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The Bible and Cut Flowers

Have you ever wondered whether our knowledge of the Bible could be used like a handful of cut flowers? Is it possible that separated from their root and purpose, inspired proverbs, parables, predictions, stories, or letters could be used in ways that leave them unable to bear the fruit for which they were written?

Think for instance not only of the storyline of Jonah, but of what we remember about Joseph, the son of Jacob.

After comparing notes, my guess is that we’d agree that the most memorable moment happens when, in a surprise reunion with his brothers, Joseph tells them that what they intended for evil, God meant for good (Gen 50:20).

But what if we use this story only to remind ourselves that God can turn the awful experiences of our lives into an opportunity for our benefit? What if we even go so far as to see that the twists and turns of Joseph’s life reveal a God who knows the future; rules over circumstance; and cares for us far more than we ever imagined?

These are all important and valid points. But what if we stop here? Could a handful of cut flowers stop short of renewing our first love for the God who not only loves us, but our enemies as well?

Let’s take another look at Joseph in a way that links him closely to what we know about Christ. In the end, God uses Joseph to show compassion to his cruel brothers– even making them into patriarchs of the 12 tribes of Israel. Just as amazingly, in the end, the God of the Bible also useds Joseph to show compassion for the Egypt that would later enslave and torment the descendants of Joseph’s family– until their day of Exodus.

Has my imagination gotten the best of me? Or is the link real? All of a sudden it seems so important to see that just as God used the betrayal of Joseph to put him in a position to be the rescuer of his brothers and the whole land of Egypt (Gen 50:20), so the Father of heaven used the betrayal of Jesus to make him the Savior– not just of his chosen people– but of the whole world.

So I find myself praying this morning, Father in heaven, forgive me for using your Word like a handful of cut flowers, purchased at the price of your Son, for the sole comfort and good of myself and those I naturally love.

PS Just noticed sleet beginning to hit the windows. Sounds like the rain, ice, and snow predicted for today has begun. Funny how big benevolent thoughts suddenly morph into something like– guess  I’d better throw the sandbags back into the bed of my pickup before heading to work… But somehow, the dots still connect…

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85 Responses to “The Bible and Cut Flowers”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Mart wee too have sleet and rain this morning except we are to warm up into rain as the morning moves along. I am thankful it isn’t snow.

    When I first read the opening topic comments about cut flowers, I had an entire clear concept as to how to respond then as the comment went through Joseph and Christ suddenly several various thoughts branched off. I think they call that “attention deficit disorder”….I don’t know I call it not being able to focus and letting my thoughts wander, often I get lost doing that and have a terrific time trying to circle back to my original thought. If I seem to wander now you know.

    I really like the analogy of cut flowers being unable to produce fruit. Much like a hollow chocolate Easter bunny they look good on the outside but there is nothing inside.

    The flowers setting in a vase cut off from their roots no longer are sustainable and are only a good looking corpse.

    We can (as I do) have the Word of God framed and hung all around our homes, or wear crosses about our necks; some may even be able to quote scripture and verse. But if it is all only for show like the vase of flowers, then there is no other usefulness to any of it.

    Jesus compared the religious rulers of His age to “white washed tombs”, once again looking nice and clean on the outside but being dead and corrupted on the inside and therefore of no use to anyone.

    Before I move along into the other thoughts I had concerning this topic I will rest on this one comment for now.


  2. rxman says:

    We find faith by not only believing what Jesus says, but, even more, by trusting Jesus Himself. If we only look at what He says, we will never believe. Oswald Chambers.

    Just was reading a devotional this morning and the quote above was in it. Thinking of the cut flowers and how nice they look in a vase, it struck me how often I want to know all about the bible and gain all the knowledge I can so I can impress people. I hope to make them believe how “spiritual” I am yet all this seems to get in the way of truly knowing Jesus.

    There must be some way to balance studying God’s word and allowing Him to speak supernaturally to me. God help me to not just know about you but truly KNOW you by having a real relationship with you.

  3. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    Mart, your prayer:

    “Father in heaven, forgive me for using your Word like a handful of cut flowers, purchased at the price of your Son, for the sole comfort and good of myself and those I naturally love.”

    — brings me to cry out to God yet again for us calling ourselves the Church.

    Each flower represents a life cut off from the living Word…like the florist arrangements at a funeral. We are gathered to share the life of God in Christ…not to condemn our neighbors by our knowledge of the Bible.


  4. yooperjack says:

    The Word of God is a two sided coin on one side it’s the greatest love story ever told and on the other side it’s the enemy of the flesh.

    Flowers may look nice but if I where to bring them in this house my wife would sneeze and gage. The Bible is a beautiful love story but…….

  5. SFDBWV says:

    Thinking of a stalk of wheat or corn I am reminded that they start from a seed planted in soil, watered by the rain and energized by the sun they grow and produce substance for life.

    Cut down too soon and all they have to offer is to decay back into the soil from which they grew from, but allowed to come to full bloom they can sustain life.

    The Word of God when taken into our hearts has found its soil, it is then that the parable comes to mind of what kind of soil has the seed been planted in (Matthew 13:3-9) then what kind of fruit is produced (Galatians 5: 19-26).

    For me personally I can quote scripture and *show* the Word of God, but within the virtual pages of this blog or in full view of others in my life, what kind of soil and what kind of fruit is best *shown* from examples of living, real life experiences and how God and His Word have effected me and either shine out from me or don’t, either producing fruit or thorns.

    For all who have been praying for Matthew’s friend Jim, he and his wife have been told by the specialist treating him that his body has been found to be cancer free except for one spot in which they are 100% certain it can be eradicated by several treatments of radiation….We consider this a victory and though very happy will continue to pray on their behalf until Jim is clear of cancer totally.

