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The Vision of Sochi

DSC02122Seeing the nations of the world coming together peacefully around the common language of sport says a lot about our shared humanity. So does the fact that our athletes are competing with one another for personal and national glory in snow covered mountains, surrounded by fences and armies of anti-terrorist security.

May be a small foretaste of a better day when all of the nations of the world come together to another mountain, with a far greater interest, to celebrate a shared victory—after recycling their weapons of war—for the glory of the Creator who suffered and died for all of us. (Isa 2:2-4)

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93 Responses to “The Vision of Sochi”

  1. BruceC says:

    In response to your topic about all I can say is: “Come quickly Lord Jesus!”
    Without my hope in Christ I don’t know if my spirit could deal with all the pain, suffering, and tragedy of this fallen world. Likely that is why so many look for relief in all the wrong places.
    I pray that nothing serious happens at these Olympic events and that all remain safe.

    3 below here this AM and 19 below yesterday AM. Am beginning to feel brittle

    Soli Deo Gloria

  2. SFDBWV says:

    Bruce it looks as if yours and my thoughts are in line again this morning.

    Mart’s thoughts about a coming day when all people can come together in peace and harmony there in Jerusalem and all is well in the world only reminds me that all is *not* well in the world as I write.

    I ache for Jesus’ return and an end to people’s suffering.

    There seems to be no victory over death when we still have to bury loved ones or worse watch them suffer.

    Our hope still lay with looking beyond today to a tomorrow when all our prayers are answered.

    How long indeed before enough is enough.

    We are not as cold as you Bruce, but I am beginning to get tired of gray skies, constant snow and bone chilling cold. The weather outlook seems to not see relief anytime soon.

    I am longing for those mornings when I can set on the porch in the swing and just enjoy watching the sun come up.


  3. poohpity says:

    I really enjoy watching especially the snow boarders who appreciate the runs of others and congratulate each other with a job well done. Very good sportsmanship. Wouldn’t it be nice if countries could settle differences by sports competitions.

    Knowing Jesus brings a little of heaven to earth especially when we look to Him and are filled with joy no matter the circumstances we face. He makes those cloudy days have a ray of sunshine that we do not have to face life alone, God has provided the Helper.

  4. Bill says:

    Good Morning!

    Fifteen degrees in Grand Rapids, with snow gently falling. Again. Meteorologists tell us we’re in the middle of the 4th snowiest winter in recent memory, and the 20th snowiest winter in recorded history. We’ve had somewhere around 100 inches of snow already this season, and it’s only early February. Might end up to be a record breaker.

    I share Steve’s melancholy regarding the gray skies and to-the-bone chill. My wife is from Alaska. So she’s used to long, long, long cold winters and interminable stretches without sun. But even she is getting tired of this winter.

    But what can you do about the weather, eh? It is what it is.

    Regarding Mart’s post, I truly long for the day when the swords are beat into plowshares, when war, famine, death, disease, and sadness are no more…when all nations can sit down together in joyful praise and thanksgiving.

    Sometimes this life is overwhelming. Each day’s news reports bring more atrocities to our attention, from terrorism to crimes against fellow human beings, that are like a punch to the gut. I recoil at headlines, and avert my eyes from pictures.

    So I am in full agreement: bring on the day when the horrors of this life are past…and we are transformed.

  5. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All –

    29F in the Pacific Coastal Basin with freezing rain. Just dropped more wood on the fire. Church will be the faithful remnant this Sabbath!

    Saw the opening ceremony of the Sochi games Friday night. Despite the nationalistic focus, it was inspiring to see the sweep of history that has brought us to this day. The Prophet Isaiah gives us wonderful promises from God. I often pray the promises we have been given. We may press foreward into the day when all the peoples will make their way to the mountain of the Lord’s house. (Isaiah 2:2)

    Find myself praying this promise more and more as these violent days play themselves out:
    “…and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
    and their spears into pruning hooks;
    nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
    neither shall they learn war anymore.”


  6. quietgrace says:

    Mart thank you for your encouraging post that makes me look UP to a promised better future, as it is so easy to get bogged down in circumstances.

    I have shared in previous posts that I am ready to return to church. After much prayer and conversations with the Lord He has brought me to the place where now I must forgive myself as I have others and at the same time acknowledge my own sin. Humbling, very humbling. I’ve always felt that healing has a heavy cost, the cost being our own ways of dealing with sin and injustice. So, here I am.

    As for the Olympics, there’s probably not too much going on relationally between the different players/teams/coaches, but as Christians we do have to ‘work out’ our differences and figure out how to live together in the here and the here-after.

