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What’s (not) a Real Problem?

Among the news stories today of Egypt’s post-election crisis, Syria’s civil war, and the G20’s alarm over the Eurozone’s fiscal challenges, is Prince William’s advocacy for the endangered Rhino.

Poachers reportedly can get 60,000 black market dollars per kilo (2.2 pounds) for a tusk that is believed by some to have powerful medicinal value. That makes powdered Rhino horn worth more than gold.

So if you happen to have cancer in a culture that sees the horn of a rhino as a cure for a life-threatening disease, whether you have enough money to buy rhino powder  may be a consuming interest and anxiety. You may also see Prince William as defending Rhinos while not having a clue about the value of your health.

But, forget the rhino (if you don’t believe it can help you).  Aren’t we more likely to be numbed today by the fears of unemployment, foreclosure, family issues, credit card debt, or any one of tens of thousands of physical or emotional problems?

Yet, as we take a deep breath… it is in this very kind of messed up world, that the Bible offers hope. In the process, the wisdom of ancient Scriptures makes it sound as if our real problems or solutions aren’t what they at first seem to be.

Admittedly, more than a few consider the Bible’s approach to real problems as impractical and naive. But how else do we make sense of the fact that some of the poorest people in the world are among the most grateful, while some of the most successful are among the most miserable and pathetic?

The spiritual perspectives of the Bible don’t discount for a moment that what’s happening today in Egypt, Syria, unemployment lines around the world, and even in the poaching fields of Africa, is important to someone…and to our God!

But who else can even begin to give us the hope and well-being that we really need– than the Creator, Sustainer, and Protector that David honored when he picked up  his “guitar” and sang:

If the Lord had not been on our side— let Israel say— if the Lord had not been on our side when men attacked us, when their anger flared against us, they would have swallowed us alive; the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away. Praise be to the Lord, who has not let us be torn by their teeth. We have escaped like a bird out of the fowler’s snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth…. (Psa 124:1-8) …

<Who also thoughtfully designed the Rhino, the fruit fly… and then to top it all–those he calls his sons and daughters.>

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37 Responses to “What’s (not) a Real Problem?”

  1. kingdomkid7 says:

    There is a lot in this post. I can’t respond to it all,but I will just say Yes, like David, if the Lord had not been on my side I would not be here. I would not have made it through sickness, near-death, perils of all sorts. So I have to rejoice, and I have to spread the good news about Jesus. And I have to care about this world He made with its people of all sorts, with all of its flora and fauna. Rhinos. Who but a wonderful God could even make such a splendid creature? We have so many wonderful opportunities to care, give and love. Thank you Father!

  2. poohpity says:

    David seemed to express all his torment, suffering, fears, anxiety and depression to God and seemed to end his songs with praise because he trusted God. He seemed to find hope in his God when everything around him was so out of David’s control. David knew there was reason for hope because he knew how mighty his God was and how things did not depend on David’s abilities but on his God and our God.

    It is not my business how the Prince spends his time and what cause he has taken up but I think it is neat that he even has a cause. I do not know his heart and that God may have put it on his mind to guide people to another remedy for cancer than folklore.

    I do know that the bible offers me hope not just because someone tells me so but because I have experienced what it says and I believe in the God it speaks about. That does not mean I will never have problems, bad health or lack of income but I do have God. I have less money than some but more than others, my health is not as good as some but better than others but praise is raised to God just because He is God. Things could be worse than they are and I may never see the things God has protected me from but I know He has and I am glad I do not know about them.

  3. erickelley54 says:

    Mart, this:

    “But how else do we make sense of the fact that some of the poorest people in the world are among the most grateful, while some of the most successful are among the most miserable and pathetic?”

    I’m reminded of Martha Stewart going to jail…

    Your words are so true. You have personally been a part of what brought me towards me faith. Thank you, sir. You are one of the best writers in general I have read, and the best Christian advocate.

    I only hope I do not justify my pitiful witness in comparison to the worse. I am thankful for our Master’s mercy, and for your inspiring comments.

  4. SFDBWV says:

    I am reminded of the movie “City Slickers”; in it the old grizzled trail boss tells one of the dudes the secret of life. He holds up one finger and says this is what is important and says no more.