    Thank you all for your concerns and prayers.


  6. florida7sun says:

    Mart, your posting this posting led me to Nebuchadnezzar’s prayer and the influence of Daniel in his life. – Daniel 4:34-35.

    Nebuchadnezzar came to realize that “those who walk in pride he is able to humble.” Daniel 34:37

    In 1 Corinthians 1:26:31 we see God’s handiwork in the affairs of men:

    ‘Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”’

    It is because of our Risen Lord we can comprehend the truth of His Word. Without Him we can do nothing. – John 15:5

    He alone is worthy of our praise and adoration. He alone has the words of eternal life. – John 6:68

    The severed flower in bloom also reminds me of the death of Stephen, beautifully full of the Holy Spirit, cut down in his youth. Yet, God foresaw the faithfulness of Stephen, whose death brought life to me and countless others through His servant, Saul of Tarsus.

    Light showers this morning, but we’re headed for a mostly sunny, unseasonably warm afternoon.

    Blessings to all, Ray

  7. narrowpathseeker says:

    I was almost finished writing here when my screen froze, and up came the obituairies from a local funeral home! I had to reclick onto this site and of course had lost all I had written. I don’t know what that was all about, but I took time to pray before getting back to this.

    Sometimes when I have collective flashbacks of years gone by, I find comfort in pondering Joseph’s victorious end. Then I am reminded that Joseph endured those years with love for God, patience, and self control. I didn’t have any of the fruit of the spirit that I can recall. I responded mostly in anger, self righteousness, and a determination to rise above all those who hurt me. I believed in God, but your analogy of cuts flowers described my spirituality. I don’t know when those cut flowers began to sprout small roots or when they got transplanted in good soil, but I know God had mercy on me. I know that I prayed in ignorance as well as in anger for all the wrong things and still He didn’t write me off. There is hope for those cut flower arrangements.

  8. florida7sun says:

    Sorry for the typo. Cited passage Daniel 34:37 should have been Daniel 4:37.

    The Lord humbles me everyday through typos and other mistakes. Without Him, I would be lost!

  9. SFDBWV says:

    Narrowpathseeker, I have learned to write my comments on a word processor first. For me I use Microsoft word, after writing my thoughts I right click and copy then go to BTA comments in the comment window right click again and paste my comment.

    If something goes awry and it often does, I still have my comment saved to repost if necessary. I am sure you already know all this, but just incase I wanted to offer you a way around losing your written comments and having to start over again.


  10. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Thanks Mart!

    What an amazing thought, that if we pick the flowers then they cannot bear fruit.
    Just as if we leave Joseph in the pit and go no further we are left with a story of a divided, arguing band of brothers and a grieving dad, but if we wait and go on ’till the end, then a nation is saved and a new nation(Israel) is born.
    “They that wait upon the Lord SHALL renew their strength”
    So it is today, as we wait for the return of our Lord!
    I think there is a lot to be learned from this topic, especially about seeing the whole picture and not “picking” out bits here and there as we look at both the bible and it’s say on the events of our time and the world as these events unfold in front of our eyes.

    Many will be “fooled” by false doctrine and false christs which means it is so important to be both grounded in The Word of God and Rooted in Fellowship with one another being careful not to be “picked” off and isolated from the life giving sap that flows from our Father’s Throne.

    I am glad to hear Jim’s cancer can be isolated and will keep praying for the families faith to increase.

    Weather here sunny 13C (55F) and getting warmer by the day.


  11. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve, thank you for reminding me of that feature.

  12. oneg2dblu says:

    Mart… I see great promise in those flowers awaiting their delivery. Awaiting an opportunity to share one’s Love, concerns or feelings for another through the giving of those cut one’s as a small price paid for in our delivered intentions. They can bring with them a wonderful message and a fragrance that lingers long standing in the heart of the recipient, as well as the sender.
    Whatever it takes to get that message across, it is all worth the price paid. Who are we but cut one’s who are delivered into the sphere of influence that God gives us, when we share what we been given with others. Those flowers represent to me, great moments to show our love for others. Just a thought… maybe our heavenly mailboxes will be filled daily with cut flowers, each one having the very face of loved one we shared our lives with in Christ. Gary

  13. yooperjack says:

    Gary: Your getting mushy is that from the heart or a Hall Mark card. LOL

  14. poohpity says:

    I believe there is a reason God did not use flowers to represent this life with Him because their sole purposes where for beauty and aroma which was only a fleeting time of admiration nothing lasting. While fruit bearing vines and trees display flowers before they bud into the fruit of the vine. Those type of flowers need to be pollinated for the tree to produce the fruit but I can not remember of a time when I have seen them cut off to be used in a vase because they would be useless to the fruit of the tree.

    It seems the same for the Word of God when taken part of the whole it causes damage to the intent when separated before the fruit has been realized and can damage the reader as well as those who use it to their own advantage although there are many verses that can stand alone if they are not used to bear the fruit that they were intended they become useless and can damage growth and production.

    It is natural to love those who agree with us and that love us back but remaining in the fruit producing vine we are able to love those who disagree and who seem so very hard to love. Then it is no longer the beauty of the buds that are seen and heard but the fruit that has formed from leaving the flowers on the vine. The flowering buds were not separated for their beauty but left in the whole to produce something useful to fill and satisfy until the next crops comes behind.

  15. florida7sun says:

    Mart, your photo took me to Isaiah 53; specifically verse 8: “he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished.” Then, in verse 12, ‘he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”

    The Lord lives His life in the clay jars of His beloved ones; resulting in the everlasting beauty of each believer trusting in His Word and Promises. That beauty is eternal.