    As I said a few days ago, I do enjoy watching Christians ‘working-out’ their Christianity in this blog and it does help me and give me courage to face the ‘real-world’ of Church where I will be seeing people face to face. I am close, very close to returning. Not today, but soon.
    Thank you and God bless for your prayers and kind words. I pray you will all seek understanding between one-another and find God’s grace, the glue that holds us all together!

  7. bubbles says:

    Yes, we can have joy. BUT when the sky has been covered with clouds for weeks on end and it is so cold it hurts, THAT is discouraging. Just to drive down the road requires 1/2 hour of digging out, and then the car door is frozen every day, and the snowplow comes and pushes all of the snow back in the driveway that took 1/2 hour to dig out, and the heating bill is through the roof, and if it’s not the pipes are freezing. Then the roof leaks, everything is filthy dirty and winter makes things difficult. After this goes on and on and there’s one snowstorm after another, it gets tiring.

  8. oneg2dblu says:

    I’m feeling a little guilty today… or feeling guilty just telling you all about a wonderful row I had today, and in a tee shirt and shorts no less.
    We had two days of overcast conditions but the sun has returned and with it gentle breezes.
    Yesterday when driving across the Eau Gallie bridge looking out on the water, it was so still it looked like Ice.
    The sky was steel gray and the water matching, nothing but a ripple to be seen if you really looked for it.
    I had visions of ice skaters being on it, wish I could share that picture of it with you, but I never took one, so the one in my heart has now come out of my mouth.

    Now, for the other Son returning… I’m with you, “Come Jesus!”

  9. quietgrace says:

    Bubbles I am so sorry for what winter is putting you through. I am praying for you. Grace

  10. quietgrace says:

    And for all who are caught in this hard winter.

  11. poohpity says:

    If we based joy on circumstances rather than on the person of Jesus Christ we may not be able to experience much joy. One can look at the negative like the glass half empty rather than half full but that depends on our personal experiences in general of life looking at what we do not have compared to what we do. To have the physical ability to shovel, to have a home with heat, to have a car maybe things we can be grateful for but in it all we always have the Lord with us and what He has done for us and that is where the joy comes from. The other is more irritations that come from life in general and there can be many things that cause frustrations but hopefully we will not let them consume our minds. Gratefulness can turn any frown into a smile.

  12. bubbles says:

    Of course it could be worse. I was speaking in generalities, this is not about me. It’s about everyone who is in winter areas. I thank God every night for warm blankets, a roof overhead, for safety, for heat, and so on. But one cannot go about skipping down the story book lane tossing daisies and candy canes in the air. That’s not normal.

  13. quietgrace says:

    Bubbles you made me laugh! Candy canes, yes, but daisies, in this weather? Ha! You have a good sense of humor in the face of criticism. Bless you and keep warm and bubbly!

  14. poohpity says:

    Was it being critical saying there is a difference in optimism and pessimism?

    It wasn’t about you bubbles? It sounded as if you were sharing your experiences which there is nothing wrong with the way you are feeling. It is OK to be honest. I was replying to the BUT in the joy part.

  15. bubbles says:

    NO, it was about PEOPLE who live in areas that have winter weather that has been very harsh this year.

  16. quietgrace says:

    Gary I really enjoyed my mini-vacation reading your post. Sounds wonderful!

    Bubbles, I have to say that reading your post I also thought you were speaking out of your present experience, and not in general terms. But, rereading it from the way you explained it I get it now. But I do sincerely feel sorry for those that have to struggle through this harsh winter.

    Sometimes joy comes in a cup of hot chocolate, or lemonade, as I made some this afternoon after trudging through the snow to the garbage can. Had a nice day watching the sun play off the snow drifts and a couple birds (doves I think) romancing the blue sky, while my cat played with the things on my dresser in between sitting on my lap purring with contentment. Joy and contentment go hand in hand I think.
    Peace, Grace

  17. BruceC says:

    Actually even though this winter has been tough temperature-wise; it hasn’t come close to ’96. We were in a different home about 10 mins. away. We got 220 inches of snow that year. Had ice problems and the roof leaked. We did not have a woodstove like we do now. In January we had a thaw and everything melted and we had flooding. Then back to winter and heavy snow.
    I just thank the Lord for His provision and for His promises.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  18. oneg2dblu says:

    quietgrace… thanks for sharing a picture with words, about your cat. I have a smile on my face now just thinking how great a kitty feels in ones lap on a cold day, better than a hot water bottle. At night when it was cold, my cat would stick to me like velcro, so sharing each others body heat is a very cool thing. :)
    I never had a three dog night though. :0
    I might add, “Two cats are even better than one.”
    For now though, it is put on another layer when temps drop down around here at night, and I do miss the purring also.