    His point was that whatever you are doing right now is what is important, that you put all of your thoughts and energies into that one thing at that one point in time.

    In Mart’s discussion of the young English Prince William’s advocacy for the rhino, I would guess that some several months ago his main focus was getting married (unless I have my princes confused). I think it is great that a young man has no financial worries and can dedicate himself to issues he feels is important.

    My guess and Mart’s point is that we can all find other issues that to us are more important.

    Taking Mart’s advice and moving away from the rhino, I will agree that it is a messed up world and that found in the Bible is the only hope this world has. He is Jesus of Nazareth the Christ the promised Messiah.

    Mart’s comment as to saying “more than a few consider the Bibles approach to real problems are impractical and naïve.” Reminds me of a comment Jesse Ventura made while still a sitting Governor (I believe of Minnesota); he said that Christianity was for weaklings and was a crutch for them to hide in.

    Without knowing it Jesse Ventura was more right then he knew and though he intended it as an insult, it is a testimony to the treasure Christians truly possess….*HOPE*.

    Just as a side note; Sir Isaac Newton the famed mathematician and explainer of gravity, believed that all the secrets of the universe were contained in the scripture and devoted his life to the study of it, as a result his discoveries are still held in awe by scientists to this very day. The sad testimony to today’s scientists is that they continue to pour through every note and letter Newton left behind and have not the good sense to look where Newton did for his source of inspiration.

    The Bible contains the answer to what ever your problem might be.


  5. BruceC says:

    As soon as I read the topic I thought that the only people on earth with a REAL problem are those who reject salvation from God through Jesus Christ. Now THAT”S a problem; eternal separation from God and unimaginable suffering.

    What we face are trials, challenges, tribulations and the like. And though many are very sorrowful and painful they cannot destroy our hope in Christ. Can the unbeliever say that? Is it a crutch? Yes it is and everyone on earth needs a crutch; even tough guys like Ventura. We should pray for folks like him.

    God knows life can be hard but He is there for us all the time. So; as simplistic as it may sound; do we really have problems that our God is not able to get us through? No, we don’t. But let us not forget to pray for one another as we all face the challenges of life!


    Hope you daughter is doing better. Will be praying!

    Soli Deo Gloria!!

  6. BruceC says:


    When you mentioned Newton’s faith in God and His Word it reminded me of what Chuck Missler was saying about how a Jewish scholar during the middle ages came to the conclusion that there were as many as ten dimensions. He came to this conclusion after intense study of the first few chapters of Genesis. Missler siad that recently many scientists have come to that same conclusion.
    Whodda thunk it! Scientists aren’t as smart as they think sometimes!!

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  7. SFDBWV says:

    Bruce I too like to listen to and read the commentaries of the Missler’s, however they are way over my head so I have to take them in little bits and pieces by chewing and digest it slowly.

    As it has been said some people can’t see the forest for the trees, in an age that is called the *information age* it seems that there is a great deal more attention paid to useless information rather than wisdom that can fix the problems we all endure.

    It is a very hot day here in the mountains 81 and climbing. I hope you and all reading this are in a cool place.


  8. poohpity says:

    I love you both so much and that is why I suggest a warning to you of the teachings of Missler they run a little along the lines of New Age so please test his writing against scripture. If something is way over your head then it may not be in line with the heart of God. This was said in love so please take it that way.

  9. davids says:

    It is when something breaks down that we most realize that we need the repairman. Isn’t this why Jesus said that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven?

    The poor realize that things are broken; the successful often do not. Those of us that enjoy peace, nutrition, and love need to work very hard to make sure that our children and others understand the blessings that they enjoy.

    I am no royalist, but I think it is fair to point out that Prince William supports multiple causes, but only the rhinos get press attention.

    Deb, I continue to pray for you and Shanna and your family. I agree with your hesitance about Missler.

    In this “slow season” on the blog, I continue to pray for Steve, Della, Annalies, Cherielyn, Bruce, and their families, and for Bob, Gary, Rocky, In His Hands, NarrowPathSeeker, Maru, and ForeverBlessed.

    All of you have blessed my life, may you be blessed as well!

