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A Song for the Journey

DSC01170The 84th of the Bible’s book of songs is full of thoughts about a safe place.

Verses 8 and 9 though have caught my attention today. The songwriter,

  1. prays
  2. and sings,

In two sets of parallel thoughts in which the second line of each couplet brings  clarity to the first.

  1. Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty;
  2. Listen to me God of Jacob
  1. Look on our shield, O God;
  2. Look with favor on your anointed one. (Psa 84:8-9)

These 4 lines seem to answer two important questions:

  1. Who is the Lord God Almighty?
  2. Who is our shield?

To see why these questions are so important in finding a safe place, think about the God who not only changed Jacob’s name to Israel but who then used a born liar, deceiver, betrayer, fugitive, and struggler to change the name of the Almighty to the God of Jacob.

Then think about who this song identifies as our shield (protection)… the God of an anointed one, born to be found true, and faithful in leading us to the rest we are looking for. (Psalm 84:11-12)

In a song once written for an ancient Jewish pilgrimage to the Temple of Jerusalem, could there be answers for the safe place that our hearts still long for… in our own journey today?

These thoughts seem especially important since trying to evaluate Oswald Chambers thoughts for June 20 in My Utmost for His Highest. There the devotional asks the question “Have we Come to “When” Yet?” and talks about the danger of trying to make ourselves into the kind of people that Psalm 84 seems to be offering so much hope for.  (Psalm 84:11-12)



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95 Responses to “A Song for the Journey”

  1. Mart De Haan says:

    Steve from WV added a comment on the last post while I was writing this one. So am bringing it forward and copying it here:

    SFDBWV “Kind of ironic that Mart posted a picture of the fake policeman in a discussion of searching for a safe place.

    All of mankind’s attempts to create a perfect place of any kind turns out to be fake.

    Even the best attempts by the most good of intentions still have the corrupted seed of humanity in the scenario.

    Rather than searching for “Shangri-La” or “Utopia” we should be learning how to comfort the brokenhearted, help the destitute, feed the hungry, clothe the poor and even suffer silently for some.

    We need to console not condemn, to direct people toward the light not tell them that their darkness is ok, we need to be encouragers not nay-Sayers, but most of all Jesus wants us out among the people, not hidden away in what we think of as a safe place.”


  2. s2inkzoo says:

    Steve covers it so well in his post that was done before the topic was up. Since the only true safe place is in God, we need to point people there. But not because they are vial, disgusting creatures, but because they need a safe place. But, this is for ourselves as well. We need to understand that He is the only safe place.

    The beauty of this safe place is that it is where you are now. There is nowhere you can go and be away from God. He is always where we physically are. We only need to respond.

  3. fadingman says:

    I have thought it might be a good study to find out why ‘God of Jacob’ is used instead of ‘God of Israel’.

    One thing I know: God was a refuge not only for the man Israel, but for the man Jacob (i.e. before the name change). He protected Jacob and blessed him, even though Jacob acted deceitfully at times.

  4. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you Mart, as always, for your insight and kindness.

    Way back at the beginning of Matthew’s recovery we had to see a psychiatrist for sleep medication at the time for Matt.

    He was a perfect physical example of what you might consider a psychiatrist to look like. Tall and thin with a balding head that made his forehead long, a bespeckeled face with a long nose and a Vandyke style beard. Somewhere in his late 70’s to early 80’s and a very pleasant enjoyable man to know.

    He ask me once if I allowed Matt to be angry at God, knowing I was a Christian from all of our conversations. I said yes I don’t try to correct him for feeling betrayed, I just let him vent and love him no matter what.

    I then ask the doctor if he believed in God, he said yes, but not in the sense that He (God) lived somewhere high up in the sky somewhere, rather that God was right here in the hearts of men.

    I smiled and told him I thought he was right.

    My busy day is upon me and soon Matt will take over the computer. I did want to share with you all that yesterday was Matt’s weigh in day and he has lost another 6 pounds. He is now down to 277.8 pounds and has lost 127.2 pounds in 17 months. Matthew is 6 foot 5 inches tall.

    Blessing to all today, and continued prayers for the Calgary area of Canada and its people.


  5. poohpity says:

    Wow Matt, that is totally awesome. I bet your guns are real big now.

    Steve, that is one good area that happened after your heart attack. I bet it is easier now to care for him and everyone must be eating healthier. Good job all the way around for everyone. I bet you are very proud of him.

    Mart, there is no trying on our part to make ourselves into that safe place from what Chamber’s was writing it is from having that personal relationship with God. Going from that far off God to a personal relationship up close, personal and then the changes come. The God of the Universe to the God of Deborah and in that trust a means to pray for my friends.

  6. saled says:

    The first sentence from Oswald Chambers devotional just blew me away. This is exactly what I have sensed to be wrong with myself and other Christians. Now I have seen it in words.

    And what direction: pray for our friends. Chambers goes on to say that this is our work.

    Thank you for this post, Mart. It’s the ray of light that I need right now.

  7. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pat, I was just reading about the flooding in your brother’s area and wanted to stop by here to tell you I’m thinking of you. The article said the waters would be receding in the next couple of days. Praise God. Please update us when you can. I hope your brother and family are safe…will continue to pray.


  8. remarutho says:

    Good Evening Mart & Friends –

    It seems to me the sons of Korah foresee the “highways to Zion” existing in the hearts of those who “dwell in” – or even have become – God’s house. (vv 4, 5) How could this be until God comes in the flesh and stands in our place? We are still jars of clay, bearing within the glory of God by his sacrifice. (2 Corinthians 4:7) Jesus’ atoning sacrifice covers each of us with his glory. This is bestowed as an unspeakable gift, beyond our understanding or control.

    We are surely those who live between the “no longer” and the “not yet.” (2 Corinthians 5:4, 5) Our refuge is in the fellowship of Jesus and one another. Prayers of intercession are the bridge to our safe place – here and now. (2 Corinthians 5:6, 7) We sing of our shield who is our Lord Jesus Christ.


  9. SFDBWV says:

    Most all of you have heard my *story* before, but I am going to give it in relationship to this subject if I may.

    I was raised believing if you want something you work for it and so took that work ethic concept into my heart and life.

    At one point in my life I had two full time jobs and did contract work on off days, all in an attempt to provide for my family and give them the life I wanted for them.

    I had raised my son up with the same work ethic and a strong belief in God and His Son Jesus of Nazareth from his earliest years.

    Matt worked with me in welding shops and doing electrical work as well and when he was 15 had made enough money to buy his first car, an 87 Mustang.

    When I was 50 years old the Mining company I worked for closed all operations here and moved on to other areas of mining, I had over 25 years with them and so opted not to follow them, but rather start a new direction for me and took a job in Winchester VA in a plant as an electrician.

    After a year of college and playing college basketball Matt decided to follow me and so took a job with me in the same plant earning enough money to buy himself a new 98 Mustang.

    The journey of life seemed to be right on track and during the Easter season of 1999 Matt and I dedicated ourselves to the use of God.

    Then on June 7 1999 Matthew wrecked his car and was life flighted to the university hospital in Morgantown WV. I was at work when my wife called me and I drove the 4 hours in the middle of the night not knowing what to expect.

    God spoke to me as clearly as any voice I have ever heard and simply said “Matt will be fine.” I held on to that promise all the way to the hospital.

    Upon getting there the doctors told us they didn’t expect him to live as he had lost a great deal of blood and was in a coma from head injuries.

    We lived in the hallway at the hospital for 23 days until Matt was transferred from intensive care to a rehabilitation hospital there in Morgantown, they were very dark days.

    For the next two months Matt slowly began to wake from his coma unable to get up or move his left side of his body or eat or drink or talk. When he was able to eat and drink and slowly able to talk his mother and I brought him home.

    One month later his mother my wife of 30 years learned she had cancer.

    I had to quit working and stay at home to care for my family without any income except an insurance policy from work that paid Matt for being off injured.

    We were up against it financially, but I had no time to concern myself with that, like everything else going on at the time I trusted God as it was obvious I had no control of things.

    While my wife underwent two hospital stays of chemotherapy treatments the churches and residents of our community held fund raisers and dinners and gave us enough money to keep going. She died one year from learning she had cancer.

    Her death provided the insurance money we needed to stabilize our selves and allowed for me to draw on her social security as I took care of Matt and Matt became eligible for disability social security.

    We would be ok and able to survive together.

