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What do we have in common?

A BBC African news story tells how four Kenyan villagers out ran and then  captured alive two cheetahs that had been killing their goats.The owner of the goats said that the large cats had returned repeatedly to kill 15 of his animals.

So how could these men run down, on foot, the fastest animals in the world? The villagers were quoted as saying that they waited until the hottest part of the day and then outlasted the animals in a four mile chase. When the big cats couldn’t run any further they were captured and turned over to the Kenyan wildlife service for relocation. While cheetahs can reach a speed of 64 miles an hour in three seconds, and up to 75 mph in a chase, they can only maintain that kind of speed for short distances (i.e. 1600 ft). After being chased on foot for four miles they were exhausted and could run no further.

The collapse of these cheetahs remind me of the experience of Job that we’ve been talking about. When first hit by tragic losses, he responded with faith and courage (Job 1:20-21). Seven days later, his trust in God seems to collapse as he curses the day he was born (Job 3:1-3).

Yet, as we know, Job survives his losses, ends up with restored faith in God and is remembered by the New Testament for his endurance (James 5:11).

But are we to assume that Job endured in his own strength? Or is it likely that a  later conversation between Jesus and Peter helps us to understand how Job outlasted his enemy (Luke 22:31-34)?

The prophet Isaiah also gives us words that probably help us to understand the sustaining strength that Job was receiving  from the Lord,,, even when he felt so helpless.  (Isa 40:30-31).

Am thinking that as the cheetahs of Kenya run with the speed and limited stamina that God has given them– before being captured and relocated to a better place— they mirror our experience.

And as we’ve been noting together, the bigger story beyond Job’s need and rescue did eventually show up  (Job 19:25-26), but not in the way that Job could foresee. Instead the God-advocate he longed for would come to suffer for us…with us…and with a result that would offer hope not only at end of our own strength—but at the end of our lives.

PS The picture above is of a friend who made an unexpected friend at a  South African wild animal reserve.

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77 Responses to “Cheetah-like”

  1. BruceC says:

    Sometimes in the fast paced hustle and bustle of this life we need to run out of steam in order to see Him. For Him to truly get our attention. To come to the end of ourselves to be with Him. When we have become weakened; then He strengthens us. When we let go of “I” and cling to Him.

    Soli DEo Gloria!

  2. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends –

    Job’s faith was great, but his faith and probably any human’s faith, flickers like the flame of a candle. We are time-based – swimming in time like fish in water. It was not Job’s friends who supplied the hope of a future. Rather, it was the eternal Spirit of God in Job’s body, mind and spirit who sustained him when he was prostrate with grief and dread. Recalling his own prayer to God that his affliction would be removed, Paul wrote:

    “Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
    ‘My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
    My strength comes into its own in your weakness.’
    Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.” (found in 2 Corinthians 12)

    We humans, whether we find easy prey we can take advantage of or not (like the rogue cheetah), finally surrender to the Spirit of God. Job did not have the strength or endurance to outrun the evil Satan perpetrated – but the Lord held him steady, it is certain, because he loved him.


  3. tracey5tgbtg says:

    The cheetah has a God-given strength in his speed and these cheetahs used that strength until it was utterly spent.

    I think people are the same way. Some have been blessed by God with a lot of inner strength. I have seen people like that, Christian people, they accomplish many things and others look up to them and they don’t realize until they have been pushed so far beyond their own strength that they are wholly dependent on God. We all are.

    Was Job tested? Was he allowed to suffer? Or was Job blessed by having his eyes opened to the Truth? Job came to see that no good thing that God gives us compares to God Himself.

    Sometimes, the more we have been given by God, the harder it is to see Him.

  4. short357 says:

    The Lord, Creator of us and his nature watches out for us. All humans and beasts are limited in their abilities and strength. All can only go so far and I believe God just steps in time to help because he loves and cares, slowed down them cheetahs for them so they have their food that was constantly being killed by those animals. God’s the only one all seeing and knowing to work out things fairly and faithfully. Job is just like any of us, know matter how much you know and try to trust Jesus in everything, you have a limit or breaking point, I’m just glad Jesus knows when to step in and Help you when you can’t help yourself. Without him nothing or no one really can do or endure anything own their own man or nature. Jesus just helps whether we ask Him or not, praise him or not, because he cares!

  5. poohpity says:

    It seems like many are Cheetah’s in their faith. At first one is gung hoe about Jesus then troubles come, prayers are not answered the way one would like, problems seem to mount or persecution starts then they fall away and become bitter and angry.

    I think about Peter who was the first to recognize who Jesus is (Mark 8:29 NIV). Was gong hoe and stepped out of the boat (Matt 14:28-30 NIV), refused to let the Messiah wash his feet but then jumped all in (John 13:8-9 NIV), with all that he was said he would never deny Jesus (Mark 14:29 NIV)then the cheetah, Peter lost his energy (Matt 26:75 NIV). After doing that many would walk away in shame but knowing who, what and why Jesus came rather than run away, ran towards Him for restoration by His grace (John 21:7 NIV); (John 21:15-17 NIV). Coming to the end of self while the world may say it is not admirable but that is the time Jesus can clearly work in our lives.

  6. poohpity says:

    This comes at such an appropriate time for me. My oldest son announced to me on Tuesday that he now considers himself an atheist. I guess the loss of his dad after the loses of both grandparents, an aunt and the problems with his sister finally put him in a spin. This guy who went against the norm in high school and then on to bible college to be a youth pastor, serving several years at the Christian youth camps but it seemed to me to be an emotional relationship with the Lord has fallen away. My hope is in the Lord knowing from my own life that The Lord never lets us go. It must be a Cheetah-like faith when troubles come the love is lost but even when we are not faithful, God is.