  19. BruceC says:

    It never ceases to amaze me how folks from countries that are at odds with one another can get along so well when politicians and business people don’t poke their long noses into the situation. Reminds me of Paul’s journey into the Gentile lands; or how our Lord did not care if a person was a Roman or Samaritan.
    The body of Christ is without borders.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  20. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Bruce; yes I too remember many winters and each one had their own signatures. I think maybe as I get older my ability to *weather* them is diminished.

    Some of you may remember the photos Mart put up of only a few winters ago when we received 24 feet of snow here and it reached the floor of my upper porch. We even broke a state record that February for the most snow in 24 hours.

    The 60’s as well as the 70’s were brutal winters here as well, all relevant to our benefactor the sun and what goes on with solar storms and sun spots.

    I fully agree Bruce, when watching and listening to the Olympics these kids all enjoy the company of each other and find common ground in all sorts of areas, the nationality almost inconsequential.

    There seems to be only one force in the world that is the conveyor of hate and they aren’t at nor welcomed at the games.


  21. BruceC says:

    I remember a song from my youth; how I don’t know!:-)
    I think it was a commercial jingle for Pepsi.

    “I’d like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony…..” That’s all I can recall, but I know the tune.
    Isn’t that the desire of our Lord? To teach us to be in harmony with what His word teaches? But He foreknew that this fallen world would not as a whole; but only His Body would. Someday soon we shall sing for our Lord in perfect harmony…and what a Glorious Day that will be!!!

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  22. poohpity says:

    When those young people go out from the games to explore they are told not to wear anything that shows what country they are from in fear of reprisal. Their security is only given in certain areas around the games. I wonder if they push those limits? Knowing young people some have no fear or they would not even be doing their particular sport. Smile :-) It really takes some guts to do some of those acrobats off of snowboards, skates or skis. lol

  23. poohpity says:

    We can do that now Bruce.

    I remember those pics Steve. I thought about it yesterday when bubbles was talking about the snow around where she is.

  24. quietgrace says:

    Yes Bruce, that is my hope too!

    Thanks and peace,


  25. Artle says:

    The Olympics seem to bring hope to an otherwise divided world. I wonder if the Olympics are a solely human effort or is there some divine influence. Is the hope they bring a false hope that is without faith? Or is it the same Hope that Isaiah speaks to the people of Israel?

    I wonder if it simply depends on the heart doing the hoping.

  26. poohpity says:

    To me any hope placed in any circumstances or happenings in this journey of life leaves out the One Person where all hope is found. Our eyes seem to be looking around rather than up. It seems odd, especially for believers, to get so stuck in the here and now worrying or complaining about many things that they often fail to do what is best in sitting at the feet of Jesus where our hope is found. That time spent with Him gives us reason to place our lives in His trustworthy hands, living loved then hope springs up. Luke 10:39 NIV; Luke 10:42 NIV

  27. Artle says:

    Hope gives us the chance to survive when we might not otherwise be able to do so. Even if faith falters and love seems to be distant or absent, hope seems to linger. We might even consider that when all hope is lost, there is still hope against hope; hope when there is no reason to believe that hope will prevail.

    Could hope be the spark that ignites faith that leads to love?

  28. quietgrace says:

    Pooh and Artle I just finished reading Psalm 16. David had hope and so can we! I also believe that God gives us little glimpses of hope each time I see a newborn baby, a Robins nest, hear a kind word,or watch people play/work together-as in the Olympics. And, I also believe that Jesus has opened our eyes to see ahead as none other can.

    I too sit at Jesus’ feet but try to view my day as He sees it; as one in the world, but not of it. A challenge every day, but so worth the effort.

    I will fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith.
    Blessings to you both!

  29. oneg2dblu says:

    One thing I always try to keep in mind is that we can only sit at His feet when He is not on the move, but His ministry was a very active one and moved around, it was then and now that we are to see our need to make sure we are following Him, and yes, that means to keep our eyes fixed on Him as well.
    So, I’d leave room for both. A time to work for Him, and a time to rest in Him.
    Sometimes we need to go and get our hands dirty, getvhim a donkey, go and find an upper room, or row or sail Him out to another place, or to go find a fish with a coin in its mouth, or pass out basket fulls of blessings to the hungry, we even get to “Go,” into all the world!
    The blessing is that we get to, wash feet, baptize others, pray for them, cast out demons and heal others in His name, knowing when we do, how blessed are the feet that bring His good news.
    We get to represent His Indwelling Spirit that lives in us, as we all are employeed by Him, and have good works to do.

  30. oneg2dblu says:

    We even get to be a part of His passing the Olympic Torch bringing His Light into this darkening world.