    This has all been 14 years ago, though I have since remarried and am drawing my own social security and pension from the mining industry it is a testimony to God and His provision for us.

    Though in a very tight place up against great odds, we are in the house of the Lord, under His wings and protected by His shield. It has not been easy, but Jesus has enabled us to endure as we live in His provision and await His rescue already rescued from destruction.

    We have been and still are in His *safe* place. Trusting in and upon Him for every thing great and small, living in His will and depending only on His desires for us.

    God’s safe place isn’t somewhere far off, it is available to all who trust Him here and now.

    Accept the Lord Jesus of Nazareth to be Lord of your life and you too can enter in His safe place.


  10. SFDBWV says:

    Just wanted to add that it was Psalms 23:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 that carried me through thoes 23 days of intensive care.


  11. InHisHands says:

    Dear BTA friends,
    I haven’t commented in a long time – but I wanted you to know I do follow this blog and keep you in my prayers.

    Steve, it is a blessing to read how the LORD has used your community to help you during your trials and how you have been a blessing to them in return. How wonderful to see that Romans 8:28 is working in your life, (your heart attack time was difficult and yet, HE is working it to the good of everyone in your home). That is a testimony of the might hand of God, keeping you all in His care.

    I guess this is one of my safe places – the testimony of others in difficult situations. When I feel as though the world is crushing in and all is dark, the miracles that God has shared in His Word lift me up. But, the miracles that He works in the lives of His people today, here and now – allow me to see and remember that He is in control and He is working in my life; as well. In these 63 years of life my LORD has never ‘left me, nor forsaken me’ and when I am overcome (momentarily) by the storms around me, it is a blessing and ‘safety valve’ to look at how He is working in others to help me remember that the ‘storms’ are evidence He is still working on me. Don’t know if that made sense but that is what I have ‘been thinking about’.

    Lord bless you all today and everyday.

    It is beautiful here in the desert. (Going to be HOT today)

  12. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve, thank you for sharing that wonderful encouraging story. I knew bits and pieces, but put together, it was like hearing it for the first time. It was a very moving testimony. You are a very strong person, much like the 91 yo lady I have mentioned in the past that has dealt with the heartache of tragedy most of her life and just this week one of her grandsons had a motorcycle accident with no helmet and may have brain damage. She, like you, must understand that “safe” place. You are both an incredible inspiration to those looking on. Thank you again for sharing Steve.

    I am checking out a new church this morning.


  13. tracey5tgbtg says:

    In Psalm 84:11 we read no good thing does He withold from those whose walk is blameless. I think it is easy to look at this verse from the wrong angle.

    As Maru referenced, we hold the treasure in jars of clay. At this point, we are still jars of clay, easily broken. As these jars of clay, our first instinct is to think of good things as rewards, pleasures, gifts, etc. We may see a “good thing” as an unexpected promotion and raise at work, a gift from a friend, a goal reached in a fund raiser at church, our children being successful and productive, a healing from a disease, a beautiful sunset, or a calm peaceful day on the lake with a fishing rod. An endless list of good things.

    But perhaps these aren’t the “good” things that God wants to give us. Maybe the good things are moments of utter pain through which God allows us to hear Him and be at peace because we are so aware of His presence. (“What if our blessings come through tears?”)

    Suffering is sweet, which is hard to explain, but in our suffering we are closer than ever to the Man of sorrows – we are more able to focus on Him and allow the things of this earth to fade. We are closest to God in our suffering. God is close to the broken-hearted. Psalm 34:18, also Psalm 50:15.

    Maybe the good things that God gives us are the moments reading Scripture when the heart swells because the words have permeated our beings by the power of the Holy Spirit, and overcome we fall to our knees in prayers of thanks for His Word that literally speaks life into us.

    Steve – thank you for sharing the things you have been through. It’s the most painful moments of our lives that we share as testimony of the goodness of God, because it is at those times that we are closest to Him.

  14. oneg2dblu says:

    In this world we like to label all things because those labels bring us some form of common understanding.
    In life we all have a label called our birth date, and on many tombstones found today we see an expiration date as visible to the world for their common understanding.
    But, what the world is “really seeking,” is not when we were born or when we died, for that is clearly displayed by those who have gone on before us, but how they lived their unseen lives in that “small dash” between those two dates, which are carved in stone.

    To me it is not a matter of how old you are or where you where born, or the place and date you may die, but the most important question is, “Where are you now?”

    The real question is not about our dates of birth and death that we clearly can not control, but more about our living in the here and now that we can control.

    How are we now living where we are most exposed, and where do we go to be most protected?

    What the world sees they can relate to, but in what is unseen they do not ask…

    What is unseen to them is where we now find our safe place, and that safe place we can and must share with them if we are to be more like the open doors that knowing Christ can bring, than the frozen guard at the door who will never be speaking out anything, and certainly not the very name in which we find is our only safe place.

    We believers have the “Name of Jesus Christ” residing in us, and how we live, should show the world what they now can not see in themselves.

    For if we live as they do, they will only see a mirror of themselves.

    If we live as righteously following Christ, with a God-fearing reckless abandon which will openly call upon the name of Jesus Christ, then, we will stand as witnesses to the rest of the world as to that “one and only name,” that gives us our safe place.

    What a testimony is seen by the world when they see us following the word of God as we pray for others in the marketplace of life, or they see us going down to the beach to openly baptize believer’s in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

    Until others see us living in our new life, singing our song for the journey, we remain frozen at the door of omission silent to the world around us who are seeking something called a safe place, but don’t see enough life in us to even ask.

  15. poohpity says:

    tracey, what a wonderful word picture of that daily time “when the heart swells because the words have permeated our beings by the power of the Holy Spirit” that describes it so well. That power that helps us get through the day, hour by hour, minute by minute keeping our eyes focused on Christ. Our pattern for life, our reason for life and our entire life focus.

  16. poohpity says:

    1 John 4:7-12 NLT

  17. remarutho says:

    Returning from a Christian conference, Good Morning Mart & Friends –

    It appears that the questions are more important than the answers in this journey of ours.

    Mart, you ask:
    “In a song once written for an ancient Jewish pilgrimage to the Temple of Jerusalem, could there be answers for the safe place that our hearts still long for… in our own journey today?”

    Everything—our hearts, the wilderness, the road, the world itself – is beautified by God’s Presence. It seems the more humble the creature (see the sparrow in Psalm 84:3) the safer it is in the power of God. The weaker we are, the more He protects us. Can it be the less we concern ourselves with provision, the more God provides – including the assurance of eternity with Him? (2 Corinthians 12:9, 10)


  18. SFDBWV says:

    While the Titanic sank in the dark North Atlantic Ocean it is reported that the orchestra played “Nearer My God to Thee”, at least in the movies.

    Summed up in music was the only *safe place* left to some who faced certain death.

    While living in the hallway of the hospital with many other families who like us would not leave their loved ones alone in a hospital, we met many interesting people.

    One was an elderly lady whose son was there from prison. He had a respiratory ailment that threatened his life and had been sent to the University Hospital for life saving measures. Ironic as he was serving a life sentence for murdering his wife.

    We met many members of their family during the 23 days we lived there and to this day the elderly lady calls once a year to see how we are doing.

    Her son was under guard 24 hours a day and of course one of the guards and I spent a lot of time in the Scripture and discussion of them.

    He (the guard) was on a search for what the “Prophet’s reward” is. One night late in the morning hours he came to me all excited because he had found his answer and wanted to share it with me.

    It turns out that the “Prophet’s reward” is the presence of God.

    In Genesis 15:1 we learn God is Abram’s shield and his reward.
    In Proverbs 24:20 we learn there shall be no reward to the evil man.
    In Matthew 10:41 we learn that a prophet’s reward is the same as a righteous man’s reward.
    In Matthew 10:42 we learn that in doing the very least for Christ we in no way can lose our reward. Our reward is our safe place; the presence of God.


  19. cbrown says:

    Do I dare speak in reply to these
    posts? I do and say THANK YOU!

  20. oneg2dblu says:

    Good day all… I wonder if someone could explain to me what are the rewards that some modern teachers of OSAS claim today will be lost to those who are found still bound by their wrong living, disobedience, and even unbeleif, but have placed their total assurance in this one doctrine which says, you will never lose your salvation, because they teach once you are saved you are alwsys saved, “No matter what!”
    You are heaven bound and will only lose some rewards in Heaven?
    It surely could not be that you will lose God’s presence in Heaven, so it must be some “other type” of rewards that will be lost.
    Please feel free to use scripture references just as Steve has used to explain so beautifully “exactly what” the prophet’s reward is, and our reward as well.