  7. cherielyn says:

    Like the cheetah, I am out of steam and needing the Lord’s strength more than ever. Good subject & comments, so applicable to me right now. Had the last of my radiation treatments yesterday & am completely fatigued. Will have a follow-up doctor appt in about 6-8 weeks to see if radiation shrunk the offending tumor. They did not treat the other three.

  8. remarutho says:

    Will pray for you Deb — and for your son. Also, will keep you in my heart, Cherielyn, for this long wait to see results from your treatments.

    Have no huge obstacle I’m facing. Have only a basket-full of small challenges that seem to grow some days and to shrink other days. It seems to me I am not bitten by an elephant — rather by a swarm of mosquitoes. The Lord has been good to us all on account of Jesus. Thanks be to God he always sees and understands our suffering!


  9. oneg2dblu says:

    I know personally that there was a moment in my life when I could see that nothing of any worldly value was left in me, what was left though, was all I ever needed.

    Not what I thought I wanted, but exactly what I needed.

    The dross of this life was drawn to the edge of my burned out vessel and over it went, leaving the only one pure thing in me, my “absolute need” for a Saviour.

    I knew in my own strength He was distant and not ever to be found real to me, but in my weakest moment, when I was lost and beyond any finding of peace, He came.

    He came into my life in a way that surpasses all understanding, a way of peace that can not ever be denied, for He answered my call, and I’ve never been the same.

    When all you have left is Him, He is sufficient, He is all empowering and always enough to get you through your darkest hour.

    Anyone who can say, “He touched me,” knows that in that moment of His healing power, you know, He is for real.

    So, to all those who hurt, who need, who are feeling desperate, lost, anxious, mad, unloved, empty, guilty, lonely, afraid of death, He is all you ever need, and He is willing to meet that need.

    We know that the rest of this lost world do not yet know how desperately they need Our Saviour.

    But, Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, and those who know it now, are the blessed among us.

    Be Blessed,

  10. cherielyn says:

    My sister, in CA, (#6 of 7) raised in the same way in our parent’s Christian home, fell away from the faith years ago. She never quite stepped over the line and became an atheist, but was very strongly agnostic & moving in that direction.

    Our mom, in 2008, as she was nearing the end of life, expressed to her the concerns that she had about my sis’s eternal destiny & begged & pleaded with her to accept Christ before she (my mom) went home. My mom never did get to see that wish & prayer come true & has now been gone for 5 years.

    My sister called me, several weeks ago, & shared that she “allowed God back in her life.” There are lots of rough edges that need to be honed, but there is already quite a noticeable difference in her speech, attitudes, etc. PTL for His never-ending mercy! With the lifestyle she was leading, most had given up hope that she would ever turn from the life she was living & decide to embrace Christ.

    Like the cheetah, she could no longer outrun Him because He never gave up pursuing her! Just had to share as I saw the anology between her experience & this topic.

  11. cbrown says:

    Luke 15:6-11
    New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    6″ And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance”
    The Lost Coin

    8 “Or what woman, if she has ten [a]silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

  12. SFDBWV says:

    I also read the story of the Kenyan’s who out lasted the cheetah’s, the story coming on the heels of another marathon being won by a Kenyan runner.

    Being one of those Americans who live in a rural setting, as I am sure the Kenyan were, my first thought was why didn’t they just kill the cheetah’s?

    A simple solution to a dispute over territory and priorities; remove the threat.

    Rather than go to Job *again* I see this story as being one of who is in control and who is not as well as who is the hunter and who the prey.

    The world was given to Adam (man) not Satan and so the spiritual predator, that is characterized as being a roaring lion, also is given as an example of our being hunted down and devoured (captured).

    Paul said his life as a Christian was like a race; was he running toward God or away from the evil of this world? Is there a difference?

    God is not a person that can tire or become exhausted if you think in terms of God continuing to pursue us. He exists outside of His created time restraints. The only time restraints are given in the length of our lives here on earth, and we give that length over to God to decide when our number is up.

    There is a word I like to use called “unction”, it also can mean “anointing”. Faith is a gift from God and how much we are given may depend on how much we need to endure life.

    If it is faith that we need to endure the pursuit of our spiritual predators then God will give us the strength we need in order to not be captured, seeing that we have given over to Him our lives, our hopes and our eternal wellbeing.

    Trust God and when the wolf is at the door fear not for He is with you for unto the end of the world and beyond.


  13. BruceC says:

    I will pray for all of those who have unsaved loved ones. My wife and I are aware of how that feels.


    I had a “He touched me” moment when He delivered me from cigarettes after 42 years. I will not forget it.
    Hard to explain it to others who are not believers; and even some who are.

    God bless all,

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  14. poohpity says:

    Rural areas in the states are nothing like they are in Africa. In the states people have electricity, plumbing, houses, bathrooms and all the modern conveniences like going to the store to get food, cars to get there and money to buy those things that is not the case in most of the rural areas there. So some treat wildlife with respect as in preservation and good stewardship. They kill to eat and if they can save, they seem to save, of course that is not true for all. There are those who kill and torture animals for money and human beings. They still use some human beings as slaves.