    In your picture there is an empty jar. Many in our world today are like that jar, hollow inside, seeking self-fulfillment. Despite the polished outward trappings of prosperity and success, the glazed veneer is superficial. The pot will eventually chip, tarnish and then turn to dust. The jar was made to display His beauty by embracing His commandments. – Matthew 22:37-40

    With the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, He promises new life that blooms every day to all who believe on His Name. – John 15:5

    “I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the young women. Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my beloved among the young men. … Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance. Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.” – Song of Solomon 2:1-3; 2:12-13

  16. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Florida7sun,
    This comparison of Joseph with Jesus is the essence of how to read the bible: To find Jesus in all scriptures.
    Encouraging one another to find Jesus is all our lives, in the good: Jesus, in the bad: the Cross of Jesus.
    I really am strengthened by this advice.

    Today in our little church housegroup we also had this scripture that Bob gave:
    “They that wait upon the Lord SHALL renew their strength” Isaiah 40:31
    Psalm 84:7 They go from strength to strength, (they are those whose strength is in You Psalm 84:5)

    And we ended with 2 Peter 1:5-9
    In which it is clear that from loving our loved ones, the next step is love to all,
    but to come there we have to have made several steps, of which faith is one, self-control is one, perseverance, kindness…
    If we want to be effective and productive we should strife to learn these things, says v8, so we are no picked up flowers, and if we should not be effective, do we have to strife harde for these things? verse 9
    No, we have to remember that we have been cleansed form past sins.
    THese things we can practice when ceonversing here on the blog, when we think someone is putting us down, or not reacting to our posts, or any other sensitivity we might have:
    We have been cleansed from all our sins, even the ones we just come to realise! do not forget that, and then have faith, knowledge of Jesus, and the whole list from self-control to love, and then go and post and you will be effective and productive.
    But this is a long list, step by step, and we mostly make shortcuts, so try better next time, one step more. (this souns like preaching, sorry, this is what I need too)

  17. BruceC says:


    The Lord be praised for the ongoing recovery of Jim!!

    In our day and age and with what is going on in the mid-East; we too have to be careful of being like cut flowers.
    As Joseph showed compassion to the pagan Egyptians; (had he not revealed the dream they would likely have starved), we too must show the love of Christ to the unbelieving in lands where there are many that hate us; both as Christians and citizens of the USA. We must be careful not to let our love of our country turn to hate for others. Perverted patriotism is dangerous (i.e. Nazi Germany).
    So if we want our “flowers” to have an impression on others let us make sure they are rooted in Christ and they are perennials and not “annuals”.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  18. fadingman says:

    I guess an illustration similar to cut flowers would be to ask if we’re reading the whole-grained word, or the white bread version (bleached, artificially ‘enriched’, etc.)? Are we missing something of spiritual nutritional value?

    Or is this a silly analogy?

  19. poohpity says:

    No!! :-)

  20. Bob in Cornwall England says:


    This morning, before I read Marts current topic, I was thinking about oneness etc. and how our citizenship to a nation (Patriotism) can effect the way we appear to others.
    I know it efects me and how I also see some of you over there in the states.
    I think in these end days we have to be fully aware that our citizenship is in God’s Kingdom and all other “oaths of alleagence” should become less, leaving brother, sister and parents to follow Him.
    We live in such a global community that wherever we live, Rocky Mountains or Fishing Village, we need to be aware of the needs and differences in others.
    Here in my little village we get visitors from all over the world and I am begining to sense that, like Paul, we must be all things to all men and not offend by our behaviour and conduct (even though some offend us) always being true to Jesus in word and deed.
    I may be wrong, Steve you will know, but the nations will be with us even after Christ’s return and will only dissapear after the thousand year Reign of Jesus, then all things become new.


  21. yooperjack says:

    Analogies are fun if we’re speaking to the right people so they can understand them. Jesus used that teaching tool all the time.

    Here’s finishing my first post: but very few people in this world read the Bible because it condemns the flesh and most don’t like that because they love the freedom freewill gives us. This is why we have to use child psychology as a tool when dealing with sinners today. We need to use roses instead of a whip. We need to show the goodness of God. [Romans 2:4 and 11:22]

    The reason it’s easier for people that hit bottom to accept Gods way, after being beat up for years of doing it their way making bad choices, they want to see the roses and not the whip.

    If a person has it made as this world calls having it made they are not looking at the long term program, eternity. The goodness of God will draw them to Him. If we try to clean the fish they’ll jump back in the water. Most will say: “Who are you to clean me up;” “judge me”. It may take a long time to convince them that they need a savior but then that’s not our job, is it?

  22. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Even though the Nations will still be with us, we will be caught up with Christ in the air and will be with Him Forever.
    So, if we are already in His Kingdom and always will be, shouldn’t we be letting go of the old things that will eventually pass away?

  23. yooperjack says:

    I don’t care for the Bible tranlation this blog uses. The verses I used where from the NKJV. It says the “goodness of God” not “kindness of God”.

  24. poohpity says:

    Joseph seemed to put up with, from his very early years, the jealousy and envy of his brothers. Their reaction to him was cruelty and alienation. After they sold him to a group of people that they had nothing in common with and even thought of as an enemy to their people group Joseph begged his brothers them to accept him and love him as any younger brother looks up to the older. Some would say that Joseph had every right to treat them as they had treated him but Joseph did not.

    Even when the strange new people with different customs treated him badly he never tried to get even or treat them the way he was treated but in fact saved their lives from the devastation that laid ahead by the famine. Jesus even while being nailed to the Cross in all that agony asked His Father to forgive them both showed such grace and mercy to those so undeserving. If they had retaliated then the mission before them would have never been accomplished and the story would have never had the impact that it has in all of our lives.