  31. oneg2dblu says:

    Having that listening ear, is being employeed. Having a prayerful heart, is being employeed. A helping hand, a smiling face, an approving nod, a loving word, all employeed as part of His good works, each one doing what it can, when it can, and He gets all the Praise.

  32. quietgrace says:

    Thanks Gary you were reading my thoughts as I have been reflecting on the simplicity AND the complexity of being a Christ follower.
    Good word.

  33. poohpity says:

    If we can not go through the small struggles we go through to survive with hope what will happen when bigger troubles come. The things we face today help develop us to grow stronger to face bigger challenges with out growing faint, becoming depressed and growing weary. Proverbs 24:10 NIV

  34. quietgrace says:

    Pooh you are a treasure! Even though you are going through your own dark times of loss you are not discouraged and keep looking to Jesus for your strength.

    God bless you richly today as you learn from Jesus.

  35. quietgrace says:

    And may you find all your comfort in His arms of love.

  36. AmazedbyHis grace says:

    Please pray for my 19 yr old daughter..she may have had a heart attack or stroke. She needs healing in other areas as well. The Lord led me here to ask, may you be blessed.

  37. phpatato says:


    Your post today @ 2:31 pm couldn’t have been worded any better! Thank you!

    I am in agreement with those who say enough of winter already! On the bright side though…..27 more days till we SPRING AHEAD and 36 more days till the first day of spring! I am resisting the urge to start tally marking my bedroom wall.

    I often find myself gazing out my patio door looking toward the sky and inwardly crying Even so, come, Lord Jesus. I’ve become very weary. I don’t know if it’s because I am getting older, with new and increased aches and pains which is tainting my outlook, but life truly is getting harder. The world outside is getting darker. My optimistic outlook is turning into pessimism and I dislike admitting that. I am looking forward to spring, my favourite time of year. I am hoping my bleak frame of mind melts away with the snow.

  38. poohpity says:

    AmazedbyHis grace, prayers are going up to ask the Holy Spirit to pray and direct our prayers for your daughter and you.

    quietgrace, thank you I do. :-) I pray that you will trust and depend on the Lord for all that you need as well.

  39. phpatato says:


    Please know that I will keep your daughter in my prayers. I will also be praying for you as well. May the healing hand of the Lord rest upon your daughter and bring her a complete recovery. May He surround you with His comfort and keep you in His peace.



  40. SFDBWV says:

    AmazedbyHis grace, I pray that this morning as I read over last evenings comments your heart is lifted and your prayers answered.

    You and your daughter are in our prayers.


  41. SFDBWV says:

    I don’t get much of an opportunity to watch the winter Olympics in Sochi, but I can see their weather there on the Black Sea is better than ours.

    Still I do enjoy somewhat the events.

    I am sorry if I offend any one, but I had a chance for a little while yesterday evening to watch the “Curling” event between the USA and Norway.

    Amazing to think of these fellows as athletes, but then they do have to be able to stand up and slide on the ice without falling down, so I guess that talent can be seen as athletic.

    When I think of watching things that are just a little shy of exciting, golf, curling and watching paint dry seem to come to mind.

    However that doesn’t seem to deter the enthusiasm of the commentators as they bring us the play by play of a game of sliding a rock down a lane of ice in slow motion.

    Well any way maybe today or tomorrow I will get to see the more exciting events such as skiing, ski jumping or luge. Though I do doubt the sanity of those who participate.

    Ok just having a little deep winter humor. 05 degrees here but not snowing today.


  42. BruceC says:


    I will pray for your daughter’s healing in the name of Christ.


    I think curling was invented by folks with long winters to keep from going stir crazy.
    Interesting comparison to watching paint dry. It reminded me that sometimes I wonder if my Lord is looking at my life and just seeing “paint dry”. If so I pray His forgiveness and ask for His guidance to help me along. I desire that the “dried paint” become a masterpiece in His eyes; for His glory.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  43. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Bruce, its dropped to 02 degrees as the sun starts to rise over the hill.

    Too often we see the paintings of our lives as an abstract painting or some perhaps as finger paintings, however i think your right, to Jesus they are all masterpieces.

    I talked with our friend Bob in Cornwall and they have had historic storms and flooding in all of southern England. He is ok, but the harbor there has been destroyed and in need or major repair.

    Stay warm


  44. bullwinkle says:

    Steve, I think that one must participate in either golf or curling to enjoy the nuances of the sport. My youngest son is an avid curler and is one of the most athletic people you will ever find. While I enjoy golf because it was extremely challenging to become even somewhat competent. The greatest players in the world are always challenged to improve.
    Quietgrace, may the God of all mercy and hope grant you peace and strength. I pray that your daughter’s health will be restored.
    When I read Mart’s comments above, my initial thought was from the old hymn: “When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be.” As we see the challenges of this life it is difficult to imagine a time when all struggles will end.