    If, if they happen to have a wheel-borrow that is how they take their handicapped, who can not walk, out to the hole they have dug for the bathroom, no TP. Then to go to the doctor which may be several miles away they get put in the back of a pickup truck and have to wait in line which may take several days to see a nurse or they walk there which again it may take a day for the journey. Their grave yards are holes dug with rocks piled on them which is just as close as most holes for the bathroom.

    They have faith that would shame anyone here.

  15. poohpity says:

    It takes the Lord’s help to see anyone through elephant bites, which I guess I have never heard of an elephant that bites, or mosquito bites. I think most often that God helps many through those tough times who may not even know Him yet. Those who have their faith tested by the trials in this world, that Satan has dominion over, can rest in the truth that Jesus gave us because we have Him in us we are now overcomers (John 16:33 NIV). We were told that this life would not be free of trials or suffering, that is a promise, but as we persevere our faith gets stronger(James 1:2-4 NIV) then like Job comes the restoration (James 1:12 NIV).

  16. poohpity says:

    The opposite of that is seen in self-pity, resentment, bitterness, hostility and anger those show a lack of trust and dependence which could have pushed Job into cursing God but it did not. That is not to say we do not feel grief, sadness, sorrow and at times depression over circumstances.

  17. belleu says:

    So many beautiful comments. I can’t add much except to say, “His grace is sufficient.” I cared about a lot of things for a lot of years, but now it has come to God and me and that is more than enough. I’m sure Job was sustained by God’s grace – he couldn’t have done it alone.

    I will continue praying for you all. Phooh, I pray your son will come through this crisis of faith even stronger than before. I pray your daughter will seek help and I pray God will comfort you. And may God bless and strengthen you, Cherielyn.

  18. cbrown says:

    “our Daily Bread” this morning was really good. Especially

    2 Corinthians 3:6
    New American Standard Bible (NASB)
    6 “who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

  19. SFDBWV says:

    I remember when I first came here to this site and started contributing to the subject matter. It was good even though there was one person who was more than unpleasant, she was down right insulting. The amazing thing about her was that she was very well versed in the Scripture and had a good understanding of it as well; she just had an abrasive attitude and felt superior to any of the rest of us including our host Mart.

    In spite of her insults the population of the blog grew to huge proportions and even though I tried to keep a list of participants after filling one legal sized sheet of paper with the names of contributors and some of another I quit trying to keep up.

    She did finally leave after being questioned about her attitude and in truth I was glad to be rid of her, however she was soon replaced by others and slowly the number of participants began to dwindle down to what we see today as only being a hand full of those who comment.

    One of the early contributors had commented that this site was unique in that it was not combative in people arguing over scripture or opinions unlike the others they had visited.

    Fact is I have never visited any others and have no plans to.

    I always try and comment only if *inspired* and sometimes while writing become *lost* in my own prattle I erase all and say nothing.

    I don’t think people enjoy watching competition between comments, rather I think people do enjoy being encouraged, uplifted and sometimes instructed positively.

    Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of JFK and the news media rife with the story. America changed with his election and ultimate death and not for the better. People no longer trust the government or any established authority; nearly all beliefs have been tested and ran through the sieve of public scrutiny and we seem to be on a slippery slope of too much information and that too being viewed as untrustworthy.

    The only thing worth believing is that God is in control and God has been under attack relentlessly for the past 50 years with what looks like His standing in our Government being lost to the power of minority public power usurping majority control.

    Yes the race is on and coming to an end; all will soon see who outlast who.


  20. tracey5tgbtg says:

    cbrown – yes, ODB was good this morning. I also thought that “my utmost for his highest” fit right into our subject.

    Steve – although I have not been here as long as you, I have been posting for almost 3 years. It was 3 years ago that I got a laptop and was actually able to log onto the rbc website and the BTA blog. Before that I just read the monthly pamphlets.

    I too have noticed that fewer people comment. I don’t think it is because of the argumentative tone that can sometimes happen. I truly believe it is because of the way technology is growing so quickly. Reading this blog and contemplating a response is time-consuming. I love it of course, but others may think that reading BTA and commenting by Facebook is just so much faster and quicker. Especially since I understand people to be on Facebook and Pinterest and Twitter etc. a lot.

    It seems lately that Mart uses a website he was reading to start a comment. And there are so many websites out there! It is the nature of the times. Everyone has a smartphone with internet access. Info is constantly streaming. There are so many awesome Christian blogs out there.

    I hope BTA continues. I like it. I am a reader by nature, but I have noticed that it is easier to read clips & articles as opposed to entire books. Not better, but easier.

    I think that is the real reason that the number of commenters has dwindled.

    Also – just want to point out that it takes a lot of courage to actually submit your comment and have it posted for the world to see. When you post something and get no feedback, it can be disheartening.

    Also – sometimes this blog can seem like a private party where the commenters are intimately familiar with each other and it is hard to cut in.

  21. poohpity says:

    Yes it is true that when one does not get feed back it can be disheartening but the opposite can be true as well, I think that was why RBC had the rules to not give kudos because when one does not get them they feel bad.

    There are some on here that are similar to that person who you speak of Steve but are not that well versed in scripture but have the other characteristics and attitude towards Mart as well.

    When I first came on here there were very few commentators but when the blog started getting bigger the conversations were lead way off topic and problems started. Everything is what one makes it anyway. One can either be part of the problem or part of the solution.

  22. poohpity says:

    It is not the quantity but the quality that seems to be more important and enjoyable.

