival because returning hate for hate multiplies hate.

    It is only love that can transform an enemy into a friend.

    In our Lord’s Prayer, do we sufficiently consider the true meaning of the words ‘forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us’?

    We must recognize our own need for forgiveness to forgive others and this recognition requires humility.

    In Mathew the beatitudes talks of the meek shall inherit the earth.As a true christian therefore ther will never be any need of toss a coin to settle a dispute.

  87. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Morning ALL. I need to apologize for my negativity yesterday and thank you for the redirection. I was very upset with myself, but then I was Reminded what was going on.
    I live very modestly but very comfortably because I have all that I NEED. Still when it gets very cold and I am warm and safe, I begin thinking about the homeless and get a twinge of guilt. This is where my reaction to “give them your coat too” emerged from. I had found some warm gloves on sale and I dropped them off along with a few other items, at the homeless shelter. I keep an old but very warm coat in the trunk in case of breakdown for potentially underdressed passengers(grandchildren). The thought occurred to me that I should donate the coat as well, but I didn’t..I convinced myself that I had given enough..AND that is why that verse hit me so strongly. When I remembered that those that were outside the shelter that day all had on warm coats, I forgave myself.

  88. lovely says:

    Steve, yoopeer jack
    Thanks for your encouragement and advice .. you’re right about that we should care for others..
    i understand what you’re saying and i meant to say that Matthew is very lucky to have a father like that. I give thanks to the Lord for the words you have given me but just sometimes if you can relate to me there is a spiritual battle in the mind and at times when i am tired i am bound to have all this thoughts….

  89. poohpity says:

    lovely, I think you may find that some men try and fix things rather than just listen. Job’s friends were a good example when Job needed just a listening ear for comfort they were trying to figure everything out so that they could solve Job’s problems. I know it sounds cliche but the Lord listens, hears and get us through those tough times because he can see our hearts and knows what will bring us comfort. The only good advice is when it is asked for, not offered. ;-)

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