    It is by grace we have been saved so it is certainly not God that holds us back from showing that to all around us. It is so very easy to retaliate and hurt others when we are hurt and I know that feeling well but it takes a higher priority to love, show grace and mercy that shows whether our fruit comes from the true vine or the deceiver.

  25. bratimus says:

    With a handful of cut flowers it is the intent that they are given, that could make a lasting memory. It also depends on how they are recieved.

    Same goes with quoting verse and scripture, it is the intent they are given, and how they are recieved.

    Even the uncut flower whithers, to be no more.

    Every flower has it season.

  26. narrowpathseeker says:

    Very good point Bratimus. I thought of Matthew 15:8 and hope that I am not doing that sometimes when I am focused on a full plate. I also know that I can begin a work with the right intent and then shift my focus to a “aren’t I wonderful?” mentality. Sometimes when I am learning I feel like that narrowpath keeps shrinking.

  27. poohpity says:

    I thought about another thing about Joseph and Jesus had in common while connecting the dots. Neither one of them elevated themselves their fathers did. Joseph’s dad is the one who lavished him with his love which caused the brothers to resent him. I know there is no comparison spiritually with who Jesus is but it was also Jesus’ Father who exalted Him which lead to resentments from the religious leaders and all those who wanted others to follow them. Just a thought. It was not a selfish desire to be held in high regard it was honor from thier Fathers.

  28. davids says:

    There are many expressions in our language – “my cross to bear”, “the prodigal son”, “eat, drink and be merry”, etc – that are not even like cut flowers. They are merely petals strewn about to add scent and color to our conversation. But they end up getting trampled underfoot and lose their attraction.

    Fragments of verse can become like that. If we treat them like so many Sunday School catechisms, then we risk to cut them lose from their nurturing soil, and forget that they sprouted in an ecosystem that had not only love, but also fear, temptation, dread, violence, loneliness, and the full range of human experience.

  29. remarutho says:

    Hello Mart & Friends —

    We attended EJ’s memorial service today. Isaiah 40 was read aloud:

    “The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)

    The reading was given to comfort the people who came to celebrate his life and say so long to him. Great and funny stories were told about EJ’s kindness and wisdom.

    I believe he would have been glad that the Word of God was opened up and the salvation story was told once more. He always took time for people — and he never failed to tell us all how much he loved us as the church — and as his friends.

    I am sure he is not cut off, but is replanted in paradise, on account of God’s promises.


  30. poohpity says:

    Maru although it was a time of mourning the loss of a dear friend, it is also a time to rejoice for him to be with God where there are no more tears, fears, sorrows or suffering. Sad for your loss Maru. :-(

  31. remarutho says:

    Thank you Pooh. It has been a good day. There were tears, but the ravages of Parkinsons are forgotten in the glorious presence of God. You’re right, I do rejoice for him as well. Maru

  32. SFDBWV says:

    Maru, for the most of my adult life I have had the mixed pleasure and somber duty to many different people in attending to the burial of their loved ones in our cemetery.

    Death is never welcome and the loss of the presence of someone we love is painful.

    There is as our scripture tells us a time for everything, and I believe there is a time to morn.

    I can relate to your pain, and though I can not touch you or give you my shoulder, I can offer my sympathies and share your hope that one day you will see and hear EJ again.


  33. SFDBWV says:

    When we look at the night sky we see an endless existence of vast distances and can see little twinkling lights the size of which is beyond our ability to truly comprehend; we see only part of the picture of creation.

    Now with modern technology we can see the surface of an equally endless and vast universe of things so small we could never be able to fully realize just how small when compared to us or the immense largeness of the heavens above us.

    Yet both the vast enormous size of the seen universe and the endless vast existence of the atomic and sub atomic world, and yes we set there in-between them both, are all related to each other in co existing.

    This marvel, this miraculous Book we call the Word of God is alive and exists in just such a setting as being more than meets the eye.

    The Word of God is a story within a story, within a story that all concludes in Christ. It can be seen as a simple story of history as well as revealing a part of the nature of God as well as showing us examples of proper and improper living. It can show us the future, the past and the twists and turns our own life can expect to follow.

    If we think we can know all about the structure of a star that we can see in the night sky simply by looking at it, we find we know very little except what it looks like.

    If we cut out a scripture verse and use it only as way of talking or for show without realizing the fact that these Words have limitless usefulness and un- numbered lessons from which the Holy Spirit can reveal to us, then much like the star gazer who can only see the star, all we see is the obvious without knowing each word, each phrase, each lesson is all connected together in such a way that puts it all in balance.

    Just like the known and unknown universe, from the largest galaxy to the smallest sub atomic particle and even the unknown properties of dark matter; all exist together one without the other falls apart.

    So it is with our Bible each part is there to support the other and for us to learn how they are connected together with widening and deeper meaning.


  34. yooperjack says:

    Just like those stars, we talk about the Bible like we understand it. Do we really understand the spirit world? We are spirit beings yet we can’t feel it or see it, the only way we can understand it is what the Bible tells us it is. What about eternity, we can say it’s forever but do we really understand? What about faith, if Christians understood it they would walk by faith and not by sight. This is why it is so hard for intellectuals to believe. So much of the Bible cannot be understood without faith. The trinity, virgin birth, a simple prayer of faith will keep you out of Hell; if you really think about it to the intellectuals this is nuts, a fairy tale.

    Oh! But when you get a glimpse of Jesus I thank God I’m not to intelligent to see the light in this dark world we live in. I may not understand much but I knew I was in need of a Savior and Jesus Christ is His name. “GLORY TO GOD MY SAVIOR LIVES.”