  23. poohpity says:

    tracey, you have always had good quality. :-)

  24. poohpity says:

    Bruce, Maru, short, cbrown, Steve, Cheryl, belleu, Gary all have added to the conversations and I am glad God brought you all to this place as well as those who do not comment. We have much to learn from each other and everyone is important as well as needed. Those who left because of hurt feelings please forgive the person who hurt you and know that we all have faults as we bear with each other on this journey to show the world God’s grace and mercy. I am not glad when anybody leaves that gives the impression we feel better than another and that is not true at all, it is not a private party but public domain and as long as we follow the simple guidelines everyone will feel welcome that is what they were written for.

  25. oneg2dblu says:

    If we could only leave all our humanity at the door and only bring the spiritually guided part of ourselves here we would still have differences because we do not all have the same things to bring into the conversation of thoughts exchanged, even though we are connected to the same body, we are different parts doing our part, even if it is not recognized the way we humans would like it to be, God is still in control.
    You should have seen what I had written earlier and somehow thankfully lost… hopefully to the betterment of lessening the waves we can all make when our distinct personalities, different denominations or religious bent, life experiences or worldview, doctrines or strongly held teachings, you name it, do no seem to blend quite so well.
    Been there, Done that!

  26. poohpity says:

    Going back again and again to the story of Job is like any other book of the Bible the more one reads it the more they can glean and learn. We all need to be reminded of the hope we share in Christ Jesus and it is best when repeated over and over as we fill our minds on foundational truths.

    That is like saying one trip through the Bible is enough. I know for myself it is never enough and each year I learn new things that I would have missed before. We can have “Cheetah-like” characteristics of going full on then shrinking back after a while which Jesus compared to rocky soil or continue on at a pace of slow progression and finish the race. Matt 13:5-6 NIV; Mark 4:17 NIV; Luke 8:13 NIV

  27. blestsparrow says:

    When the breath has been knocked out of us and we feel we’re down for the count. The Holy Spirit whispers to our souls “a bruised reed he will not break and a dimly burning flax he will not quench”. (Isaiah 42:3) God gives mercy to all bruised reeds and just when we think our candle is about to go out he ever so lovingly blows that tiny little spark and with his love and mercy we get our second wind.
    Bruised reeds are generally thrown in the trash and considered of little value, but not so with God. We think and feel we can’t endure another moment and we’re almost to despair & the little bit of wind we have is just almost out. Then woooof God blows on us and thru his love and grace our souls have been re-ignighted and like the Cheetah we’re off again. ~ (Isaiah 42:3)

  28. poohpity says:

    A beautiful Word of encouragement spoken at just the right time for me, Thank you!!

  29. SFDBWV says:

    Job as I understand it was written originally in “Sanskrit”, an Indo-Aryan language, and in fact Job is considered to be Oriental.

    I have always heard it said it is the oldest of the Books of the Bible.

    When we look at the time lines of the story of Job, and the fact that God answered him; though informed and enlightened concerning God and the conversation between Him and Satan, how about people who hear nothing from God and an entire lifetime elapses with their suffering and dealing with their *faith* while they await their encounter or answer from God?

    How much is too much, how long is too long?

    I think the people with the most faith are the ones who suffer the most. Though some may curse God for their situation, still they *believe* God in control of their situation and suffer the heat break of thinking God doesn’t care about them.

    Even though angry at God, still they believe and have faith that God is and is in control of life.

    This subject like so many well intentioned friends of those who suffer still puts the onus on the sufferer to have more faith if expecting deliverance. I don’t like that concept.

    God empowers us even with the gift of *faith*, faith based on our own conditions will disappoint.

    Have faith and believe that God will provide, it is His will not ours that gets done; it is still all about Him not us.


  30. BruceC says:


    Stay warm. We have 3-4″ of snow and below zero wind chill factors with temps in the teens. Lasted two hours deer hunting yesterday and had to quit. It was tearing up my emphysema. Very, very cold for this time of year. Thursday and Friday I brought lots of wood in the house and did not have much of a problem. Temps and wind make a huge difference.

    I agree with what you said that is all about Him. When we give up “self” for Him it is then we see Him work. He will always take care of His own; even if we don’t see it at the time that we may be suffering or in need.
    I once heard it said that if the only thing God did for us was to send His Son to die for our sins and give us life eternal then that should be all we need to praise Him and thank Him. Because we don not even “deserve” that. What we receive is by God’s grace.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  31. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Bruce, I’ll bet that wood stove feels good this morning. We only got a couple inches of snow but it is presently only 11 degrees and windy.

    I got up my usual time this morning and scraped off the road even if it wasn’t much snow. I haven’t seen too many people out and about yet.

    The critters are glad for my feed this morning, birds and squirrels, the deer stay down in weather like this.

    A good day to stay in and rest with a *Good Book* perhaps.

    Be safe.


  32. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… that Good book theory sounds just great. No row for me today, the sky is overcast the wind gusting is brutal with whitecaps and plenty of rough water. Definitely over a force five wind, if that has any relevence to the non sailors among us. I’ll put on some patience as per the ODB and pass on getting wet today…Then again, it just started raining. :0

    You reminded me of the four hundred years when God was silent, knowing full well there was certainly much suffering going on throughout the earth, and many generations lived their lives by their faith helping them through it.

    Today, we who know Christ, are blessed to have the Holy Spirit living in us promting our spirits to obey His still small voice.

  33. oneg2dblu says:

    We all know that our witness may be the only good book that others read today when they watch us living our lives, so how we live is huge.