  10. poohpity says:

    Mart you said, “Admittedly, more than a few consider the Bible’s approach to real problems as impractical and naive.” More times than not people that say things about the bible really have never read it.

    Not that reading the bible makes one any better than another but how can you do a book report if you have never read the book. I also found that today as I watched C-Span just how many representatives oppose bills when they have not even bothered to read them, it was so sad.

  11. SFDBWV says:

    Pooh and davids, thank you both for your concerns about the Missler’s, don’t worry I am not offended. One of Chuck Missler’s favorite things to say is “don’t trust me read it for yourself.”

    I think this is good advice for anyone who may read the words of another concerning Scripture.

    I have read many books and listened to a great deal of commentary which include RBC and the stream of books and pamphlets each produce. It is a rare occasion when I accept cart blank every thing someone has to say, but I am always fed the truths and pearls that all of them can expose as truth always finds a place to rest in my heart.

    When a red flag comes up and I am suspicious, then those red flags need to be tested, as scripture instructs.

    However should a person’s entire reputation hinge on whether I agree with them or not? Am I the final word concerning what I decide to believe?

    I have to admit that I used to enjoy Jimmy Swaggart when he and his wife had a TV spot about studying the Word. But then as he began putting the bad mouth on different denominations and accusing others, I felt the move of the Holy Spirit in mine that there was something wrong there and I drifted away from listening to them anymore.

    I never liked the spirit of the PTL Club and Jim Baker and so never would waste my limited time listening to it.

    There are others that have crossed my path during my life, but no need to name them all; ultimately it becomes my decision what I am comfortable with and what I am not, I pray in earnest that it is a decision made in concert with the will of the Holy Spirit.

    Pooh is very right when she says that people don’t read the Bible, yet quote it.

    Cults depend on their victims not knowing what the Bible says, only believing that what they say is truth and contained in God’s Word and is His will. The Word of God which is the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6: 17) is an integral part of the armor we both protect ourselves with and do battle with against the enemy.

    Sad but there are also *problems* contained within our own Church, this takes special discernment and special insight for us to clean our own house while at the same time being forgiving and possessing the wisdom as to know how to do both.


  12. foreverblessed says:

    Success with you studies Steve, most of all, it is not a matter of studying alone, but that Jesus lives in our hearts, our hearts should be aligned to Him, the spiritual dimension, Jesus 1 John 4:2.

    Thank you Davids for your blessing, I am more busy here lately, and less time to write.

    Whatever the problem that will come, (the financial crisis here in Europe, where will it go?)
    Today the day: It is Jesus, live with Him. And rely on Him that whatever happens, He will take care of us. It is the spiritual dimension we have to live in. That is the extra oil we slowly develop in our bottles.

    Lately this verse of the wise virgins keeps coming up in my mind.
    Are we of the 5 wise maidens who have extra oil with us? Matthew 25:4
    Do we develop the habit of trusting God in all things, and not relying on our jobs, income?

  13. poohpity says:

    There is a big difference in teaching God’s word or using it to back up one’s beliefs. Being familiar with God’s Word I have yet to run into anything in RBC’s ministry that I have found inconsistent with God’s word although they have pushed me to go beyond my thinking to understanding that word better and encouraging me in my walk. They do not even belong in the same sentence, it is the difference between night and day.

    Some people would like us to go to them for hope and a sense of well being by thinking they have all the answers but that will one day fade only when we find our hope, strength, well being and comfort in the Lord will it last for all eternity. Hope will happen here in this life when put ourselves in the mighty hand of God and as long as we search for answers to our unanswered prayers in another human being we drift from the truth and our hopes will be dashed. Waiting patiently for the Lord our hopes will be restored and joy will fill our hearts. Seeking the answers from another human being will cause us to be angry and filled with self pity.

  14. SFDBWV says:

    Mart’s topic reminds me of an old adage “If you don’t like the weather, just wait a little while it will change.”

    I don’t know about all of you but like me I am sure some of you have a favorite place you may go and pray. On more than one occasion I have thought about how my prayers have changed over the years when I enter one or more of my *closets*.

    In retrospect happily I can also see how what I thought was important and needing the attention of the Creator of the Universe, sometimes pales to the need I bring before Him today.