  21. oneg2dblu says:

    If the Word of God in Proverbs 24:20 says, “the evil man will have no rewards,” should we believe it?

    Or, should we live as this doctrine’s teachers declare, it no longer matters how we live, because we are saved?

    If you live like an evil man according to Proverbs, you already have no rewards because of your evil, so how could you possibly lose what you do not have?

    Just searching for scriptural answers that would honor the word found in Proverbs, and also make good common sense.

    I do know this much…if you follow correct doctrine, it always produces right living, with no disobedience and unbelief, and in that type of right living there is no loss of rewards.

    It is like incorrectly using the blanket statement, “Love Wins!”

    Then you go and read in, 1 John 2:3, 4, 5, 6 which definitly speaks to our needed Obedience as the right type of love, and 1 John 2:15, 16, 17. we read very clearly, not all love wins.

    The only love I see written in scripture that would truly win, would also have to fall into the category of being in the Will of God to actually qualify.

  22. poohpity says:

    Yes there is such danger in trying to make ourselves that safe place rather than letting others know that while we are here there is a warning. That warning is that there will be trials, tribulation, sorrows and grief but our hope and faith is in the One who overcame the world and gives us His peace and rest for those who believe. (John 16:33 NLT) What is better than fully trusting then we can do what Jesus commanded us, to love one another, really caring.(1 John 2:7-10 NLT) No more striving but placing ourselves completely in His Hands giving up (Matt 12:29 NLT) to be an open vessel to receive that which is more important then the blessings will begin to flow outward.

  23. poohpity says:

    ooops that was Matt 19:29 NLT and “than” not “then”. Gee I am having difficulties today.

  24. fadingman says:

    I think God’s name change more significant than Jacob’s. Of all the ‘gods’ men have imagined, were there any that were called the god of some average Joe rather than a god of war or fertility or something else more impressive and less personal? Our God is the God of the weak, poor, humble and needy; a much better God than anything we could ask for or imagine.

    And Jacob was not unique. God included others in His name. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, David, Elijah, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. I suspect this renaming process is not over. Considering all He has done and is doing, shouldn’t He also be known as the God of Steve, Maru, Gary, etc?

    Luke 20:37-38 seems very relevant. Although Abraham, Isaac and Jacob went through all kinds of difficulties and eventually died, they were sustained through it all, and God is still sustaining them now.

    Psalm 56:11

  25. poohpity says:

    Gary, “Love Wins” was not speaking of our love it is speaking about Gods’ love. It is like the gravity that holds us captive to the earth, Gods’ love blankets all creation and is seen in all creation. Has nothing to do with us but yet it can be seen through us by our faith.

  26. oneg2dblu says:

    Then let us just say what needs to be said, “God’s Love Wins.” Because when we leave out something like the word “God” in our efforts to abreviate our terms, the world then writes in just what they may want implied there, things like “Gay Love”, or “Man/boy Love,” instead. As we leave a little wiggle room for other interpretations and other loves as well. Loves which are not scripturally sound, or found in the word of God to be in the Will of God.
    Like I have said before, this word “love” is such an obused term today, it reaches an almost anything goes, type of usage.
    So, like gravity, this worldly downward spiral we leave unattended will come back to haunt us.
    Thanks for being specific about what type of love we are talking about here.
    Thanks. Pooh.
    Now, to all readers…my question is still unanswered. “What type of rewards do we lose after we enter Heaven?”
    If we are still held captive or defiled by our worldliness we now choose freely to love and live by?

  27. SFDBWV says:

    When I worked in the underground coal mining industry aside from being an electrician I also was chairman of the safety committee for the UMWA (union).

    One afternoon before shift began a section foreman came to me and ask me if his men call for me to come to their section tonight to please come as he needed help with a matter.

    I told him not to worry if any of the men call for me I will be there.

    Sure enough about 10 minutes into the shift I got a call that there was a safety issue on the section and my presence was needed. I got hold of the shift foreman and ask him what might be up and would he like to accompany me to the section. He was very eager to comply and had no idea what the problem could be.

    When we got to the section the foreman had been instructed to have the men work out from under roof support in order to clean up a roof fall, they refused to do so and called for their union safety committee for back up.

    I informed the foreman to put danger boards up at each intersection of the fall, go outside get a copy of the roof control plan and follow it to the letter of the law. Happily he did as I requested and what he wanted to do all along, but was ordered by management not to and do not let Steve know.

    The shift foreman feigned ignorance and agreed that the law had to be followed and no man was to be put in danger.

    The next day I met with the general mine foreman, who had issued the unlawful orders to his section foreman, in the ensuing discussion I had with him he explained to me that he had been cleaning up roof falls for 20 years that way and I responded that yes he had, but he had been doing it wrong for 20 years and that didn’t make it right and that from this moment forward the law would be followed or we would file federal and state charges against him and the company on behalf of the workers.

    The section foreman quit and the General mine foreman got demoted then fired.

    My whole point in telling this story is for you Gary, just because you have believed something for 20 or 30 or however many years doesn’t make it so. I could say the same for me as well, but what I am going to say is this.

    The whole point of discovering that the only safe place that exists is in God and if you read the Scripture verses given *nothing can separate you from the presence of God once you become His and you can never lose that place of safety.* This by His own words and by His own desires and by His own will.

    Your eternal soul Gary is safe with God, not relying on your ability to never sin again, but safe in the arms of the Lord Jesus of Nazareth the Messiah, safe, even if you die right now angry with another.

    Be at peace Gary, not at war with your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.


  28. poohpity says:

    I guess it would also be the best thing to do by reading the whole bible many times, things become clearer and clearer as the Lord opens our eyes to the things that come from Him about Him. He is after all the source of everything.

    That would also fit with the book “Love Wins” you would have to read it to understand what the author was referring to by that statement. That again comes back to doing a book report on a book that has never been read, it then would be a guess on the facts rather than knowledge of them.

  29. poohpity says:

    Gary you asked, ““What type of rewards do we lose after we enter Heaven?”” Just going to heaven is all the reward I need and it sure is not from anything I could ever do it is by faith and that is not even from myself but is a gift from God as is all that comes from Him. If I got the reward I deserve it would be eternal separation from God. It is by faith that I am saved not by works so that I can boast. Eph 2:8-9

  30. dodi says:

    The Apostle John writes to us as his little children this wonderful promise –
    (I John 5:13) Little Children I write unto you that you may know that you know that you have eternal life. In this blessed promise he is saying unto us . . . “I no longer want you to be sad, I want you to KNOW the joy that you have eternal life.”

    I want you to have fulness of joy and I want to take away your fretfullness, fear and sadness, I want you to own this blessed privledge of assurance, God is no respector of persons it is for everyone to know that they know that they know. He no longer wants us to live in fears and doubts, he no longer wants us be orphans or to live as the world lives without hope, he so wants our joy to be full.

    There are many things in scriptures I don’t know, and don’t understand and many things yet to learn, but the one thing I do know is that I am his child and that it is not by works of righteousness we have done, but according to his mercy he has saved us. (that’s the safest place I know) as you said Bruce…. “safety is not in a place but in a person”.

    I’m reminded of poor Lot… he was so messed up living in that city of pollution, but scriptures tells us in spite of the wretchedness around him he was justified and delivered from Sodom and Gamorrah. Scriptures tell us his soul was oppressed by the conduct and filth, but he was still a saved man, in spite of himself. (II Peter:7,9)
    Three times in these two verses Lot is described as a righteous man, Lot was considered righteous because he refused to join in the immoralty of that city, he was delivered by divine intervention.
    Scriptures tells us that he pitched his tent towards Sodom because the fields were so bright, beautiful and green and he paid dearly for those poor choices.

    Wonderful promise to us (John 14:17-19) this is rest and safety.

  31. oneg2dblu says:

    Very true Steve, doing the wrong thing even for many years, may make it a common place practice but that does not make it right.

    Teaching a wrong doctrine for many years that allows for our sinning to go on without any repercussions because we are living under a presumed final salvation is also common place practice today, but does that make any of our wrong loving and living choices any more excusable, or right in God’s eyes?

    Or have these modern doctrinal beliefs now blinded both our God and us to all the verses that claim there are damaging effects upon believers for their wrong choices and sins?