  45. poohpity says:

    Bruce, I think it is neat that they turned a freezing pond into fun for relaxation and a little friendly competition in the winter. Turning lemons into lemonade or glass half full kinda thinking. I think a majority of the sports came from that type of beginnings. A little research on the game takes it to a whole different sphere of thinking and you can see where the sport comes in and the strategy of play. Just being around a community of people enjoying life is so great and can lift anyone’s spirits.

  46. poohpity says:

    Making the most and enjoying what we are given can bring a little fun to life, bringing heaven to earth. I do not think we are called to do grand acts but the little things like even a smile or a kind word can light up someone’s life.

  47. Artle says:

    The comments this morning reminded me that, though we are all “athletes” for Jesus, we have different talents and play different sports. Some perhaps have a stronger faith, some a stronger hope and some a stronger love (borrowing from Paul’s treatise on spiritual gifts).

    Chapter 12 of 1 Corinthians starts with Paul writing about spiritual gifts and ends with his statement, “And I show you a still more excellent way”, after which he launches into the excellence of love in chapter 13, and wraps up with, “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13 NASB)

    I read this as: We have a bunch of gifts, but three main gifts to get us through, to sustain us while we are here and until we see “face to face” and “know fully”; faith, hope and love. While the greatest is love, all three are part of the equation, available, distinguishable and needed because we cannot see clearly or know everything until we do.

  48. Artle says:

    Continuing: Hope seems to be the gift (talent) that comes most easily to us. I first hoped. I had been told there was something more, and oh how I hoped it was true, and this before I knew anything of faith or love.

    Hope can sustain us until the faith kicks in which will allow the full measure of Love, all by His Grace.

  49. SFDBWV says:

    A local preacher and I used to be on a county committee and often would travel together to and from meetings an hour from home.

    He would wave at every car, truck or motorcycle that came against us in traffic; every one, with out fail.

    That seemed a little eccentric to me so I ask him if he knew all of those people and he said he wasn’t sure who any of them were, but didn’t want to be accused of not recognizing any one who knew him and thought he was being unfriendly by not waving; so he just waved at everyone.

    So it is with conversation; we can either say nothing at all and so think we have not offended anyone, or say something and be sure to have offended someone.

    My apologies to you and your son Bullwinkle, as I was merely having a little fun this morning, now I am sorry I did as my joy is quenched.


  50. Artle says:

    Side note to 1 Corinthians 13:12 NASB: We need faith, hope and love, because we do not know and we cannot see. Paul was aware of our ignorance and blindness.

    Just something to keep in mind as we struggle to see clearly and know fully before Sight and Knowledge are actually ours.

  51. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Keeping your (young!) daughter in my prayers this morning, Amazed. May the Lord’s healing presence fill the room where she is receiving medical care, and give you the assurance of her recovery.

    Got to see the men’s and women’s downhill and the men’s speed skating last evening. Only one event was live. The rest were recap. Alex Bilodeau’s gold medal in mogul skiing was especially touching to me, as the cameras constantly turned to his brother Frederic cheering as mightily as he could. Together, they have raised a million dollars + for cerebral palsy research.

    45F here on the Pacific Coast — rain. This will melt the 12″ of snow we have accumulated. School and many events cancelled since last Thursday. Some welcome time for reflection and prayer, but cabin fever is a threat. Time to go out and shovel or play in the white stuff!

    The news, as you mention Steve, of 8 months of flood conditions in S. England is heart breaking. Saw that pumps have been brought in from the Netherlands to move massive amounts of water back into rivers, while levees are being created as quickly as possible.

    Blessed day to all,

  52. quietgrace says:

    Amazed I too am praying for recovery/healing of your precious daughter. Praying God’s peace will comfort you in this time of distress. May your love be multiplied to bring strength and healing to your daughter’s heart.

    Blessings, quietgrace

  53. quietgrace says:

    @phpatato-How are you doing today? I was thinking about what you said yesterday about getting older, aches, pains, and the bleakness of the world. All of those things do affect me also, yet, somehow God’s grace gets us through, doesn’t it? Wow, amazing grace, how sweet the sound…
    I find comfort in that old song. May you be blessed beyond measure today.

  54. oneg2dblu says:

    Good day all… Prayer is always or greatest need and contribution that we can bring into all lifes challenges.
    For those who are not feeling very bright and purky finding that our aches and pains and other darker things seem to rule our thoughts, it can be all part of the aging process as our bodies do not produce as many feel good chemicals as when we were younger. Also this time of year has its own set of problems called, S.A.D. and that affects many people this time of year as well.