  35. SFDBWV says:

    Jackie, I agree, the very first step out into discovering the *Truth* is to accept the Bible to be the written Word of God.

    It is born out of an instinctive urging in our spirits to seek out answers, the biggest being who are we and why am I here.

    There are so very many deceptions and false answers out there that it takes concentration and dedication to recognize the *truth* when encountered. The *Truth* not always being what we want to hear.

    Yet we who were chosen before the foundation of the world, recognize the voice of our *Shepard* and are able then to recognize the *Truth* when exposed to it.

    Not necessarily by our ability, but because He wants it to be so and has given us His Spirit in order to help us see in this dark, noisy, garish world.


  36. narrowpathseeker says:

    I have always wondered how the “intellectual” community could possibly ever study the intricately created and precision workings of all life and the universe and NOT believe in God. Then I wonder how so many in the “believing” community can be so easily deceived by false teachers who seemingly have used what they perceive to be our “ignorant” beliefs as their “cash cow”. Then when I am trembling in the wake of the unbelievable things that are happening around the world as well as in our own backyards I remember that ALL of these situations have been addressed in His Word….even the unbelievable things coming upon the earth….even my inability to understand it all. Then although there is so much I as yet don’t understand in the bible I have no trouble believing that EVERY Word is truly significant. Then when I realize that my little mind couldn’t possible take it ALL in, never mind, perfectly adhere to it all, I know that faith and trust in Jesus as my savior is essential to getting out of here alive.

  37. yooperjack says:

    Steve: Just to expand on my last post. If Christians think they really understand the Bible then why are there so many different sects of Christianity? Why are there so many theories about how the end of this age will be? I can’t believe how there are different understandings of salvation it is so simple a child can understand it. Then there is baptism by water, baptism in the Holy Spirit?

    How did it get so screwed up if we understand?

    10 more inches of wet snow we’re up to 160 inches now.

  38. oneg2dblu says:

    I’m sorry the cut flowers seem to some to be only a short fading verse, when they feel whole bible is always needed to get the message across.
    No word of God returns void, not even one verse.
    I grew up in a Christian home where my mother recieved a dozen red roses every Christmas Day, being that it was also their Wedding Day made it very special on many levels. 53 times my mother knew those cut one’s were coming her way. I think they provoked in her, much more than the one verse only perspective, some of us tend to focus on!
    If cut flowers given/received, do not represent something greater than a fading moment, then you lose!
    One verse my be all that’s needed to save one’s life!
    I’ll bet we each know one that saved ours! Gary

  39. yooperjack says:

    Yah! Gary: When ever I got into an argument with somone bigger than me: “A soft answer turneth away wrath” came to mind. Maybe not my life but a trip to the hospital.

  40. narrowpathseeker says:

    Jack, like you, I often thought about all the countless diverse teaching within the Christian community. I think this is addressed in His Word as well..in the false teachers, satan coming as an angel of light, and in deceiving and being deceived.etc. In having made more mistakes and having said and done more stupid things than any ten stupid people put together, I have come to trust in God’s mercy and powerful ability to rescue any and all of us from satan’s snares.

  41. yooperjack says:

    Narrow: Most people don’t even know there is a battle going on that is in the heavenly relm. They don’t know our battle is not against flesh and blood but the evil ones in the spiritual world. People like MK can not understand that.

    I just heard on TV this morning 90% of Church kids when they go to collage, drop out of Church. If this is true. Where is the understanding? I would guess that is secular collage.

  42. poohpity says:

    When one reads through the bible you can see how the different churches come up with their different philosophies by taking parts out of it. Usually by just observation you can even tell those who have never even read the whole bible. When you go into different churches if one has the foundation of the Word you will be able to tell whether they are teaching from it or their own thoughts it is very obvious with careful discernment from the Lord. That is why it is so important to have that as our foundation. It full of substance and understanding for those who seek it then you can not be lead down the wrong path.

  43. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    I believe you said something like this awhile ago Steve!

    The Universe is a vast place, but none of us can share the same peice of it at the same time.
    Meaning we all stand at a differnt view point so all have a slightly differnt perspective.
    Now! Jesus is the Centre of everything that is, was, and ever will be. He is The Way, The Truth and The Life.
    He never changes, but we do!
    We are being changed into His Likeness, but we all stand at a differnt viewpoint and in differnt times, so there are as many opinions and ideas about Jesus as there are people on this planet.
    BUT, there is only one Jesus. only one Truth, and we are being transformed into His Image.
    That’s why we must look and only see Jesus in people and not all the stuff that will fade away.
    That’s why there are so many types of church and ways we celebrate Jesus.
    “Birds of a feather flock together” just as stars flock together in Galaxies. We want to be with those that are like minded, thus denominations are formed.
    In reality we must just look to Jesus, He is the only one and in Him is the only way to move from this worlds realm to the future Heavenly one.


  44. yooperjack says:

    Bob: When Jesus becomes diminished to just being a prophet, good man, teacher and not God in the flesh we will know the end time is near. There will be a form of Godliness in the Church but no Power. It won’t happen suddenly but one truth at a time like the virgin birth, spiritual gifts, baptism, the cross and salvation by grace through faith will be removed from the lips of the leaders in those churches. The old timers if there are any left to speak up will be silenced.

  45. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Off Topic Jackie, but thankfully God is moving in the youngsters and is relying on us “old timers” to pray for them so they don’t slip into false teaching.
    As I go to a non denminational (held in a)Barn Fellowship, I tend to feel that the main “churches” & money makers will be left behind, both in the current outpouring of the Holy Spirit and in the truest sense at the tribulation.