    Of course not, we should still follow the law just as you suggested, but we now should follow it because of “our love” for Christ.

    I mean the original law, the Ten Commandments, not all the other stuff added in the religious laws and practices of that day.

    “If you love me you will obey my commands,” Jesus Christ.

    That does not sound to me like we are free to go on sinning without losing something.

    I have never been talking about losing the love of Christ that is His love for us.

    Although He does say, “If you deny me, I will deny you.”
    Don’t have the verse handy right now, some one else can complete it if they prefer.

    I’m talking about our love for Him, verses, our love for the things of this world, verses, our love of any doctrine which opposes much of the teachings in the bible about falling away, or shipwrecking one’s faith, that is clearly a loss we as believers can experience, according to the word of God.

    You don’t have to read the entire bible many times to understand when a ship was wrecked back then, it was permanently shipwrecked, it was not resurrected back to life again, it was a total loss.

    But, if you want to believe otherwise, because of a wrong teaching or doctrine, then you may have believed in vain, which is scriptural .

    If the only thing one can contribute to this reasonable response I am making here about the damaging affects of sin in our lives as being wrong living, which must mean I am suggesting a works salvation, then you will never know what I am trying to convey here.

    Maybe, your eyes are blinded to the many verses that should speak to you about right living, which always brings rewards, and wrong living as living in certain sins, which can not be also rewarded.

    We were all “initially” brought to salvation by faith alone, and even that faith was also given to us. So, no boasting here.

    I’ve said this so many times and it has been chosen to be unheard again, because some here seem to think I’m always suggesting a works salvation, as if I’ve never read the bible.

    We are saved by grace and not by works.
    We are saved by grace and not by works.
    We are saved by grace and not by works.

    But none of us here are now standing before the White throne where accountability will be judged upon all believers for the things we have done “after our initial salvation and our initial forgiveness,” because we have not yet attained the finality of heaven, or has our completed judgment been levied upon us.

    Boasting is another issue, unless you are boasting about how freely you are now living in your current sins because you chose to follow a doctrine that says it does not matter. That is boasting about a deception or a false teaching, having its finest hour.

    Pooh… sorry I have not read Ron Bell’s opinionated teachings, or writings.
    I’m still trying to fully absorb Christ’s and Paul’s teachings and how they still apply to believers today.

  32. poohpity says:

    Are the things you say opinionated? Based on Romans 2:1 NLT

  33. SFDBWV says:

    Gary in Greek mythology there is a king who was condemned to eternity rolling a stone uphill only to watch it roll back down again, his name was Sisyphus.

    I bring the story forward because this is what we do when we can not find our resting place. We work against the forces of God though He offers us rest.

    No one here is saying that if you claim to be Christian it is proper to purposely sin. What we are saying is that should we, our soul has found a safe resting place in Christ, though sin has its consequences, for a person who has received salvation one sin does not have the power to take your salvation from you.

    If it were so then sin would have power over Christ and that is exactly what Jesus defeated at the cross, the power of sin.

    You brought up a ship wreck, but missed seeing the lifeboat.

    I am not going to debate this over and over Gary, you can believe as you wish and as Sisyphus keep rolling that stone up hill, I choose to accept Jesus’ offer and enter into His rest.


  34. SFDBWV says:

    One of the most powerful and enjoyable gifts God has given mankind is music. It is so sad that some can’t hear and experience it. Perhaps some of you have seen the little boy who had a procedure to allow him to hear sound for the first time. I would imagine we all will be as surprised to really experience hearing as it was intended when we come into that heavenly realm.

    I have been thinking of what song would I pick for my journey of life and it is impossible for me to just choose one.

    As music tends to set the mood as well as express our emotions so well.

    I suppose that is why there are 150 songs in the Book of psalms, as life has many points of emotion and each its own *song*.

    The Book of the Bible known as “The Song of Songs” or rather “Song of Solomon” is one of much discussion. One thought is it is a representation of the love between Christ and His Church another as being between Christ and the individual soul.

    However it is understood it is to be a love song and one met to begin to describe how love feels and is. If our journey is meant to be about love, then here is a song for part of that journey.


  35. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends –

    Oswald Chambers’ devo for June 20th offers a paradoxical solution to the problem of self-centered religion: rather than seeking any reward, seek the Lord’s grace for all. Daniel prayed this way – as did Jeremiah. That is, rejoicing in the abundance of God’s grace and remembering those in the community who need God’s presence now. Jesus, of course, takes the presence of God up one level.

    Oswald Chambers writes:
    “If you are not now receiving the ‘hundredfold’ which Jesus promised (see Matthew 19:29), and not getting insight into God’s Word, then start praying for your friends— enter into the ministry of the inner life. ‘The Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends.’ As a saved soul, the real business of your life is intercessory prayer.”

    Seems to me this is one of the keys to the kingdom given to the apostle Peter – and through him to us. The song we sing as we journey is a song of praise to our “God of Grace and God of Glory.”

    “God of grace and God of glory,
    On Thy people pour Thy power.
    Crown Thine ancient church’s story,
    Bring her bud to glorious flower.
    Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
    For the facing of this hour,
    For the facing of this hour.”


  36. remarutho says:

    Doesn’t it seem that the evidence of God’s super-abundant grace is the birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus? Unlike any earthly commodity or material good, God’s grace is never lacking. The economy of heaven is one of endless supply — and no limit on term of benefits. Wondrous grace! Pass it on like a basket of hot buttermilk biscuits! Take two, butter ’em while they’re hot and pass ’em on! Maru

  37. SFDBWV says:

    Buttermilk biscuits, wow Maru you have just whet my appatite enough to go fix some late morning breakfast, had enough coffee.


  38. saled says:

    Gary, did you read the June 20 Oswald Chambers link that Mart provided? In the opening he writes “. . a determined effort and selfish desire to be right with God are never found in the new testament.” When I read this, I realized what makes me sick about so many Christians, and what makes me sick about myself sometimes. I see so much that is done for appearance, while deep inside we sense that no amount of effort is ever going to make us righteous.

    I appreciate your writing, Gary. And I can see that you are not promoting works, but are concerned about some taking sin not as seriously as we should.

    It seems to me that as I get older, my sense of my own sins committed over my lifetime gets deeper. And I find hope in the words of Jesus, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.” I hunger and thirst, but have none of my own. My hope is in Jesus. What I want from Christians who see the sins in my life is this: pray for me. Pray that I will come to realization of those sins myself. Be part of that safe place for me.

  39. remarutho says:

    I’ll say, Steve! Sounds just right. How nice also to see family and friends enjoy the expression of caring and provision from the cook! :o) Maru

    PS Maybe a pan of country gravy and eggs to order…homemade jam or a spoonful of honey! We’d all better take a break and go eat!

  40. poohpity says:

    Gary, I have found that God is so very helpful and eager to help those who ask for wisdom about His word. I do not think we were meant to understand without the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit. This was in reply to what you said, “I’m still trying to fully absorb Christ’s and Paul’s teachings and how they still apply to believers today.” That same Spirit also helps in application.

  41. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… you are still hung up on my effort to expose how damaging our ongiong sinfilled lifestyles are to the church and the world sround us, as a form of condemning.
    I’ve expressed this before and it goes unheard again, I can not condemn anyone. I am not the one who makes that decision and because you have read the entire bible, you should know that only God can really make that choice.
    Why do you always confuse condemnation with what I trying to say here?

    There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, and we should all get that part.

    But, there is conviction by the very Spirit we all possess if we are in Christ Jesus, and that Spirit should bring conviction upon those who are now choosing to not hear the grieving spirit within them, as they choose live lifestyles that do not honor their bodies, or the Word, or God’s will.
    My only concern here is for those who now call themselves the church, or in Christ, yet live as the rest of the world, living as though they can be unchanged and still expect their witness to somehow be effective for Christ because they can love another.
    The fallen darkened worldly around us know how to love others and they also know how to live outside the will God.
    But we should be different, we should be changed, we should be living a new life not the old one.

    A life of victory over sin not one that embraces a doctrine that says we do not need to change how we live.

    But, I’ve wasted my words again, as you only see me as condemning others.

    Or, let me say the verses you use seem to respond with that project just what you are thinking.

    So, if something changes in me, I am prideful person and living by works, and if nothing changes in others they are all about finding their peace in their forgiveness of sin, past, present and future instead?

    Do you feel that it is possible for one to be free from a particular sin due to a change in their lifestyle after initial salvation and choosing to follow the conviction of the Holy Spirit to change them?