  34. foreverblessed says:

    Mart hasn’t changed the subject .
    I wanted to say how I was touched by Cherilyn her story about her sister. And BruceC saying lets keep on praying for our loved ones. As I take it, our loved ones who have not yet chosen for Jesus. I pray that our loved ones will see Jesus as their Savior, not because we press it on them, but because we pray for them and that God will open their hearts at the right time, and they will see their need of the Savior Jesus.
    BruceC , I also wanted to say thank you for pointing us to My Utmost for His Highest of 7 and 8 November.
    It is the same subject: praying intercessory prayer!
    This is something I didn’t understand years ago, but slowly I am beginning to see: that this is the work of His Kingdom!
    Seek you first His Kingdom, and the rest shall be added to you.
    Instead of worrying for my daily life, I lift my eyes to Him, and start working in His Kingdom, the people I meet during the day, those are the ones Jesus has put on my path. On November 7 I was visiting an old friend, but she is in trouble, her marriage in shambles, 3 kids still at home. She doesn’t look for God to solve her problems (yet), wants to solve it herself on her own. And I started praying, for her and her whole family. And in the evening I saw Bruce’ comment on intercessory prayer! Thanks.
    My prayer is not useless, God is waiting for it.
    I was thinking about the verse in John 7:38:
    a stream of water will flow from within us, within meaning a female word for the inner belly, that is a womb! How can we have a womb? It is very much possible: it is the thought of people that God lays on our heart, and we start intercessory prayer for them, that means the beginning of new life for them, as God start working because we asked Him to do so.
    (At least this is the insight I have been given up to now.)
    What a great God, and what a great work. He could have done it on His own. But He uses us, to start working, and He does work, goes chasing after the cheetahs (our loved ones that have gone astray), and rescue them. What a great comfort that is!

  35. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    This topic is not over, it seems to me. Recalling the wonderful two-minute video by Tim Keller shown here a while ago, the notion of we/they who are cheetah-like becomes a parable of the fallen human heart. We hope to raid the kingdom of the goodies, then run away to raid another day. But, Jesus captures the spirit, mind and even the body of those of us (humankind) who think we have it figured out on our own. We surely are the creatures who belong to God, but have been in denial about that fact.

    Forever, you wrote:

    “Instead of worrying for my daily life, I lift my eyes to Him, and start working in His Kingdom, the people I meet during the day, those are the ones Jesus has put on my path.”

    Thanks for that view of the wild heart who has followed the Good Shepherd home. Entering the kingdom by finally embracing who Jesus is, we turn to become his agents. Jesus, the supreme Ruler of the universe, can work through us so much more effectively than we can work on our own to advance his kingdom. (John 14:12)


  36. remarutho says:

    Prayers in agreement going up for your old friend, Forever, as you understand and lift her needs to the Lord.

  37. AmazedbyHis grace says:

    I felt led here again today and then knew why when I saw that the topic was Job. I believe that God fine tunes us if we turn to Him in the midst of any tragedies. However, if you are holding on to sin, you may not get the blessings or the deliverance you need. I stress the “you need” part. It may take more lost blessings or tragedies until we bend and break. If you are blessed financially, or with a pampered life, it’s more difficult, but also puts you closer to the flames.You have to repent, you have to close that door for good.
    As I’ve said before, I’ve had more things happen to me than Job. I’m still missing the final, before the next door opens. I don’t have church support, (very difficult to find a true Christian church) so I am asking you…
    I need Spirit led prayer that I may know God’s will, His purpose. I would think that He had more purpose to me for allowing all this other than just sitting sort of speak. My request to you is that I need to know what I’m missing, what path to take. Thanks!

  38. cbrown says:

    A prayer that has helped me is; Lord you do all things good. Teach me to pray in Your Spirit.

  39. poohpity says:

    Sometimes “just sitting” is what the Lord requires from us, to be “still” as we wait in confident expectation for Him to act on our behalf. The Holy Spirit knows what we need better than we do and It is our intercessor.

    As we sit we can be amazed by His grace, giving us patient endurance as we wait for the cheetah’s to run out of energy.

  40. oneg2dblu says:

    I may be wrong in this, but I believe that I read there was a lot of actual effort used and in the heat of the day, so it was not just easy going that actually brought that Cheetah to the end of himself, and gave those who put in the effort victory over their enemy, or current situation.

    They did not just sit silent and wait for the Cheetah to lie down for them…

    How can any able bodied parent not get involved and work for the betterment of their children or difficult situation?

    Like all things there is a place and time for each and knowing that prayer is always a part of the whole is very important for sure, but we must Ask, Seek, Knock and then…
    the door will be opened.

    I know this will not apply to all people or situations, but it does apply to all of those who are guided by the word, actively seeking guidence, is never a passive thing.

    We have not, because we ask not, and if we ask anything that is within the will of God, we can know that we will have it. In God’s timing that is, not ours!

    All that being said,
    If I had any patients, I’d be a doctor. :)

    For me, it is easier to run at full speed then it is to sit and rest, knowing I could be runnig if I just get up and try.

    In fact I rest much better after the run, the effort, the getting the hands dirty.

    Does that make me the Cheetah, or one who does not depend on God every day?

    I think our prayer life answes that question for us.

    We need both, and we know that God is right there watching over us.

    I believe once you put your hand to the plow, you keep plowing on and not be found looking back.

    His yoke is easy, but you must also stick your neck out to see how well it fits.

    To worry is to be in a place that is never the bible’s position, or in the Will of God,

    To trust is though snd that is where our faith is most tested and proven.

    In spite of all outward circumstances, we trust He is in control, we trust He knows our needs, and we trust He is willing and able.