    Jack, I am begining to understand your sense of humour and loving it!

  46. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    “denonminational” what a horrible word!

  47. oneg2dblu says:

    you know when I looked at the menu of coming to Christ, not every verse was there, but the order I placed brought me exactly what I needed to be fed st that time.
    Thank God he doesn’t require us to be well read to be His. To be served at His Table you only have to be called and come hungry. Gary

  48. SFDBWV says:

    Jackie, it is one of my sad observations of the Church that it is fractured up into so many sects. That wouldn’t be so offensive to me as each sect could be like each race of man different yet the same; however it is just like racism each sect thinking they are good and the other bad.

    If I were to guess how this ever came to be I would have to begin with pride, judgments, power and ignorance leading the list.

    Then there are those who only know enough scripture as to get them in trouble. Read until they find some word that speaks to them and they begin an entire tenet and belief system around that one *flower* without ever reading on and seeing the bigger picture.

    I agree completely the offer and the acceptance of salvation is simple and intended to be so.

    I received a very interesting commentary from Franklin Graham concerning the evil of this world and the stupidity of Political Correctness that has infiltrated our society. I would consider he and his mother and father to be intellectual’s and to be faith filled Christians. I also receive science literature from a Christian organization dealing with creation science and have several commentaries from Chuck and Nancy Missler who unquestionably are intellectual as well as followers of Christ.

    In a better age of man our institutions of higher learning were led by Christian men and women and the lessons of a higher education were instructed alongside the study of scripture for a complete education.

    Today our colleges have become a place that produces people who have had no other instruction other than what a world without Christ offers. The result is that we have leaders in our society that are only half educated; I believe the term is “half wit”.

    The word picture of sin being filthy fits into focus when you think that everywhere it is allowed to flourish, it infects and spreads its filth to every thing it touches.

    If it can’t get to you it will try and get to you through your children, and so raise up generations one after another until you get what we are seeing in our schools and institutions today a world filled with the scripturally illiterate, in love with their sin instead of with Christ.

    How do we fix it? It begins with me, in prayer for our children and in me to be a better example for them to see in my actions and behavior. It cannot begin with my telling them of their sin, but rather by somehow making them see the Christ in me. How long? As long as it needs be.

    Oh yes and one other thing, do not tolerate leaders of our society to remain in a position of leadership, if they do not demonstrate Christian ethics.


  49. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve, the mother forgiving the student of another race for killing her son was the most beautiful demonstrative acts of Christian ethics and the only one I can recall as of late.

  50. yooperjack says:

    Christian ethics, like in what they do, not what they say. They are schooled on how to win an election, they will promise the world with their words [lies] but produce nothing when elected. Money has taken over our political system and it’s become a joke to the common man. All they’re doing is exploiting and dividing our country. We still have that one vote use it wisely. I wish many times they had a box that says: [None of thee above].

  51. poohpity says:

    Doctrinally the Graham’s have nothing in common with the Missler’s (Koinonia House), Mary Baker Eddy (Christian Science), Joseph Smith (The Church of Jesus Christ and the Later day Saints) or the New World translation (Jehovah witnesses). Please be very careful who listen to and please know your bible.

  52. poohpity says:

    Those people play on ignorance of scripture to establish their following. Read ODB for today. Be alert!!

  53. narrowpathseeker says:

    We’re on the same page Jack. Unfortunately, we are both on the wrong topic and a no no one at that. So before we ignite any flames we should probably backup.

    We got about 3 inches of snow last night here in CT that melted with the rain this morning. Now there are occasional snowflakes mixing with the rain.

  54. yooperjack says:

    I hear yah narrow. I’ll end with this: “It is *impossible* to please God without faith.”

  55. narrowpathseeker says:


  56. oneg2dblu says:

    Pooh… poohpity must have been a great watch dog! That was a compliment. :)
    The best counterfiet is one that looks just like the real thing, but always has a flaw somewhere. It takes a shrewd eye to see the flaws, you my dear have the shrewd eye of a well trained watchdog. Praise God!

  57. SFDBWV says:

    My ability to speak in this forum is given in spurts of interrupted time while awaiting to attend to the next responsibility. Too often in the mornings when I do have some time it is also that time in which Mart may be changing to a different topic and so I hesitate to write anything.

    This morning is just such a hesitation. The subject seems to have hit a stone wall or dried up, and when that occurs too often rather than talk about the subject the comments of others come under attack until there is strife.

    Out the outset of this particular topic I seen several directions the conversation could go and chose to take up one at a time rather than spread out my thoughts like a crazy quilt. So spoke of the cut off flowers as being cut off from their source of power as well as the mystery of how all the flowers are connected to the same power source in ways we can only begin to comprehend.

    The story of Joseph as a symbol of Christ is a well documented thread and has been covered by many other writers and commentators of Christian theology. The Bible is filled with such examples and is one reason most can see that the Bible is all about its Author.

    Mart’s little prayer at the end of his comment and the statement about the weather at the conclusion jogged two separate thoughts loose

    The first being how easily we can be distracted from spiritual matters by the events of this world, and second is it wrong to use scripture as prayer for ourselves or loved ones.


  58. yooperjack says:

    Steve: No, it is not wrong to pray scripture, one of my favorite preacher teacher who prays for people to be healed, encourages using healing scripture. We can speak or pray the Word against demonic forces. Gods Word and the name of Jesus are very powerful. “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world”. And I used the 23 Psalm at different times putting the persons name in place of “I” and “me”. These are just two powerful examples.