    Or, only the other person is free in their sin due to a doctrinal belief system that says they do not have to change?

    You accuse the first person of works salvation and the second of living by faith.

    I think that is one reason why we have a problem communicating.
    IMHO Gary

  42. poohpity says:

    Yes, you are correct we do have a problem communicating, I feel very confused.

  43. poohpity says:

    “My Utmost For His Highest” for today was wonderful.

  44. remarutho says:

    Good Afternoon Mart & Friends –

    I pray to offer a positive and caring response here.

    Gary, you wrote:
    “Don’t have the verse handy right now, some one else can complete it if they prefer.” (posted 7:21 p.m. Monday, June 24th by oneg2dblu)

    And also:
    “You don’t have to read the entire bible many times to understand when a ship was wrecked back then, it was permanently shipwrecked, it was not resurrected back to life again, it was a total loss.” (same ref.)

    Finally, you wrote:
    “I’m talking about our love for Him, verses, our love for the things of this world, verses, our love of any doctrine which opposes much of the teachings in the bible about falling away, or shipwrecking one’s faith, that is clearly a loss we as believers can experience, according to the word of God.”(same ref.)

    Let me encourage you to listen to and read the Scriptures as much as you have time to do so. I truly believe you will find great rewards in such an effort, and a deepening faith over time.

    Yours in Christ,

  45. poohpity says:

    Gary you said, “My only concern here is for those who now call themselves the church, or in Christ, yet live as the rest of the world, living as though they can be unchanged and still expect their witness to somehow be effective for Christ because they can love another.” Jesus told us that is His command for us is to love one another and by that everyone will know who we belong to and I trust His Word. (John 13:34-35) If Jesus said it then I believe Him and I doubt that those who know Him will ever remain the same and not be changed. So it would seem the best thing to concern yourself with is that you do not live like the rest of the world, unchanged and your witness will be effective as long as people see your love for others rather than telling them what they should and should not do or be like, trust God to be in charge of that. He is so much better than anyone else because He can see a person’s heart and can also change them. Can you change anyone?

  46. poohpity says:

    If we love others we will not lie, cheat, murder, steal, covet, be jealous, judge, criticize or hate others. We will forgive, care, listen, and most importantly point them to God to satisfy all their needs by trusting in Him alone not our words or our understanding. Direct them to the Bible not to our opinions. Love is what causes all the changes and the full expression of that love is what Jesus did on the Cross while we were yet sinners.

  47. poohpity says:

    So to say we are not effective for Christ by loving another is just totally false it is the only effective witness of Christ in our lives according to His own Words.

  48. BruceC says:

    Good morning everyone. Back fro our little trip and all went well. We were back Monday and have been a little since then. Glad to be back here on the blog (or at least I think I am) and see everyone is fine.


    I have a question as to what you meant by “here” in your post. Did you mean here; as on this blog and those that attend; or did you mean “here” as to the point you were trying to make in a more general sense?

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  49. oneg2dblu says:

    Maru… you are a true brother.
    Thanks for the encouragement to read the scriptures, it aligns with the Spirit within me which also prompts me to do so daily, and I do diligently obey. :)
    Although, that may be considred a form of works, but, those works certainly do not cancel out the
    promises like disobedience and unbelief, do they?
    But according to the word of God I’ve read false teaching clearly can cause one to shipwreck their faith.
    Which must mean they certainly had possed faith to begin with, but is was shipwrecked, or lost.
    Steve’s Lifeboats although a great analogy and witty were not ever provided in that teaching as I remember it.
    I do beleive Paul was speaking to falling victim to, or following false teaching though.
    Have I mis-understood that biblical teaching?
    Perhaps you can shed some light on it if my version seems somehow twisted or lacking truth.
    Don’t have those verses handy either right now, but others can search them out if they feel so compelled. Gary

  50. SFDBWV says:

    When the British were defeated at Yorktown VA the British band played a tune called “The World Turned Upside Down” as the British troops marched out to surrender.

    How could the largest and most formidable army in the world have been defeated by a bag of citizen soldiers with the help of French troops?

    “The World Turned upside Down” was how they looked at the matter.

    I am reminded of this event as I look at the stories in the news and wonder has the world gone mad and lost its senses?

    It seems the moral compass of all the world is upside down and moving forward without direction.

    The matter also reminds me of Joseph of Arimathaea, and Nicodemus and others not mentioned in the story of Jesus’ life, as they come into accepting Jesus to be who He was also could see then what direction their world was heading toward.

    I am both saddened and excited to think the end is near, but as I think about it, probably more saddened then happy. There is a great deal of sorrow coming for the world and when it arrives there will be no safe place anywhere for the inhabitants of this planet.

    For those who come to salvation during that time, they will do so under great tribulation and suffering.

    Sad because if they would just listen to God now, they would be in that Ark of safety when that hour comes.


  51. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Gary, we are certainly brother and sister in Christ’s love! :o) Hope it’s okay to be a sister!?

    You reference the apostle Paul’s letter to his spiritual son, Timothy. Timothy is pastoring in Ephesus. Tough town. Sold out to idol-worship.

    Paul is pastoring the pastor, as a beloved father in the faith. After confessing his own sinfulness, and witnessing to the great mercy of Jesus for him and all sinners, he says:

    “I am giving you these instructions, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies made earlier about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, having faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have suffered shipwreck in the faith; among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have turned over to Satan, so that they may learn not to blaspheme.” (1 Timothy 1:18, 19, 20)

    In chapter 2, Paul begins to instruct Timothy in the importance of intercessory prayer as most important in the ministry of the congregation.

    Incidentally, it is in chapter 2 that Paul teaches about women’s place in the church. :o) Certainly, a discussion for another time.

    Blessings always,

  52. poohpity says:

    Welcome home Bruce glad all went well, praise the Lord for the answer to our prayers. Gary just had to test our resolve to the topic.

  53. poohpity says:

    Maru, do you think that is what some of this is about not being able to be taught from a women? I had not given that any thought but now that I think about it as long as the women follow and swoon they are accepted by if they even attempt to share wisdom it is seen as nagging or not being kept in their place and some enjoy that, go figure. Oh my gosh talk about the light going on. Here I was thinking this was the 21st century and adults talking to adults but I was so wrong. I knew that was true from one or two but it is bigger than I thought.

  54. SFDBWV says:

    Gary read Acts 27:14-44 especially Acts 27:23,24,34,44 all souls on board this ship survived because they were safe with God.

    Learn Gary that the whole of Scripture confirms itself and is interwoven; the analogy of a lifeboat is in place from Genesis to Revelation as the lifeboat is God. However you have to read it and recognize it.

    I am frustrated at trying to help you see, the problem being you don’t want to. So is it that I should hand you over to Satan as referenced by 1Timothy 1:20 or continue to reply to your unwillingness to understand.

    I suppose I will continue to pray for you and reply if directed to by the Holy Spirit.


  55. oneg2dblu says:

    Bruce… Here, here, brother!
    I do mean here, as here in the church, here in this blog of thoughts, here in this moment we share with each other., the here “and now.
    What I’m hearing “here is a lot of complaning about how the church is currently failing, or has failed those gathered here in the past.
    Some of it from you as well I beleive, correct me if I’m wrong.:)
    I know you are just looking for a qualification of my words, not to pick them apart but to understand what they are trying to convey.

    Most of the flac I receive (here) comes from those who only beleive in Once Saved Always Saved as being the “ultimate authority” of the bibles whole story, without any other possibilties.

    I do not beleive we or a doctrine get to decide what God’s final decisions are, just because we follow a doctrine.

    Our mission if we choose to accept it, is to love Him, to follow Him, and to obey His commands.

    That is a mission I choose to accept.

    Accept some others here, can not accept the fact that their doctrine may not be the only, all in all, solution to their entire journey, begining, middle and end if you will.

    If we are saved by faith and not by works, then why does love suddenly qualify as the end all win?

    I thought Faith alone was the winning component, even faith the size of a mustard seed!

    But according to the word of God, not a faith that is without any works, because that would be a dead faith.

    To me, that one doctrine must refudiate all forms of work as well, or it can not stand on its hallowed once and only position.

    That is a problem on many levels, as it does not line up with many teachings in the scriptures.

    So, some will choose this faith alone, and I will choose the more balanced approach of faith with a works component so that the faith is shown to be alive.

    OSAS can not tolerate that position!