    There are natural foods that can elevate mood and get the brain producing some more good stuff. I am not an expert on this, but I beleive that bananas for one help create mood elevating chemicals in the body.
    Dark chocolate also…
    Just don’t go Ape over them, eating nothing else, as they can be fattening. :)

    A quick search on the internet may be helpful.
    I’m feeling better just sharing that. :0
    Have a blessed day, Gary

  55. quietgrace says:

    Gary, thanks for sharing all those good reminders of things we can do to make ourselves feel a little better. Dark chocolate is my go-to drug of choice as well as exercise (limited, of course lol!) and of course prayer! Yesterday the wind-chill was -27 but I still bundled up and went out for a brisk 10 minute walk and it helped tremendously with the cabin fever. Going to do the same today as soon as I get off the couch, but my kitty is sleeping so soundly and I don’t want to disturb her!!!!! I also have an exercise bike I hate but do get on it from time to time.
    blessings, Grace

  56. BruceC says:

    You are right about the chocolate Gary. I think it’s ‘comfort food” for the body. We keep a bag of Hershey’s Kisses in the frige all the time along with some Ghirardelli assorted chocolates. Mmmmmmmm!

    Along the lines of things getting bleaker I must say that I think they are and also that as we grow in the Lord we “groan” for His presence. That very thing we were created for. When I hear beautiful praise music (or even beautiful music of other genres) it touches my spirit in a way that lifts and humbles all at the same time. And it reminds me deep down inside that no matter the darkness; His light is brighter still.
    God bless all here!

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  57. SFDBWV says:

    Minus 12 degrees again this morning with the promise of 10 or more inches of snow tonight.

    I don’t think there is enough chocolate to help me enjoy much more of this winter; though we too are fans of chocolate.

    AmazedbyHis grace how are things with your daughter?


  58. SFDBWV says:

    We watched only a few minutes of the Olympics last night as it was a very busy day that ended late.

    We got to watch snow boarders qualifying for the finals in what they called the “Pipe”.

    No doubt about it this time these fellows have to be *athletic* in order to do the loops and spins and soaring flights while still being able to stay on their feet.

    However it reminded me of the many youngsters I see wasting away their lives skateboarding everywhere and I wonder once again why is this an Olympic sport?

    Is it because so many people do it? Is it because of the commercial aspect? Is it really a sport?

    Some events are more like watching the circus than watching a sporting event.

    I don’t know why I am seeing so much of the Olympics in such a cynical view; I don’t want to, but it’s what is coming into view and how I see it.

    I get it when people compete in races against each other or against the clock, but not when a panel of judges decides your score.

    Well I suppose I’ve upset someone, so I’ll say I am sorry in advance and move on with my morning.

    I too hope all of you are blessed today, and that our Lord calls us up.


  59. bullwinkle says:

    Steve, I was not offended at all by your comments. Sorry if my response was interpreted as such. Each “sport” has so many differing aspects, not certain we can even define what sport is. I agree that unless one is captured by an activity it doesn’t seem very interesting. At the risk of offending a great number of people, I have the same reaction to NASCAR, yet one of my children is glued to the TV as people make numerous left hand turns.
    Will be praying for all of you on the east coast as this nasty winter storm bears down on you.

  60. SFDBWV says:

    Pete, NASCAR is a left turn for three hours, not a sport nor does it show sportsmanship or honorable behavior.

    However if you ever went to a race it is the night before camp activities that make it popular. All the things the world loves, drinking, partying, nudety, everybody is very friendly and its a one for all all for one event. The race is just a reason to be there.

    Just as a side observation this mornings newspaper cartoon of “Dagwood and Blondie”, little Elmo says “That’s a funny sport, Mr. B and Dagwood says, “It’s called Curling, Elmo, But I don’t know how it Became a part of the Olympics.”

    Little Elmo then says, “I’ll look it up on my smartphone, Mr. B , it’s easy as pie.” Whereupon the next scene is Elmo and Dagwood eating pie in the kitchen and Little Elmo say’s “It’s almost too easy to pull your strings Mr. B.” Dagwood responds by saying “I don’t care, Elmo.” as he enjoys eating his pie.

    Be at peace today Pete and enjoy whatever it is that makes you smile.


  61. poohpity says:

    Steve just out of curiosity if you know something might offend someone what would make you continue to write it and then apologize? That seems sort of empty. Isn’t knowing before that small voice inside of God that says warning don’t go there, look before you leap? I don’t care if it is wrong I am going to do it anyway.