    Yes, some of us are programmed to lie down to find Him, and others need to put their working gloves and work it out, then each part does what it can, and all parts make the wholeness of biblical teaching as it commisions us to all “participate” in the Will of God.

  41. poohpity says:

    Pretty soon like the cheetah a person will run out of strength, energy, doing things their way and allow the Great Physician, Provider, Protector, Redeemer, Justifier, Savior, Counselor and Lord of all to takeover. Psalm 49:10

  42. poohpity says:

    oops that is Psalm 46:10.

  43. poohpity says:

    Those men could have used man made resources like a tranquilizer gun to slow down the cheetah but they chose as God does to let us to run the natural course and when it tired they stepped in and saved the life of their goats and the life of the cheetah just as Jesus did with us. When we come to the end of self we look up to Him but we are not forced to stop running, worrying, trying to earn our way to Him then He can do what He does best, save.

  44. bubbles says:

    What I am in the process of learning is to pray and ask Jesus to take certain things because I cannot bear them alone. Sometimes I fail and forget to pray because I get caught up in the moment and the day gets very busy. But when I pray and ask for Jesus to help, there is a great difference. He is giving me strength, and I am humbled and thankful for it.

  45. oneg2dblu says:

    bubbles… you are blessed to not be so caught up in the Cheetah story which has no mention of them ever waiting on God and praying for God’s guidence, but through what God-given resouces they did have and chose to use, they overcame their faster footed rival through dogged perseverence.
    So who was the winner in this story, the Cheetah who ran out of strength and was captured, or those who used their strength and wisdom to overcome their advisery?
    I think we all know that answer, even if it doesn’t play into the story we want, it does tell a story in itself.

    Go to God in prayer “and” use your gifts to the best of your ability, God has given them to you for a reason, and leave the rest of the stuff where your strength and ability has no value, beyond our going to God in prayer.
    I believe you’ve gotten the right message.

  46. poohpity says:

    It would seem that it was a win win situation for both the cat and the herders and even the game preserve.

    bubbles, it would be nice if we all learned that lesson, it is sure a good one resulting also in a win win situation.

  47. bubbles says:

    I cannot say I have “learned” the lesson. It’s a process and I am “learning.” I mess up many times. I fall and must get up again. It’s a fight.

  48. poohpity says:

    Hopefully we do not concentrate on all the falls or the many times we mess up but on the Savior who knew all those things in advance and has given us His grace. Often times people beat their selves up so much there is no room to experience the joy that Christ gives us.

  49. SFDBWV says:

    It is 31.7 degrees and a misty fog is moving in. we have a coating of icy, slushy snow on the ground and atop the car etc.

    The weather people are either trying to prepare us for the worst or scare us into listening to their programs as winter weather is approaching.

    I recall two Thanksgiving weeks in a row back in the 70’s where my father-in-law and his buddies got snowed in at their hunting camp and I had to get a dozer each year to get them out.

    This is the first week of deer season and typically the last week we see any resemblance of fall weather as winter always shows up the first week of December.

    Yesterday the dentist office called and ask if it would be ok for Matt and I to come in at 4pm instead of 2pm today, they were afraid the weather might cause them to close. So we accepted their offer as Matt was very anxious to go to the office and brag about his weight loss so far. He did and they made a big fuss over him and so the day went well and we don’t have to brave the weather today.

    Matt has to date lost 142.8 pounds and is now down to 262.2, at 6’ 5” that isn’t all that bad, but he has a goal of 220 in sight.

    Endurance is like that, some have it some don’t. Matt’s endurance has rewarded him. The endurance of the tribesmen rewarded them. What is it we endure to achieve?

    If it is God’s will in our lives then we have to quit running on our own steam set down and let God have control. He will provide all we need to achieve His goals for us.


  50. Artle says:

    I’m happy when my hedge is in place (Job 1:10 NASB) and I complain a lot when it gets torn down (Job 3:1 NASB). I try to be the same toward God, hedge or no, but I have to admit, when the hedge is up, I tend to wander and think I myself am doing pretty good and become forgetful of my need for a Savoir.

    Seems losing the hedge always brings some learning and strengthening of the faith. I have to imagine He protects us when we need it, and when we can stand another lesson, the hedge gets breached, sometimes slightly and sometimes completely.

    Though it hurts, I’m learning to be happy when the hedge is down and tribulations run amok, because I’m beginning to remember the lessons I have learned and the faith I have gained and the fact that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:28-30 NASB)

  51. BruceC says:

    Very happy to hear about Matthew Steve and I will continue to pray for him.

    I think the weather people tend to “hype” very often. Watched last night and it seemed like we could get hammered. Went on NOAA today on the PC and maybe we will have 1-3″.

    God be with all!

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  52. oneg2dblu says:

    I would guess that the “weather people” would rather err on the safe side rather then make the mistake of telling everyone they are all right, to just stay the way they are. Saving them all the work of preparing for the worst case, when a lesser storm may just be the case.
    But, in any event we all know there is a storm is coming and the best place to be is perpared for it, and for some it is finding their prayer closet and stsying there, and for others it is getting out the storm shutters and getting busy at it while you still can.
    You either heed the warnings and do what you can while you can, or sluff them off and leave it to others to provide for you what you might have done if you just tried, or if you just believed in the warnings.
    Obedience to the warnings is never lost or wasted work, for one thing it is certainly always good practice, and who knows it may one day even save your life.
    You can read into that any way you feel led, or just ingnore it, just like all the warnings in God’s word, I feel they are ther for a reason.
    Ever watch the movie the Perfect Storm?
    That was where all the warnings send to save lives where ignored, and all who dared defy them were all lost.
    But, you say that was just a movie, yeah, and it was also a
    real life and death story for many, just like the bible.