    All this is said not only from a position of love, but of a sound balance of scrpitural works as well.
    In His Love, Gary

  56. poohpity says:

    Sound balance of scripture? Gary you said you have not even read it to begin with so how can it be sound and balanced? It would be better received if it was said like this, “from the parts I have read so far this is what I understand them to say”. There is only One Authority on what the Bible says and it is not confined by flesh otherwise we are all just in the process of learning.

  57. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve would you also say that the whole of scripture says form Genesis to Revelation that once you have ever known God you are eternally saved and there is nothing He or you can ever do about it?
    Are you saying, that there is no being kicked out of the garden in Genesis?
    Or no list of behaviours that clearly say one will not enter the Kingdom in Revelation?
    Or have the scriptures clearly shown to you, that many having once seen the lifeboat and even chosen to climb aboard it, that they can never jump out of it when it is tested?

    Or, is it more like a non-escapable floating prison where choice is removed from all who climb in?

    Of course, I’m only testing you Steve, just as you have done to me by saying, that certainly one sin can not send you to hell.

    I wonder if the couple who held back their tithe and were lying about how much they received for the sale of their land, thought that their sin would surely go unnoticed, but as we have been taught they were both stricken with the wrath of God, and to their death.

    They too were clearly believers or they would not have even gone to give their tithe in the firtst place. They were disobedient believers though!
    But, that would not fit your storyline, so I guess we need not discuss it further.

  58. dodi says:

    Faith is the root ~
    Works is the fruit ~

    Resting in Faith – a prayer recently
    read online ~

    Dear Lord –
    Please help me to find my safety and rest
    in your strength alone, that will lift me
    above my despair. Help me to wait upon your
    strength, unrelying on any of my own. Restore
    my shallow vision to see beyond my unbelief
    and intense grief.

    Help me to be strong in you Lord
    for on the weakest you come to bestow the power
    of your Love to deliver and restore, that souls
    strong in themselves cannot know. Help me
    dear Lord that when my world falls apart, that
    you will display all the strength that you are,
    in which you desire to reveal to my heart.

    I ask that you please make me strong in the faith
    that is sure you will not fail,in the hour of my
    desperate need. May I forever keep my eyes upon
    you and not upon man, man will always dissapoint
    discourage and grieve me, but If my focus remain
    upon you Lord, I may then dwell in a place of
    rest and safety and in your peace. ~ amen

    (Psalms 90:1)

  59. SFDBWV says:

    Gary, where in Acts 5 is it stated that Ananias or Sapphira lost their salvation?

    It isn’t stated because they did not lose their salvation!

    Where did you read that they died as a result of the wrath of God?

    You didn’t because they didn’t die at God’s hand.

    Are you trying to say that God killed these two people because they lied or because they lied about paying tithes?

    Do you know of anyone God has killed for lying or for not paying tithes?

    How many times a day Gary do you lie? Have you been a faithful tither since you accepted Christ?

    Was the ark of Noah a prison for he, his family and all the animals aboard, was the fish that swallowed Jonah a prison, is the Ark of our salvation a prison, is heaven a prison?

    Gary go back to the beginning and start over, and try to learn instead of hindering others from learning.


  60. remarutho says:

    Dear All —

    Well, Pooh (re: your 10:49 a.m. post), you’ve got me! I’m stumped over here. I usually go by Peter’s quote from Joel 2:28, 29, 30, 31, 32. The apostle Paul was a great friend of women — and he relied upon them/us for every aspect of ministry.

    Ever try to trap a tomato seed on your plate with the tine of your fork? It seems to me this is what I am dealing with here — with certain of the beloved brethren of BTA. Smile and wave, Pooh! :-)

    And, of course, shine for Jesus!

  61. poohpity says:

    It is does not seem to be the rules that we follow but the attitude of the heart. That attitude as I understand it comes flowing out of our mouths towards others so at times it seems like the blind trying to lead the blind both will fall into the pit. (Matthew 15:11,14,18) We all have much to learn and if we fail to look at the condition of our own hearts the tendency will be to overlook those areas and call others to live to standards we ourselves have fallen so short in especially the understanding of God’s Word.

  62. poohpity says:

    Maru, lol, no I have never tried to catch a tomato seed with the tine of a fork but I guess that is what some of these talks seem like. lol!!

  63. poohpity says:

    I can not stop laughing at that analogy!!

  64. poohpity says:

    All I can say is guilty!! That puts Mart’s topic into perspective with prayer as the best thing to do.

  65. remarutho says:

    Mart, your title is A Song for the Journey. After we have had our say with what the Psalm says, implies and means, I am coming away with the perspective of the Letter to the Colossians:

    “Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.” (Col 3:15-17 MSG)


    PS Guilty over here as well, Pooh!

  66. oneg2dblu says:

    saled… sorry for the belated response, but others piled on so quickly over any issues that challenge their beloved doctrine.
    I would be almost defenseless accept for the truth and teachings of the bible which I do cite but seem get ignored. I’d be totally lost myself if I ignored them.

    But, you do understand where I’m coming from, thank you.

    Sorry, I have not yet read that Oswald Chambers tag.

    I’ll be busy a while just reading all these reproofs.

    But I am safe here with Christ and His word no matter how many oppose those parts which I bring into the fray that stand against certain modern doctrinal positions held today, but never taught or beleived for the first few centuries of the church, where obedience and strict adherence to the original message seemed to rule the day. But today, a certain doctrine now rules instead, No matter what!

  67. oneg2dblu says:

    dodi… I do not live in fear, I live for Christ, and show my love for Him through obedience. I find the law so freeing to me, and use repentance as the failsafe when I find I’ve strayed from it. We know that we know, we all are like sheep, accept for those who now feel exempt to even that passage, because they believe their faith proves them otherwise, even without any works.
    Although the entire chapter of faith, is all about how faith had produced great works. Go figure!
    I’m not there with the faith without works doctrine yet, nor am I pursuing that particular strange teaching or way, but as others have said, Who am I to say anything if I have not read it all?
    My faith is apparently not deep enough for some here, but that would be a judgment on their part, and that is not theirs to make.
    I think any belief system we develop had better leave God some room to do as He pleases, and He has chosen to use His Wrath before, so why not use that history to our advantage and repent while we still can.

  68. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… sorry, I was not referring to any ship Paul was on.
    I was referring to a lesson about how others in the church who Paul said, had already shipwrecked their faith, as found in the warnings against false teachers and the law, found in Timothy.

    I thought I made that clear. But, I’ve apparently failed again!

    You are finding and citing another story point to serve your message and ignoring mine, and then saying I refuse to be taught?

    How loving is that response?

    I was citing, 1 Timothy 1:19 as the shipwrecking of one’s faith, and that shipwrecking specifically.

    In Acts 5, I believe Peter said in verse three, “Ananias how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit?”

    It was Peter who has claimed, ananias had lied to the Holy Spirit, and somehow you feel that his death after his learning from Peter of that horrific, “one sin of lying” was really just a temporary resting place that dropped him to the floor.

    You feel that he did not die spiritually, but only physically?

    I ask you which spirit do you think he was sowing to, the Holy Spirit, or to Satan?

    Your finding him to be not guilty of spiritual death is a stretch for me, but I don’t serve the same doctrine of belief that you apparently do.

    Galatians 6:7, 8, 9, 10 NIV speaks loud and clear to me, but some here may also discount even those verses today for a more fitting group of verses which supports their needs and their tickly ears.

    However, that particular story line tells me, (and I may stand alone on this,) that Ananias and Sapphira suffered their own destruction. for they were clearly serving of the wrong spirit.

    I know that I know, that story would not fit the doctrine of OSAS, so it must have another twisted reason for those who serve this certain doctrine instead of the message of any eternal responsibility for any of one’s current actions.

    However, I will not give you over to Satan for blasphemy as you have done, in chosing such a verse for me.

    I’ll continue to pray for your learning as well.

    You’ve found me out, I’m not perfect yet. I do however repent often, because that works for me, and to me, there is no means of repentance I know of, after one’s physical death.


  69. oneg2dblu says:

    Maru… your past correcting of your onw signing out one day as being “Mary,” certainly may have tripped me up on the sisterhood thing.
    As far as gender advantage with God is concerned, I’m not concerned because one can not choose their God-given gender, or their skin color either, we just deal with the blessings we have, and praise Him for them.