    Though without doubt I was grieved to tears on each and every event of my life that brought me begging for deliverance from God; each event was at that time a serious problem and each event had my attention, concern and at the time I thought the most urgent need.

    Yet life has gone on and so some of the problems I thought were so urgent, God did rescue me, but not as I would have worked them out, as they worked out differently…His way.

    Yet each solution has led me to another bend in the road that needed God’s help again and so the dance goes on.

    What was important then, may not be now and what is now may not be in a future time; and if I take that to the fullness of life and the promises of God, there is a time when there will be no more problems to solve, no more troubles to face, there will be no more tears only shouts of joy…..

    Davids I too miss many of the other participants I have gotten to know over these past few years here at BTA, and hope they are all moving along the road in the care and comfort of God’s blessings.


  15. BruceC says:


    Thanks for your concern. I,like Steve; try to use wisdom when listening or reading and I ask God to “steer me” in the right direction.
    I completely stay away from the “prosperity gospel”, the “name it and claim it” crowd, and the “you shouldn’t have any problems and always feel good” folks. They look to tickle people’s ears and draw on the weakness of human nature. However you can do an internet search and come up with all kinds of stuff and sites that run down good, Bible-believing teachers and ministries. Saw one once that cursed Billy Graham up and down. So everything is out there; both good and bad. But that is the way it was for Paul also. Even at that young an age the church had to be on guard as the enemy wasted no time on his attacks.

    God Bless All!

    Up at three thirty AM because my arthritic feet are throbbing. God does work in strange ways!

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  16. SFDBWV says:

    Mart mentions that if you live in a culture that believes the rhino’s horn has medicinal value you would get it and use it believing that your ailment can be cured by it.

    Here in my world people have for years harvested the wild growing ginseng, originally aimed at Asian markets, and like any other limited commodity people fight over it steal it and even kill over it.

    Oddly near hear the Union Army planted hemp all along the Potomac River said so they could make rope from it, but I have never seen pictures of union soldiers making rope only smoking a pipe.

    When I was a kid I was told the reason the Chinese wanted the ginseng root was because the root looked like it had little people growing from it and that the Chinese men would wear it around their necks for a good fortune so as to have boy children.

    Now I have no idea whether they do or not, nor do I know whether people told children that story because they had no idea why the root was valuable to the Chinese.

    What I do know is that now in every holistic health store in America, ginseng is sold as a natural healing substance that has a long list of promises including virility.

    Yet without knowing or caring why the Chinese were ready to pay good money for the root, it has been harvested nearly into extinction wherever it grows here in West Virginia.

    There are beliefs in place in the world that if you have enough faith in (fill in the blank) it can work. Just as the cultures of people truly believe that rhino horn or ginseng holds medicinal or even magical properties many people put their faith in themselves and in many abstract things.

    One thing is for certain people all over the world put a great deal of faith in *MONEY*; and why not? Try living without it.

    My friend Bruce mentioned *prosperity preachers*; Imagine, if you will, if you were a pastor of a church that has thousands of parishioners and that you listen daily to their confessions of what they need answered prayer for. What do you suppose is the #1 priority that most people are praying for?

    Since it is not possible speak to every person in your church, you speak to all of them from the pulpit and what do you tell them? Have faith and God will provide for your needs, and while your at it pay your tithes.

    Now where is their faith and what is is their priority? Too many are looking for a genie in a bottle that will grant them endless wishes, while totally unconcerned about the genie, only their wishes.

    If you have put your faith in Jesus of Nazareth, then you should read about Him and what He has to say, as well as accepting life without prosperity, or good health, or even having desires of your own. When He finds that kind of heart He is faithful to provide for your needs, but for His purpose, not ours.


  17. poohpity says:

    Well the bible does teach to pay your tithes because everything we have comes form the Lord so when we give back a tenth we are showing our thankfulness for all that is provided. The bible also teaches those that work in the Lord’s house the church have to get their wages from somewhere and it is the body who are thankful for their service so we take care of them. If some abuse that then they are answerable to God but at least we have shown God that we have done what is right, good and honorable to God. It is a form like many others that shows we understand where everything comes from.