  53. remarutho says:

    Good Evening All —

    Cheetahs must put their faith in their own strength and ability to sprint. It is what they “know.” But, neither a cheetah nor a human can predict what is up the road. And we rarely “know” how we will perform when there is real pressure and testing. Only God can pull our bacon out of the fire!

    Jesus tried to tell old foot-in-mouth Peter what was coming his way:

    “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

    But, Peter, like the cheetah, only knew his own strength:

    “Peter said to him, ‘Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.’”

    Very tenderly and lovingly, Jesus saw that Peter was not prepared in his own strength. The Lord saw he would fail the testing to come:

    “Jesus said, ‘I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.’”


  54. bubbles says:

    And Jesus forgave Peter and loved him. Look at how Peter’s life changed after this.

    Knowing that God does not write us off when we make mistakes is wonderful to know. It is a comfort to know He still loves us.

  55. remarutho says:

    It seems to me Peter was emptied of all but Jesus’ love in the dark hours when he wept and ran away. He expected triumph, but was handed loss.

    “…there’s no success like failure, and failure’s no success at all.” (Love Minus Zero, no Limit, Bob Dylan)

    Does the Hound of Heaven run us to ground — and then show us unlimited divine mercy and love? I believe He does too, Bubbles.

  56. poohpity says:

    Looking at what I have in common with this Cheetah do I realize it had really a limited endurance for only so many feet? With the Lord who gives us hope we have an endurance that lasts a life time. In my strength I can only go a short distance and soon become exhausted but in that exhaustion I come to the end of self and I can either let the Lord take over or I can continue on wearily. If I continue on becoming weary which leads to agitation, anger, frustration, depression and I will lose hope. When I let the Lord take over knowing that He knows what is best my feelings and thoughts change to peace, rest, contentment and hope which will give me an endurance that is eternal.

    My son reminded me the other day what I am like when I cook Thanksgiving dinner by myself. I start out so excited then by the time comes to sit down I am exhausted, frustrated, irritated and ready to put ice bags on my whole body. So to prevent that this year he asked if we could just go to a restaurant so we could all enjoy each other and our time together. Knowing I need help for this journey rather than be the Cheetah I can be a turtle slow and steady enjoying the process of the race.

  57. oneg2dblu says:

    I trust that it is the “what” that brings us to the table already prepared for us by God, and what our thanks given to God is all about.

    So, to those who will have a table to share with family and friends or not, we can still give thanks to God that we are part of His family, and He knows our needs and how far we are to go on our own before He calls us.

    It may be for some, like Peter, found in the crowing of a rooster, or in a simple phone call from a friend, a touch of the Spirit afresh within us, a promting in us to give Him thanks right now, and know He is always there.

    Happy Thanksgiving to Mart and to all the BTA family.

  58. oneg2dblu says:

    I found today’s Two Listeners, in the God at Eventide message, to be so fitting as to where I was trying to go in saying we must always try to do our best first, and leave the rest to Him who knows our capabilities better than we do.
    It puts a different take on what some may call humility.
    It challenged me and I trust it may challenge us all.

  59. BruceC says:

    If I do not get a chance to get on this blog tomorrow I would like to say God Bless all here and may you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. May His peace and protection be with all!

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  60. bubbles says:

    We have a snow storm here. The roads are not safe currently. I have been out of the house three times since Friday. Am very thankful for blankets, warm house, and a sound roof that is not leaking.

  61. cbrown says:

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  62. cherielyn says:

    I wish all of the wonderful friends here, on BTA, a WONDERFUL THANKAGIVING with your families, friends, neighbors and/or whomever you are spending it with.

    Thinking of you ALL. Haven’t seen narrowpathseeker for awhile. Hope all is well with you.


    1/4″ snow this morning in NE Wisconsin

  63. phpatato says:

    To my American friends…may you have a Blessed Thanksgiving. I look forward to the day when we can all sit at a Thanksgiving table together with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ at the head!!! What a wonderful day that will be!

    Thank you Cherielyn for asking about Narrow (Pearl). I too have been thinking about her and hope that all is well with her. Perhaps Steve can email her a message to say hi from us.

    10″ of snow on the ground just outside Ottawa Ontario. Wind is brisk but the sun is shining wonderfully.

  64. SFDBWV says:

    Pat, and Cheryl, I copied and emailed your comments to Pearl, I am sure she appreciates the love and concern. She is doing fine.

    We got 3 ½ inches of snow yesterday and today it is just a continuous day of flurries and is presently 18 degrees f.

    I have the turkey in the oven, the potatoes in the pot, the cauliflower and broccoli casserole ready to go the rest will have to await the finished bird.

    I wish all of you who read these words a very happy Thanksgiving and pray for you all to be especially blessed today.


  65. poohpity says:

    What a very good day to remember everything we are thankful for and that includes our BTA family.

    Mart, have not heard from you for a while either hope all is well for you and for the others we have not heard from for a while as well.

  66. SFDBWV says:

    Good Morning and Happy Thanksgiving!! Thank you for sending me the comments again this morning..

    Please feel free to convey that all is far more than well with me and to thank Cheryl and Pat for their concern…and to wish the BTA family a Happy Thanksgiving from me….and my hope that all is well with them also.. You may share anything about me that you choose…… whether it be that I am being Blessed beyond anything I ever expected……or that you are sharing the comments with me.