    That tomatoe seed is a slippery devil for sure.
    Be Blessed, Gary

  70. oneg2dblu says:

    Pooh… I do not assume your having read it all many times, as saying that you have a complete understanding either.
    But, I do fully understand that we each bring to the table of thoughts, those particular things that speak to us.
    I also know that I know, each time we read it, something new pops up in a way that we had not read it before.
    I also know that many lifelong readers have different beliefs on certain issues, but Christ must always be in the center of it all.

  71. cbrown says:

    4 Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of (H)water and the Spirit he cannot enter into (I)the kingdom of God. 6 (J)That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born [c]again.’ 8 (K)The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Once born always born of the Spirit. Having experienced this new birth experience I know the reality that His Spirit never leaves me even when I fall.He is always there to lift me up

  72. Mart De Haan says:

    I don’t hear anyone here trying to make a case for following Christ without a heart for the kind of love for God and others that he is calling us to.

    My sense is that the repetitive implication that those who find our life in the grace and cross of Christ are encouraging sin is without cause– wearing us down, and driving friends away.

    Am ready to pull the plug when future discussions get diverted…

    Will try to get up a new post soon.

  73. BruceC says:

    Thank you Mart. That “topic” has become the elephant in the room; so-to-speak.
    I for one am getting weary of it and am almost ready to pull my own plug. Too bad that some cannot stay on the track.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  74. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pooh, I don’t know why, but I ALSO thought Maru was a brother until I read a comment a few months back that indicated otherwise. It doesn’t seem to me that Gary calling her “brother” had anything to do with not wanting to be “taught” by a woman. The anger that sometimes arises from opposing views here on this blog, is understandable as it seems to me those opposed to another view truly believe they are right. It doesn’t appear to me that they are just trying to humiliate the other or trying to feed their own massive false pride. Moreover, it doesn’t seem to me that they enjoy angry debates.

  75. SFDBWV says:

    I got up this morning ready for battle, with my game face on and my weapons locked and loaded.

    Mart poured water on my fire….

    It is just as well and what a peace keeper should do blow the whistle and call time out.

    I too loved the analogy Maru, of the tomato seed.

    This is always a casualty of a free open space there is always going to be someone trying to take over the mic and control the conversation, never yielding to any voice but that one constant drumming they hear in their head all the time.

    I have tried to ignore, I have tried to be polite, I have tried to enter into intelligent dialog, but what am I to do when accused of promoting a false doctrine from someone who follows no doctrine other than one flawed line of thought.

    I would say nothing in response if it were not that there are tender young believers out here who are susceptible to being poisoned and hindered by such crows who know no other song except their continued squawking and excessive noise in an attempt to drown out the music of the other birds.


  76. cbrown says:

    The Daily Bread this morning was really good. I told my son the other day that the last 3 Daily Bread devotionals were really good and he responded back “dad they are all good”. One safe place I have is my morning devotional.

  77. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    There is an element of weariness at BTA in
    1) one voice sounding one harsh note at all times, as you say Steve and
    2) Being always fiercely painted into the same corner, it seems to me.

    Still enjoy the voices I am getting to know and appreciate — and over all the majority willingness to put in a “two cents” that enhances and increases understanding.

    Is this a day on which to say that I am female — always have been — will be so long as I live? Have chuckled in the past when some have simply assumed I am otherwise. :o)

    Blessings on the day!

    PS Cloudy and rainy in the Pacific Northwest today. Seems much, much warmer weather is headed our way this coming week-end.

  78. SFDBWV says:

    Being a student of life and all things around me, all of my life, I am still amazed at those things that are obvious without the normal senses we understand.

    There are some supernatural things we are privileged to that we can not deny and a danger because when some try and understand it, if not careful, can lead to errant beliefs.

    There may have only been once on this blog that I haven’t been sure of the gender of the speaker, and I was pretty sure then just allowing doubt to blur my *vision*.

    The same goes for that spirit that accompanies each speaker. Their personality comes through like a bright light and in the course of conversations many hidden things become transparent.

    I wonder if this is how it is as mentioned in Matthew 10:26 and Luke 8:17?

    Raining here in West Virginia this morning and the beginning a busy day.

    Thank you all for projecting the love of Christ and giving me a smile instead of a frown that is always my desire for each and every one here.


  79. remarutho says:

    Just a housekeeping note. It seems the Bible access feature of the BTA site is kaput right now. The references come up plain, not linked. Maru

  80. phpatato says:

    THANK YOU MART!!! and Bruce, my thoughts followed in line with yours.

    Sadly I have a sick feeling in my stomach that there will be future occasions where one or more will fall for the bait to be drawn into discussing that topic again. Seems to me that the less people jump into the mix, the faster the discussion will die. I also understand that restraint for some is impossible. There are those who always want the last word.

  81. poohpity says:

    Gary, I have never once insinuated that because I have read the bible that I have a complete understanding in fact the opposite is true I know deep down in my heart there is so much I do not understand. I am blind and do not speak as an authority because I know I am just learning and will never comprehend all there is about God’s love, wisdom, faithfulness, compassion, grace or mercy. I do not get it many times but those things I have experienced. I have a glimmer that they are much bigger than anything I can imagine so I hope I do not lead anyone down a path to ever think I am an authority because I am not. I read the Bible because I love the Lord and want to learn all I can about Him and through that about myself not to tell others what they do or do not know. I suggest that to you and everybody for that matter because it is after all the Word of God and what better way to determine false teaching than being grounded in truth rather than listening to the multitude of teachings, going to the source.

  82. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pat, how did your brother and his family make out dealing with the flooding? I hope all is well all around. Pearl

    Maru, I am sorry about the gender mistake. It was not anything you said, but rather my ignorance as I was not familiar with the name. I thought I had heard something similar in a movie for a male character. Again, I am sorry if that was insulting in any way…Pearl

  83. poohpity says:

    Mart, you asked, “I don’t hear anyone here trying to make a case for following Christ without a heart for the kind of love for God and others that he is calling us to.” Are we not seeing that in these conversations and what happens when the kind of love for God and others is not important? The case seems clear. Then is further seen because you had to make the comment about not staying on topic. Is that not showing a lack of love on our part to God first, then you? I apologize for not following the topic even though I knew the damage it causes from the past, please forgive me?

  84. narrowpathseeker says:

    Bruce, welcome back. I am glad your trip went well.

    Steve, it is raining here in CT too. Just heard it is raining in Switzerland and Maru said it is raining in the Northwest. I wonder if there is anyplace it is NOT raining… ;-)

  85. remarutho says:

    Dear All —

    Narrow, no offense taken on any impression of me! All is well and all shall be well and every manner of thing shall be well.

    Perhaps not raining in the Mojave, the Gobi, the deserts of Australia or Africa — just a guess, did not check world weather this a.m. This blog reaches everywhere the internet goes. Awesome to think of the church universal — and the collective song sung by followers of Jesus.

    Let a song of praise reach our Creator God!


  86. oneg2dblu says:

    Mart and friends… I am both sad and sorry that I have brought so much discension and anger into the conversations which I’m sure were much more free flowing and loving before I stepped aboard.
    I have managed to bring out many harsh words from quiet happy spirits that were provoked by the topic I am held accountable to bring to light.
    I wish I were compelled to talk about the daily weather here, but I’m not.
    I wish I could get behind every sinner and cheer them on, but I can’t.
    I hate their sin just as much as I hate mine.
    I do not know why I have been called to be where I am, but I beleive there is a place for us all in the family of God.
    I have never known how harsh myself or others could be until I found this medium of blogging.
    This was my first attempt to communicate with the family of God using this type of exchange.
    I certainly thought I was walking into a safe place, but it turned ugly very early on. Not only to me but to others who have long since gone elsewhere.
    Mart, you know this because I had emailed you about it and expressed my concerns back then.
    I used a boating analogy with wave action on the water as the topic about how difficult the waves the hit the breakerwall return with such force they confuse the water around them making any attempt at headway most challenging. But,the waves that hit the softer rising terrian just absorb them with out a harsh push back.
    I had hit a voice here that was so harsh that I had to remove myself several times for a fasting of both godly incite and self-preservation.
    I was not that aware of the doctrine of Eternal Security as I am now, it was never a topic of mine, and innocent as a lamb I learned about how it could be wrongly taught and followed.
    I am however now fully aware of how divisive and devistating a topic it can be, and how people can over-react when their long held doctrinal beliefs are questioned or tested.
    I could share some writings from other very learned individuals, actually bibilcal professionals who have the same thoughts about this particular anomaly.
    They know, it can bring out the most awful retorts from almost anybody.
    I beleive there is also an element of attraction to being in the limelight, and there is a constant buttering up of the boss, and some serious grandstanding going on at times, as well.
    Is it criminal, no.
    But, a thing is what it is, and it is recognizable.
    I will make my very best effort to not provoke others, but if I find they are saying sin is okay, I can not in all honesty agree with that standing.
    Sorry for all my intolerance to sin, and even more concerned about the level of comfort that many have in the same old life they had before coming to Christ.
    I know Christ came to take away the sins of man, but they are not taken away yet, they are alive and well fed by an ever darkening world that should have been turned upside down by the hearing of the gospel message. Gary

  87. poohpity says:

    It seems that the point of Mr. Chambers of trying to make our self right with God is actually rebelling against the work of the Cross. That seems to be saying that everything to do with God loving me is up to me and earning that love rather than knowing that God has taken care of making me right before Him..