    As far as unanswered pray about healing maybe the answer was no but God will help us through and in that we praise God and realize His grace is sufficient. We have to realize that God is not Santa Claus and the things we may want may not be the best for us so in that we again praise Him just because He is God not for what he can do for us but just because He is God.

    We were never promised a life without troubles suffering and problems but we were offered a shelter to go to and a relationship with a Mighty God. God gave us everything we need on this planet to live and for medicine. Science has taken those products and synthesizes them for mass production and used others chemicals which cause reactions so they create the forms which we take pills, powders and injections.

    The hemp rope is made from is the stalks which is still used today not for smoking because the grade of the leaves is not toxic enough to smoke.;-)Clothes can be made from it too just like the cotton plant.

    Anyone can abuse God’s Word for their own edification or be disappointed by unanswered prayers especially they way we think they should be answered. It is when we just start praising the name of the Lord for who He is that we will find joy.

    Not having the foundation of the Word when we listen to teachers will we be able to identify how close to the truth they are. I am sure that there are absolutely many who will listen to teachers and trust their words because they say a few things that are in the scriptures but many will come to deceive that we can be sure of but how will you know they deceive?

    Upon many’s own admission they are not familiar with God’s Word so if you do not know that then how do you know God or the little we are given to know? Do you leave it to a teacher? Or do you search for the meat of the Word yourself or still drink milk that you are fed? I am not saying that we still do not need teaching from others who have that gift but how can you recognize those truth telling teachers? Do we just trust that they are good teachers because they stand behind a pulpit, write books, or they are on TV or radio?

  18. poohpity says:

    You know I was thinking that sometimes we are not thankful for the situations we are in, I wonder if we ever consider the alternatives. I am not happy about the situation that my daughter is in but she is still alive. The alternative I do not want to consider. We do not see how things could have been. We are unhappy about the way things are but what could have happened? I suffer with several things but trust me I know what the alternative could be and am so thankful because it could be worse. I could be laying in a bed having to have full care from someone. We seem to look at things as to what we do not have rather than being thankful for what we do have.

    I was reminded of the story of the two angels:
    Two traveling angels stopped to spend the night at the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let them spend the night in the guest room of the mansion, and were given only a very small space in a cold basement.

    As they prepared to rest on the hard ground, the largest angel saw a hole in the wall then hastened to repair it, seeing this little angel asked why he did that, what the largest angel replied:

    – “Things are not always as they seem”

    The next night, the angels stopped to rest on a poor farm, a very hospitable farmer and his wife humble, kindly shared the little food they had and let them sleep in his own bed, so that they have a good rest.

    When the sun rose the next morning, found the farmer and his wife crying because its only cow was dead. This cow made profits by selling milk he milked, and that was almost his only income.

    The angry little angel called out to the oldest:

    “Why did you let this if the rich family who treated us badly, even fixed a hole in the wall and these poor people who took pains to care for us, you let him die were his only chance of living?”

    – “Things are not always as they seem” the angel answered and explained further:

    – “When we were in the cold basement of the family rich in the hole I noticed there was gold, which believes that the wealthy family was not necessary, that’s why I plugged the hole to avoid being found. Last night when we were resting comfortably, death came in the friendly farmer’s wife then gave him the cow instead of the wife. You see, things are not as they seem.

    When something bad happens, be assured that God knows what paths we should take.

  19. SFDBWV says:

    In my neck of the woods there is also another life form that is harvested for a nice tidy price. The gall bladder claws and teeth of the black bear will bring the daring a nice monetary reward. Certainly in other parts of the world there is notably the tiger and as Mart has already stated the rhino, the tusks of elephants and I am certain there are many more that are killed for the money that can be made for doing so.

    What’s not the problem? There seems to be an economy established around the deaths of these animals.

    I read a story some months back where there are Chinese villagers who sell ground up dragon bones. Upon investigation the *dragon* bones turned out to be the *fossilized* remains of pterodactyls. No problem there, they are already extinct.

    Is the problem ignorance?

    One thing life has taught me is that where ever there is a need there is someone ready to supply it for a price. And not far behind that is either a law against it or a tax put on it.

    Now then here we have two colossal economies that are untaxed, the black market and religion.

    Is the problem with them greed?

    Or is there a problem at all?

    One sells to who ever what ever they look to buy, the other sells hope.