  59. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Steve & All –

    Yes! Mart’s prayer is a good one:
    “Father in heaven, forgive me for using your Word like a handful of cut flowers, purchased at the price of your Son, for the sole comfort and good of myself and those I naturally love.”

    I do not believe I would be arguing with anyone to say it is important to “pray the Word of God.” The psalms, along with the famous prayers (of Jesus, of Daniel, of Nehemiah, Paul…) are given to us to guide our prayers to be effective. Disciples of Jesus are called to pray for the people, for the lost, for enemies – against cruelty, injustice and sin in the world.

    We were commenting last evening in a small group who are reading the Gospel of John that there is a “Christian” attitude at work in the world these days that does no good, and in fact does harm to persons and to the kingdom. Some with selfish, darkened hearts have the attitude and say things like, “You poor, hell-bound fool! How awful to be you – how wonderful to be me. I am heaven-bound and you will fry.” (or something like it)

    Prayers that seek an exclusive blessing – for self, family, tight circle of friends…give no glory to God. Jesus said, “Come to me all…” (Matt 11:28)

    Prayers guided by the true character of the living God shape the one praying first of all – and also impact persons, situations and circumstances – for good. “The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)


  60. remarutho says:

    PS Thanks, Steve, for the words of comfort concerning EJ. We feel the wrenching apart on this side of death — but we have wonderful assurances that departure from here is only a beginning…

  61. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… to me, prayer is the highest use of the human language, it certainly can not be wrongly used by repeating the very word of God given to us to express our highest thoughts, provided by Our Highest! Here is a prayer for us all: Psalm 72:17-19 (NLT) “May the kings name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun shines. May all nations be blessed through him and bring him praise. Praise the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does such wonderful things.Praise his glorious name forver! Let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and amen!” Gary

  62. SFDBWV says:

    Jackie one of my favorite Christian speakers and authors is Kenneth E. Hagin. I have several lesson guides and books from him and am always encouraged by his insistence on believing the Word of God and so use scripture quotes in his prayers as a reminder to God of His promises.

    When Matt was first in the hospital and following I was greatly encouraged by his ministry and when needed go back over some old ground within his writings.

    Sometimes when I come to the point where some of what Mart has been discussing these past few weeks I wonder if it is selfish of me to ask God for things personal. Our should I keep my prayers open only to much larger issues, like the peace of Jerusalem or the salvation of all the lost, leaving all my personal desires behind me.

    I am reminded of Philippians 4: 4-7 as well as looking at the whole of scripture that every thing God has done and continues to do is for us. For us to have a better life, for us to have hope, for us to seek comfort from Him; for us to understand that He loves us and what love means.

    I would suppose that Mart’s prayer exposes his desire to not use prayer or scripture *only* for personal gain but for the higher goal of agreeing with God’s will in all maters, whether personal or abstract.

    I wonder if any of you have ever had to watch someone you love, lose hope and so stay in a constant stream of unhappiness and disappointment? Afraid to hope because the only experience they have is hopelessness.

    For such a bouquet of flowers are sometimes seen as just dead grass, but a warm hand a soft voice and even silent understanding are more welcome and nourishing to the soul.

    I encourage you today to be a friend to someone who needs one; show God’s love by example not only by words.


  63. yooperjack says:

    Steve: Pain is the price we sometimes have to pay if we love someone. If our words are powerful, James chapter 3 then why not speak the Word of God.

  64. yooperjack says:

    Mart: I had to go back and check the rules we are not permited to give out other web sights. I understand.

  65. oneg2dblu says:

    Maru… Perhaps I missed your point. To me, all prayers give glory to the one we are praying to, if we believe He attends to our prayers, then we give him glory by every utterance. Gary

  66. yooperjack says:

    In Mart’s prayer the key words are “sole compfort”. there are at least 6 types of prayer and the one I use the least is asking for stuff for myself.

    And not using Gods Word for my comfort but use it to find out how I may help those that do not know God. How to make the gifts work in this world that is lost and broken. We have the manual but do we use it or do we try to fix things with our own understanding?

  67. poohpity says:

    Steve, I can understanding your desperation of wanting Matt to be in any condition other than the he one he is in. Sometimes that desperation can cause us to seek out anything in an attempt to change what is going on. Yes the Missler’s and Christian Science preach miracles of healing so I understand the reason you sought them out. We want the best for those we love and are willing to go to any lengths to get it. They seem to be cut flowers. James tells us in James 5:14-16 NIV a direction we can go. I know you do not attend a church but you once said you knew a pastor from there who comes by. I will continue prayer for your family as I have for the last few years, faithfully.

    I think what Mart was saying in his prayer was that at times I may use God’s word for wrong reasons in an effort to bring glory and elevate ourselves and those close to us rather than seeing the scripture in light of who God is and the benefit of His Will which maybe healing, restoration, peace, kindness, and an attempt to have a closer walk with the Lord to tell others the Good News. When I cut the Word of off it’s intended purpose it becomes useless just as cut flowers are it withers and fades.

    All this seems so easy to say but having faith and trusting God whom we can not see is hard. Everyday I am just so thankful that I am shown as much grace and mercy as I am. Everyday I seem to understand that those words are not just words, grace is really amazing considering how I truly am.

  68. poohpity says:

    Sometimes we have to come to the end of ourselves before God can work and it can be very painful.

  69. oneg2dblu says:

    yooperjack… good word brother.

  70. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… thanks for using that verse, revisiting it today highlighted the prayers from others can bring forgiveness of ones sins. What a comfort to know our prayers are heard abd those we pray for are forgiven.

  71. SFDBWV says:

    Pooh I am sorry you misunderstood my comment concerning getting information from a Christian organization that deals with the science of creation.