  62. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    I am okay with expert panels establishing point ratings for style and difficulty in events like skating and skiing in world-class competition.

    Fell off my chair laughing at the “one long left turn” description. How true! Much like watching paint dry — or a glacier move (melt?) — except for NASCAR’s added feature of occasional maiming and death. I am not cynical on this sport — simply do not believe it is a sport. Haven’t attended an event, but it sounds like 1st c. Corinth. Idolatry has not “evolved,” it seems.

    Also found no time for Olympics watching last evening. Busy day.

    Prayers going up for the mountains of West Virginia, and your community Steve. Also, all in that region who are suffering from snow, ice and windy conditions. That system moved through the coastal West late last week. Forecast to be 50F with rain today here.


  63. poohpity says:

    James 3:5-6 NIV In the Olympics they have great control of their bodies but the tongue can cause damage yet to control that is greater than anything else. They should put that in the Olympics as sport to master, lol.

  64. poohpity says:

    Forecast is 83 here above normal temps. What a so very, very hot summer it will be here, yikes!

  65. quietgrace says:

    Good morning all! I was reading ps. 19 and was struck by verse 5b that compares the sun to a “great athlete eager to run the race”. NLT I forget how much work these athletes put into their sport. Even Paul compared the Christian life to a sport that we are to run to win.

    How am I running my race today?

  66. quietgrace says:

    I continue also to pray for those in the winter storms.

  67. poohpity says:

    quietgrace, that is very good thing to think about, “How am I running my race today?”. Do I have the goal in mind that I am called for, being a good and faithful servant? Living intentionally to bring Glory to God or is there another purpose that is primarily on my mind just getting through life however and whatever it takes focusing on the moment rather than preparation for eternity?

  68. Artle says:

    John Maxwell tells a story about his wife being asked by group of women if her husband John made her happy. John expected to be showered with praises, but his wife’s response was no, her happiness was not based on what her husband did or did not do. I agree with her. We cannot make someone else happy or sad. The task to achieve either state is entirely in the hands of the person who chooses each day where they plan to go and how they plan to get there.

    I freely admit that I sometimes (maybe too often) get my feelings hurt by things people say or do, but if I remember the awesome big picture, I realize that those things do not really matter, because, well, they just do not really matter. It’s my heart and only what I do affects it’s condition.

  69. poohpity says:

    Or shows it’s condition.

  70. Artle says:

    True, but not necessarily conclusive. What shows of another’s heart is only perception to us and a mere glimmer of what God sees; also part of why the final judgment is His and not ours.

  71. quietgrace says:

    Some of us are very sensitive by nature. Fallen nature, that is. Only God can lift our eyes away from ourselves if we will let him. I am one that is overly sensitive, a blessing and a curse at the same time. But my hope lies not in what’s in my heart, it’s condition, but in the One who gave me a new heart to worship Him no matter the circumstances.

  72. oneg2dblu says:

    I would venture to say, and hopefully without doing harm, that most of us have never made even one left turn at over two hundred miles per hour.
    There is a lot more going on in that vehicle than just turning into your driveway.
    Anyone, and I mean anyone, who can withstand those forces and the concentration it takes to stay in the race and out of trouble, where split second decissions that are life and death must constantly be made, doing it all at the same time and for five hundred miles at race speed, to me, are nothing but pure athletes and very well conditioned ones at that!
    Ever seen the athleticism it takes to be able to change a tire in seconds, make minute adjustments and keep that race car in the game, doing something very skilled and using many elements of athleticism to jump over that wall not be in anyone elses way and while doing your job as fast as possible?
    Every member of those teams are very well trained and proven able to do what they have to when they have to and under great pressure and to their best ability every time?
    Do any of us measure up?
    Like others have said until you do it or you compete at their level, you can not know how to walk in their shoes.
    Nothing is ever as easy as it looks on tv… and when you are on your couch and judging from such a great distance experientially, you really have nothing more than an outsider’s opinion to rely on.
    Praise God, we have not been called to be punished to the point of death for something we are innocent of, to give up our life on a cross today for another, and think that we could do it if we were called to take another’s place becuase it does look that difficult.
    I for one do not belong behind that wheel at any Nascar event, because I am not trained for it, or atheltic enough to participate in their sport at that level.
    I’m feeling lucky just to still have a driver’s license. :0
    Just sharing another perspective I trust will be for entertainment and that is all.
    with love, Gary

  73. oneg2dblu says:

    quietgrace… well said. That apple of thought has not fallen very far from this tree. Yes, sensitivity is both a blessing and a curse, sometimes they are separate and sometimes similtainious.
    Having experienced a new life born again in Christ, opens us up to another whole world of sensitivities
    we are so blessed to have. Gary