  20. foreverblessed says:

    Whatever the problem, hold on to your faith in God,
    that’s the message of Habakkuk 2:4
    It is in the sermon outlines of June 22 Roy Clark, (RBC resources for your ministry)
    What a good message: The prophet had gone to the tower for an answer to his perplexity, the 70 years of captivity was coming. The answer was faith in God!
    Wow, if you think of it: God I do not see, why this is happening, and God says: hold on to your faith
    Remember all the stories of old: Mozes stood before the Red Sea: it parted.
    Joshua walked around Jericho, and it fell
    God is still the same

  21. cherielyn says:

    My mind has been too unselttled in the recent several weeks to be able to make a well thought out comment on this subject, but I am interested and am trying to digest what everyone has said.

    Davids – thank you for remembering me and keeping me in your prayers. I also remembered and prayed for many of you even when I was no longer able to access BTA. One person I especially wonder and pray about is Loretta. She had already stopped contributing quite some time before I was no longer able to access BTA. That must be at least a year ago.

    Please don’t think that I have dropped away if I don’t post comments. I will continue reading the posts and comments as long as I can access the site, even if I cannot contribute. My son’s dementia has escalated and some days (more frequently lately) I find myself almost consumed with various things I need to do involving his care. He has become very needy in the past 6 months.

  22. SFDBWV says:

    I watched (again) a story about the Hubble Space telescope a few nights ago. It is quite amazing to be able to see how enormous and vast the observable universe is. Then to add to the mystery there are forces alien to our understanding called, for want of a better name, dark matter and dark energy.

    In thinking about Mart’s thoughts this morning, I am brought to the mind of any one individual and see a relationship as to how vast the individual mind is, yet for each one of us we are our own universe and we at it’s core.

    Left alone all of our thoughts center on our existence and how we can best exist.

    Even as we agree to follow Christ and do our best to place others in a more important position than ourselves still we are the center of our own universe and all else is viewed from that vantage point.

    Every problem, every non problem, every happy thought and yes every dark one.


  23. cherielyn says:

    Steve – How is Matt doing?

  24. dja says:

    As Cherielyn said, I too have been reading but have not been able to write-sometimes because of time constraints and other times because I just can’t get my thoughts together to make a good comment. I do remember you in prayer, and Davids, I thank you for remembering me:-)

    As I was reading Mart’s writings about the Rhino and the verses from Psalm 124, verses from Psalm 123 came to my mind:
    “I lift up my eyes to You, to You whose throne is in heaven. As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till He shows us His mercy.”vs.1&2

    Psalm 62:8 tells us to “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.”

    With all the trials we have had this year, I don’t know how we could have gotten through it without running to our Refuge and our Strength. And I thank and praise Him for how He brings us to Himself. He is so good!

    Cooler today in NEPA. Thankful for the break in the high humidity. Had a nice rain yesterday afternoon which was delightful for our plants (we have a small backyard plant nursery).


  25. BruceC says:


    You and your son are in my prayers.

    May the Lord be with and bless both of you and give unto you His strength.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  26. poohpity says:

    cherielyn, I am sadden to hear of your struggles and glad you came back to share but it is so beautiful that while you are in your problems you show care and concern for others. Know that I will be praying for you along with others from around the world through this wonderful ministry.

    Hi Della good to hear from you too, with such trust and dependence on our Lord as your strength and refuge.

    Whether others think our problems are real or not we know that our God cares and is willing to listen to every struggle we have and never lives us in the dark but brings them to light so we can share this journey with others who care and are there to offer prayers and support. God and how He works is not hard to understand nor do we need a degree to know of His love for us. Jesus walked this earth and experienced our sorrows, suffering, grief, pain and rejection so He could empathize with us and taught us how to talk to God honestly and openly about our problems.

    Even for us to share how we do not want to go through them but has offered His hope and desire to do God’s will. That will is for us to love others and care for them as He did. With others around us to share the load it does not seem as heavy and our joy comes form Him understanding with the willingness to be with us in the midst of our storms.

  27. poohpity says:

    Bob in England, plumbape, Gary, Jack and others we may not have mentioned you all are missed and are in our prayers.