    I copied this from Pearl’s email to me and so thought it proper to send along to you all.


  67. phpatato says:

    Steve can you tell Pearl that I often think of her Granddaughter. I hope she is back to a bouncing healthy life that a young girl deserves!!!

    phpatato at gmail dot com. Enough! :-)

  68. belleu says:

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
    I’m in Canada where we had our celebration in October. It’s one of my favorite days of the year. God bless and keep you all in the palm of his mighty hand.

  69. eski39 says:

    I am suffering from depression and this blog helps me in my bad times. Thank you; we met in Australia when you came to the office of RBC Ministries.

    Thank you for being an instrument of Jesus to me.


  70. poohpity says:

    Hernando, I read your comments on the “Mental Health” topic from years ago and I thank you for sharing your struggles. Many struggle with depression but do it in silence. The more open people are about that subject they will know they are not alone. How can we love God with all our mind if our minds have the flu? The Bible is not silent regarding depression, look at the life of King David or Jeremiah for just 2 examples they had depression and never failed to express it. To me God has given gifts to each person so that we can get help physically, emotionally and spiritually. The sad part is when people do not admit they need help and in the area of mental health for so very long it was taboo, thank God it is not that way any longer. All humanity shares all humanity and it has always and forever been a need in many peoples lives the more openly it is talked about (shining a light on it) more will seek the help they need.

  71. SFDBWV says:

    This community of people here on this blog have always been more than just cyber people to me. You all have entered my heart and become friends. It is why that I sometimes mention that there used to be many more who participated.

    Never knowing what may have befallen them when they remain silent it leaves me wondering if they have just left the site or if there have been life altering events that have taken them away.

    I admit I am concerned about Mart’s absence these several days and hope all is well with him and his family.

    That’s how I have become with all of you as if we are members of an extended family.

    So as I pray for those both silent and active I also pray for Mart and family as he is no different than any of us in that anything can and will happen along the journey of life.


  72. BruceC says:

    It’s too bad in some ways that we don’t have the ability to send a person here a “private message” as I do on some of my outdoor forums. In other ways maybe it’s good we don’t. On those forums too there are member profiles allowing you to leave what ever info about yourself; including email address, if you desire.
    I may have to show my wife how to access all these places I go so in case my health goes south or the Lord calls me home she can tell them.

    For all the changes and curve balls that life seems to throw your way it is reassuring to know that the Lord changes not, fails not, and that His Word is always true.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  73. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    As the conversation has flowed on — while I was planning and enjoying a Thanksgiving at home — am returning to agree that we do find a fellowship here at BTA we would not enjoy anywhere else. Mart’s hospitality and guidance bring us together. Have seen too many open forums devolve into a hyper-competitive round-table that loses as many individuals as it attracts. Have seen a couple shut down due to unkind words from some participants. Sometimes I wonder whether Job and his friends stayed in a tight fellowship after the words spoken by God — or did they each move on…

    Mart, you wrote:

    “And as we’ve been noting together, the bigger story beyond Job’s need and rescue did eventually show up (Job 19:25-26), but not in the way that Job could foresee. Instead the God-advocate he longed for would come to suffer for us…with us…and with a result that would offer hope not only at end of our own strength—but at the end of our lives.”

    It seems to me on the whole, each voice here has given first place to our God-advocate, the Lord Jesus. All we can offer one another in truth is the hope of Christ both now and at the end.

    Joy at Advent!

  74. oneg2dblu says:

    Yes, our God-advocate and Our God himself, our advocate in human form and our now ever present Indwelling Spirit, an all in one godhead which is found in the three persons expressed in God’s Word as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

    There are many spirits in this world but only one Holy Spirit, and that Spirit is the same today and yesterday, and forever found in all three persons of the Trinity.

    I know I’m not informing the already informed here, as preaching to the chior, I’m just sharing that for the unseen and unheard who are among us, those who may have stumbled upon us and not yet know the fullness found in this family and our faith in Christ, the very Spirit that brings us all together here.
    We, like all others find that Spirit in us, is Jesus Christ crucified, burried, and risen to life again with in us, to share with all who will listen and believe.

    Our family shares the unseen bloodline of faith, found in the assurance of what is hoped for, a conviction of unseen realities.

    Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) defines that faith, defines our commonality, our communion, and conviction, and Our Saviour expressed through the voices of us all. “Our Joy!”

  75. oneg2dblu says:

    Just watched and listened to “My Redeemer Lives” on youtube with Nicole C Mullen, it says what I wanted and say, Jesus Christ, Our Redeemer, Lives!
    Be Blessed, Gary

  76. SFDBWV says:

    December 2013 edition of “Discover” magazine has two powerful articles in it this month, the first titled “Do Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God?” subtitled “The Name of God” by R. Albert Mohler Jr.

    In the article are the directives of the importance of the Trinity as well as God identifying Himself by name to Moses, a very good read for any.

    The second is connected to the first as being subtitled “The Name of God.” Titled “Turning to the True God” by Emir Caner a reformed Muslim.

    Both articles explain the importance and identity of Jesus of Nazareth to be the Son of God.

    There being an importance of knowing the name of God and thereby knowing who by name is not actually the same One True God.


  77. poohpity says:

    I wonder if Emir Caner would have ever come to believe if Christians were to have only shown him hate and prejudices because he was Muslim rather than love, grace and mercy? No one is beyond the redemption of Jesus!

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