    It has nothing to do with the organization known as “Christian Science” that all the wealthy and social elite belong to.

    Sorry for the confusion.


  72. poohpity says:

    Forgive me also for misunderstanding about the Christian Science as well. What is the organization that deals with the science of creation? The only one I know is Ken Ham and would enjoy reading about another one if you feel comfortable sharing.

  73. yooperjack says:

    Dr.Carl or Karl Baugh out of Texas use to have a program on TV. I believe he has a musium of creation in Melros Texas.

  74. yooperjack says:

    It’s Dr. Carl Baugh and he has “Creation Evidence Museum” in Texas.

  75. poohpity says:

    I was asking Steve which one he was referring to, not that your answer Jack doesn’t help, thank you.

  76. poohpity says:

    God teaches us to love our enemies and those who do not agree with us. Jesus did not treat Judas any different than He did the other disciples even though Jesus knew his heart and what he was going to do. What a hard example to follow when we even have a hard time treating people with love in our own community that do not agree with us. It is very hard teaching and that would really prove whether our lives are cut flowers or whether we really believe what the bible teaches and what Jesus did.

    Please join me in prayer for those in the wake of the tornadoes for protection, safety and comfort. There is so much going on all over the world.

  77. fadingman says:

    Mart, I wonder if that cut flower analogy could weather taking it in a different direction.

    Cut flowers wither fast and lose their beauty some say the moment they are cut. But living flowers also don’t last forever. (Isaiah 40:8 is about those plants still rooted in the ground.) No analogy is perfect, but could could even this fact about living plants still fit the picture?

    Perennials go through cycles of growing and dormancy. Speaking for myself, I go through cycles of growth in my understanding of scripture. Sometimes I can’t keep up with all the new things I see. Other times I’m dry – the Bible doesn’t speak anything new to me. How much of this is my fault by not sticking with it until I reach a ‘breakthrough’, and how much of it is just the way things are I can’t say.

    I don’t know if perennials came about as a result of the Fall. Perhaps before the Fall all plants grew and flowered all year… like I assume they do in the topics. Is this the way we should be? Should we always be receiving new insights whenever we read God’s word? I’d like it to be so, but perhaps it isn’t meant to be.

  78. fadingman says:

    … Perhaps God has placed some people in the spiritual tropics as it were where they see new things from the Bible all the time, and perhaps others are placed in more spiritually temperate zones where insight comes in cycles.

  79. Bob in Cornwall England says:

    Depends on how much of the SON you allow yourself to bask in as to whether you are a Tropical or Temperate flower.
    Temperate plants only fruit in season.
    Tropical plants fruit all the time!

  80. poohpity says:

    fadingman, I was so glad to read your post. This year it has been really hard for me to read, the words just seem empty. This happened to me in 2003 and I laid the bible down for 4 years. The driest time of my life with the Lord. When I picked it back up again in 2007 I felt the renewing in my soul again but it was all based on feeling I got up craving the Word and now it feels like it is something I have to push myself toward. I am still learning knew things everyday but I will not do as I did in 2003. This will be my 18th time trough the Word and Psalms 119 always reminds me of the good of having it dwell richly in my soul. I think this is the year of loving the Lord with all my mind not just with feelings. Thank you for you words.

  81. poohpity says:

    through not “trough” and your not “you”. LOL wish my fingers and mind could come to terms.

  82. foreverblessed says:

    (Off topic, but thanks for talking about Carl Baugh, did some seacrh on him, and found out that other creationists who are scientists have a big problem with him, since his science is so weird (very very cold hydrogen in the atmosphere, that makes sit like metal?). He actually does not have a real science degree at all).

  83. mb28 says:

    Thank you Matt for the thought on ‘flowers’. I had been thinking what topic I could use to speak to the children about at church (kids talk). I have taken from what you and the others have said on flowers and will work a ‘kids talk’ from them. I have been reading ODB for some 15 years now and always find inspiration. I have used ideas from a couple of other ODB’s as kids talks. We here in Australia are having a period of unseasonal rain and flooding. God bless you mb

  84. hamer says:

    Good Day Mart and All
    Many flowers are cultivated for the sole purpose of making money and some just so one can have fresh
    flower in their homes, business and yes even in the Church. It brings joy to the grower, the harvester and the admirer.
    So it is with God who cultivated the souls of Jonah, Joseph, Jacob and us. Liken to the cut flowers we are here for a set time. Some of us make it through the soil to feel the sun and the rain and wind and some of us don’t. Yet like the flowers God created each for a purpose and for a set time. His mercy and graces
    poured out on humanity availing itself so that all can if they choose bloom and flourish for His good and the good of His people.
    Like the Master He is He cultivates the soil, plants the seeds and waits ever so patiently for us to find His Son.
    We are all flowers, and in the eye of the beholder some are more beautiful than others. But God see the beauty in each one and whether He decides to let them flourish or pluck them up for a special purpose He alone gives life to both.

  85. childlikento says:

    Dear Narrow path seeker, I prayed often asking God to take from me memories of past events that caused me pain (poor choices of others and also some made by me).
    I prayed for you and that the comfort Jesus delivered to me would be extended to you. One night, maybe a year ago, I was again tormented with memories of past abusive events. I cried unto the Lord that I have repented and I have forgiven, I bear no I’ll will for my abusers. I asked for my memory of all past hurt to be erased. Jesus then told me not to use the memories when they come as a time to re-live the events, But to pray for the other people affected by the events and include the offenders in my prayers. I do that and He has lifted my grief and diminished the detail and the pain of the memories. It took some time because there were many, and I was not an easy patient. Trust Jesus He is the Wonderful Councelor. God Bless all who strugle with painful memory. Amen

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