  28. bubbles says:


  29. SFDBWV says:

    Cherielyn I apologize for taking a day to answer your question, but I am sure you understand my time at the computer is limited.

    You ask how Matt is doing; that is such a complicated answer I am not sure I can explain in terms that I myself am satisfied with.

    Matt is a very unhappy man, trapped in a situation neither he nor I can remedy. He wants desperately to have “his own life” and God knows I would love nothing more than to give him that, but as well as he is mentally he still needs help to do too many simple tasks to allow for that.

    My little stay at the hospital showed that very clearly as my absence meant that Matt was in trouble and though my brother came to help, still Matt spent too much time on the floor and did hurt himself.

    The very day that I was taken from our local hospital to a larger more capable hospital a couple hours away, my brother attempted to get Matt to bed and Matt ended up on the floor again, Glenna had to call the local firemen to get him back up to his bed.

    The following day when I had surgery, it was worse for Matt and as my brother Fred did all he could still Matt ended up in the emergency room needing a single stitch from a cut he got falling while attempting to transfer from the toilet to the wheelchair.

    I convinced the staff at the hospital to let me get home if I promised not to do anything for 7 days; once home I was able to assist my brother Fred with Matt so he no longer was in the fix he was while I was gone.

    My brother Fred stayed as long as he could and I took over my normal duties 3 days after coming home.

    So as you can read, Matt physically is still unable to get up or stand on his own, to use his left hand or leg independently, he still has short term and long term memory loss and periodically suffers from what I have come to call panic attacks.

    He gets very angry at times and it seems that it is born of frustration of the situation he is in.

    We do all we can to enjoy what of life we can, but in the final analysis, Matt wants a life that is denied him, and wants friends that ignore him.

    Still every night he prays for the friends he has and earnestly wants the best life can offer for them, but has come to the belief that God doesn’t care about him at all.

    As I am sure you understand life is not easy on any of us here, but we do what we can and those moments when we laugh and love make it all worthwhile.

    Thanks for asking about Matt I hope I haven’t been too long and have in part answered your question.


  30. dja says:

    Steve, Thank you for sharing about Matthew. I, along with others have been praying for him and for you and Glenna. What you have written has given me a greater understanding. While my heart aches for Matt and for you and Glenna, I rejoice that Matt has such a wonderful earthly father who is a shadow of his Heavenly Father.

    Each morning I receive an email devotional from Joni Eareckson Tada. I copied and pasted what she wrote yesterday. When I read what you wrote, this came to my mind, and I thought you and Matt might be blessed by it. I’m sure you know her story, and it seems like she has insights not only for those who have physical disabilities but for everyone. I know I have been blessed as I read her emails. This is what she wrote yesterday:
    “Last Sunday during Communion, I watched the plate of little crackers being passed down my row. I took note of how the well-dressed people in the pew ever so carefully lift their ‘pinkie’ and aim for a cracker piece so as to not touch the others. My friend sitting next to me reached in to get crackers for us both. At the appropriate time, she lifted my piece to my mouth, and afterward, the other piece to hers. The fact is I just can’t take Communion by myself. I’m forced to depend on another Christian friend to handle my bread for me. The wine, too.”
    “I used to feel embarrassed that I couldn’t so much as pick up a cracker, but that’s changed. I’ve learned to look at my situation differently. Asking for help makes me feel connected. Interdependent. One with others. It’s a happy symbol of how closely I must live my life with fellow believers. I can’t live my life alone and isolated. In fact, I couldn’t even survive. Here’s the point: communion celebrates this sort of unity in the body. It’s something we have to learn and relearn every day of our lives as we humbly lean hard on others for help. You and I desperately need Jesus Christ. And you and I desperately need His people.”
    “You may not have any physical disabilities. But it would be a sad mistake to imagine you can live isolated and independent from fellow believers. Since we are one body in Christ, the hand needs the eye, the ear needs the feet, and the brain needs the heart. You have deep needs, and you are deeply needed. Remember that next time you lift the Communion bread to your lips.”

    May the Lord continue to strengthen you, Steve, and may He encourage Matthew’s heart each day. Know that many are praying for you.


  31. SFDBWV says:

    God bless you Della, thanks.