    Job’s friends also seemed to be trying to say that very thing as they continued to confront Job in the horrible situation he found himself in was due to his own failings. Satan on the other hand seemed to want Job’s suffering to be the means that would push him away from God rather than to Him. Then as God talked to Job and did not answer Job’s question but did however confront Job on his limited knowledge and understanding of God. Job then realized he had said to much and was talking about things that were too wonderful for him to understand much less talk about. That alone should silence us as well.

    God then confronted Job’s friends in anger, justified and righteous saying what they thought about God was wrong that it was not due to any sin that Job was in the position he was in. Job could have gotten angry with them for how they treated him in the condition he was in rather than showing love, empathy and caring for him they accused. So although they did not deserve forgiveness Job prayed for them and offered sacrifices on their behalf.

    That shows me that I have to be very careful about making judgements because God maybe working in someones life that I may not have idea about nor is it any of my business. If I know that no one has to earn God’s love, that the atonement on the Cross is available to all and is a final show of love then there is nothing after believing that can make God love me any more than He has already shown, self effort has no merit but is actually rebelling against God trying again in my strength to do something that has already been taken care of.

    I know I am missing a lot here but to be that safe place emulating Job’s friends certainly does not seem like the way to go. But is that not what one tends to do when we make a choice to judge others by the circumstances in their lives rather than what was done by Jesus for them.

  88. remarutho says:

    Good Afternoon BTA Friends —

    Oswald Chambers chooses: “The Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends” —Job 42:10 as the basis of his meditation for June 20th.

    Oswald Chambers writes:
    “A pitiful, sickly, and self-centered kind of prayer and a determined effort and selfish desire to be right with God are never found in the New Testament.”

    It seems to me the song for our journey today is a song of praise to God — especially a song of thanksgiving for Jesus Christ who is the bridge — the road — the Way we take to his kingdom (both here and now and forever).

    Perhaps Christians could serve the world better if we let go — lighten up — and have some fun! I am reminded of the sending of the seventy to the surrounding towns. Jesus told them to go two-by-two and to heal, speak of him (Messiah) and give peace to the houses where they stayed. (Luke 10:1-12)

    Everybody returning was so excited about what they had seen and heard on the road. (Luke 10:16-20) Even so, Jesus saw much more than his seventy missionaries saw. He saw Satan fall — he saw his own authority covering those who went out in his name. We only hope to be on the roster of names in heaven. (Luke 10:20) It is all the Lord’s doing anyhow — we really are along for the ride. We sing of his power — his majesty — his grace. We do not wield any of it — rather, we are used by him for his own purpose.

    Perhaps we can let God be God…


  89. poohpity says:

    I do not condone sin of any kind nor have I ever said it is right, good or just when it is not. Nor have I ever said it was.

    I hope others will also share what their thoughts on sin are as well and possibly put this to rest finally. Help our brother understand.

  90. remarutho says:

    Dear All —

    Nice try Pooh, but think back over the long years of one single, monotonous, repetitive theme. The alternative to sin is so much more inspiring than sin…but just for you:

    The word “sin” has become so overused that it is approaching meaninglessness. It seems to me those who hear the voice of God – that is, those who listen for the Spirit’s promptings and who pray – who seek Jesus Christ in the Scriptures and in service to others – those who acknowledge the Creator God as the one who is breathing the universe into being – these “shun youthful passions and pursue righteousness.” (2 Timothy 2: 22)

    There are many laundry lists of the sins we are to leave behind when we take up the yoke of Christ. I am not convinced reading and rereading the lists does anything for our moral behavior. The Letter to Titus offers the right path: “To the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure.” (Titus 1:15) Christ’s call is to be about the way God would have me go – not to be anxious with the way others conduct themselves.

    Daily self-examination and the “washing of water by the word,” (Eph 5:26) that is, remembering my covenant of baptism, keeps a faithful believer on the path following Jesus.

    Psalm 1 offers a template for daily self-examination:
    1) Whom do you listen to – once or twice – or habitually?
    2) Whom do you follow – once when tempted – or occasionally – or regularly?
    3) Whom do you sit with – stumbling once – or from time to time – or is it your usual seat?
    My answer for myself must be that I do not follow the advice of the wicked – or take the path that sinners tread – or sit in the seat of scoffers. For, I would surely become what I listen to, or follow or sit with.

    We all sin by straying toward the way of the world – or we sin in a moment of weakness. So, I would say repent quickly and seek God’s forgiveness and the forgiveness of the one I have injured. But, those who are habitually hardened in heart and hearing and ways of doing – these are wicked sinners.

    Matthew 7:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 21

    Thank the Lord it is not a sin to be boring and repetitive. :o)


  91. phpatato says:


    My brother and family faired out really well. They moved June 11 from being in the almost downtown area of Calgary to being about 30 minutes southwest of Calgary. Their new house is on higher ground (thanks to being 45 mins from Kananaskis Country which is considered the foothills to the Rocky Mountains. My brother hooked up a small generator to the sump pump, put an alarm on the sump pump and had 3 backup sump pump motors. There was one night that he was not allowed to cross either of two bridges to get home. The biggest fear was Cascade hydroelectric dam in Banff, which is upstream, that if it had broken loose, it would have caused flooding so badly that Calgary (population 1.097 million people) would have become an instant third world city. Life for Calgarians is slowly getting back to normal. The Calgary Stampede, which bills itself as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”, and attracts over one million visitors a year featuring one of the world’s largest rodeos, is vowing to still go on starting July 5. Massive cleanup efforts are underway.

    Thank you to everyone for your prayers, not only for my brother and his family, but for all who were affected by this. Thanks Pearl for asking about them. I hope all is well in your neck of the woods. I think of you sitting by the river, void of any human noise but full of God’s beautiful nature noise.

    Hugs to all


  92. cherielyn says:

    Will be very brief. Just got back from 2 weeks traveling – mostly in Colorado & see that I missed a lot on BTA while we were away.

    On the subject of being in a safe place: We were fortunate to be in a safe place, out of harms way, 50 miles from the Lime Gulch wildfire in CO. We experienced smoke on several evenings, but no fire near enough to need to evacuate.

    We thanked God, repeatedly, for His mercy & protection during that time. Our safe place is always in His hands!

  93. bubbles says:

    Pat and Cherielyn, I’m thankful you and your loved ones are safe.

    Gary, please know that words spoken to you are out of concern. I truly believe people here care for you.

  94. narrowpathseeker says:

    Bubbles. Amen to your entire post.

    Pat and Cherielyn ..it was wonderful to hear the good news from both of you…God is so good to us..


  95. oneg2dblu says:

    bubbles… thank you! That was very comforting as I too care equally for all the others here.
    I care enough to not let any of us start using lukewarm, loose but well meaning diluting of the message about the seriousness of our sin, when we are supposed to be in Christ.
    So, I do not totally agree with you that all the words we used show that care at times, do they?
    Some of the words are not spiritfilled but are pure flesh driven and when they go out they are given to offend, put down, and suggest a rather belittling intent and finding love in them is very difficult.
    But, to some, those would only be the convicting words I choose to use about sin, according to the comments about helping our unteachable, uphill stone rolling brother, who is poisoning and hindering tender young believers, a crow who knows no other song except their continuous sqawking and excessive noise in an attempt to drown out other birds, all those loving words just to expose that I’m the one with the log in his eye?
    Is it any wonder I do not see much care there?
    Sorry if that was a little offending truth, but a thing is what it is.
    I’m still praying for all those who offend, so please continue to pray for me.
    In His Love, Gary

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