  32. poohpity says:

    A very great Amen to “You and I desperately need Jesus Christ. And you and I desperately need His people.” I do not know where I would be without the help of others and because of Jesus I am able to ask for that help because He has given me the ability to know I can not do it alone. None of us can handle all of our problems alone and we need to know we do not have to. The difference in pride which says “I can do it myself” and humility which says “I need help”. Sometimes God has to pull the rug out from us before we realize we need help to give us the blessing of humility to come to the end of ourselves.

  33. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you very much for sharing this. Spiritually we are so dependent on Jesus, but physically we could do without Him for a long time, and physical life will go on, but the spiritual life is what matters, and what will stay forever. Joni teaches us such a great lesson! What a blessing all things can become, when Jesus changes us!

    Cherilyn, your son has dementia? Would you mind telling the story again, I recall a little you have said, was that on the topic of bullying, that your son had to find a different place where he would not be bullied? I really do like it, when Steve writes a little more about the daily details, what a big ordeal, how is this possible?
    There is a song we sing: with Jesus I can jump over mountains….

    These situations you guys describe are huge mountains.
    I pray that the promise in God’s word, that with Jesus you all can jump over mountains, will be true.

    And about Gary,onego2tbible, the last thing he wrote on the blog here was that he was upset about something, I couldn’t see what had gone wrong. I feel bad about it too, am I so unsensitive that I do not see when someone here is being pushed around?
    Or should Gary kill the old man, and just join in again.
    Live in the new man, Gary, the old man is not fit for eternity.
    In the new man, we can say to a mountain: get up and fall into the sea.

    Wouldn’t we be scared to bits, if a physical mountain really would move?
    Today at church a lady I know came to me, and said, last wednesdaynight a miracle has happened: she attended a christan gathering, there is supposedly a Revival going on, since a few weeks now. She drove to the place, and the man said, tonight some miracles will happen: bones will grow. This lady has one leg who is an inch small then the other leg. She walked in a funny way. SHe went forward, with about 7 others, he put them on a chair, and sat in front of them, one by one, he would take the legs. The lady said: I saw it grow!
    I said to her, what is this, walk a little and I can see. Indeed, she walked in a normal way. Yes, she said, my two legs are equal now!
    She told the man, please pray for my back as well, because my spine is twisted, and that is what he did too, and her back is straight too.

    Bob in Cornwall wrote that a revival would come, a few months ago, and he stopped commenting here after that. He said, watch out, it will come.
    With Jesus we can jump over mountains.
    Only through Jesus we can breath spiritual air!

  34. foreverblessed says:

    It’s funny, nobody commented on this miracle that happened. NObobdy has to, because it is off topic, but none the less. I told this story to family members, they were not happy. More suspicious.
    I had expected more joy, but none only silence.
    Have we forgotten that God really can do miracles? Jesus did them when He was on earth.

  35. poohpity says:

    I am feeling joy for the lady that was healed by the man. I did not hear any honor going to the Lord just the man. Trust me I know God does miracles everyday some are seen and some are not seen.

    I do not think revival has to come through healing but through changed hearts and faith in our God even if He does not heal but by the love we begin to show to others especially our enemies.

  36. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Pooh, for commenting, with the line: only with Jesus we can jump over mountains, only through Jesus we can breathe spiritual air, I assumed that I covered everything: that all is about Jesus.
    But sorry that I did not mention it specifically: Jesus made the leg grow, it was He who did it, and the church that was behind it, has been praying every day for a revival, since a long time now! Not that the church had done this, but that Jesus does not lighty do things, only after sincere, and humble prayer.
    (O, how difficult it is to write, Mart has mentioned this before, everything can be taken in another way then it was intended. I guess that is what happens to God too, how His Word has been misunderstood)
    I have not done such a thing, I pray that we grow in love in Jesus, more and more, that everything we are and do is motivated by love:
    love from God, in us, back to God via our neighbours.
    1 Corinthians 13:1-4
    That there would be love among christians John 17:20-21, 22-23

    (about the misunderstanding of God’s Word: God said He is One, Mark 12:29-30, and then comes Jesus, He is born on earth through Mary, and people say: this is not possible God has no Son, God is One. While Jesus tries to explain all His life on earth that He and the Father are One. One with God)

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