  74. phpatato says:

    Good afternoon everyone

    Grace – Thank you for asking how I am. Today, as with each new day, I am doing one day at a time. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never be mine. (that was one of my Dad’s favourite songs). I pray each day that I end up one step closer in my Walk and not two steps behind; happy with even a baby step. And may I say, with my aches and pains, running is not in my vocabulary any longer. People who are running are having to go around me, but as long as I keep going forward and not give up, I’ll hit that finish line! :-)

    Steve, you already know, Pete – I am a Nascar fan. I’ve been to Martinsville Va to see a race there. Steve, I agree that for a lot of people, the tailgate partying is part of the experience. But on the other hand, I don’t know of any other sport where there is prayer before each and every race. There is a tremendously strong Christian presence in Nascar. There is Motor Racing Outreach (MRO), Joe Gibbs Racing who fields the 3 car team of the 11, 18 and 20 cars, (Joe Gibbs was coach of the Washington Redskins football team) is a wonderful witness for Jesus Christ, several drivers profess Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour – young Trevor Bayne who won the Daytona 500 in 2011 as the youngest driver in it’s history at 20 years and 1 day old, Dale Jarrett, Mark Martin, Bobby Labonte, Kyle Petty are just a few of the more popular drivers, several pit crew members, tv commentators – Darrell Waltrip, Bob Dillner, Matt Clark. A google search of MRO will show you their testimonies. And in my opinion, Nascar is a sport. It takes endurance, precision, guts and team work. Pit stops – fuel, 4 tires changed, suspension adjustment, driver refreshed and windshield cleaned – all done in 11 to 13 seconds…SECONDS. These people are athletes as much as a cross country skier is. And as Bill would say….this is my opinion. Take it for what it’s worth. :-)

    And with the green flag ready to drop on a new season of racing starting in Daytona Beach Fl on Feb 23, Go Joe Gibbs Racing!!!!

  75. poohpity says:

    Artle, it is not for us to try and see another’s heart unless it is to understand or know them but for us to see our own heart condition by the things that come out of our mouths or the way we think and in that way we can cut others some slack and rather than judgement show grace. Just like it is not wise to say anything about participating in an activity as to whether it is a sport or not if we have never been in the athletes skis, skates, snowboards it is just giving an opinion with no facts as to the skill level, strength or endurance needed to perform.

  76. poohpity says:

    You know like an arm chair quarterback.

  77. AmazedbyHis grace says:

    Thank you all for your prayers, we are still in need. She refused to go to the ER stating that her intense episode was from de-hydration. She has had problems with rapid heartbeat, dizziness, breathing, passing out and cardiologists had determined that I was just a worried mom all her young life. All of the above happened plus tingling down her left side, then she lost complete feeling in her arms for a bit. Her friends tried to get her to go to the ER as well. She’s very depressed because I am standing with the Lord on something and she’s agreeing with the world. (Her dad agreed with the world, but he passed away.)She feels rejected and I try and assure her that my deep love for her will never change. She’s an amazing young woman (many people agree) and had an amazing relationship with the Lord. Along with healing, please pray that she turns back to Jesus, begins reading His word again and is filled with the Holy Spirit.

  78. poohpity says:

    The Lord is faithful to never leave or forsake us even when we walk away from Him. He seems to ask us to put all our cares for our children into His completely able hands and trust Him. Often times we hold so tightly that we feel it depends on us and not on the Lord. He is totally able to work in her life beyond anything we can imagine when we let go and let Him.

  79. remarutho says:

    Good Evening All —

    May the heavenly watchers guard your daughter’s way, Amazed. At just the right moment, the breath-taking love of Jesus will surely pierce the armor of her heart. God is good. I will hope with you.


  80. bullwinkle says:

    Mart stated: May be a small foretaste of a better day when all of the nations of the world come together to another mountain, with a far greater interest, to celebrate a shared victory—after recycling their weapons of war—for the glory of the Creator who suffered and died for all of us. (Isa 2:2-4)
    It certainly was not my intention to create a “weapon of war”. My only point was that each person has their own interests and sport is different for each of us. I agree with Gary that the athleticism of drivers and pit crews can not be questioned. I also agree with Steve that man can take any activity and turn it into a reason to act in an ungodly manner. Let’s not forget that the vast majority of people on this blog will come together to share that final victory simply because Jesus chose to call us. One of my favorite verses to live by is:(Eph 4:1 NIV)

  81. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning fellow BTA bloggers, 1 foot of snow over night and still snowing and why I haven’t stopped in to say hello until now.

    All my life I hear it said to never discuss, politics or religion with your friends because you will lose a friend; I suppose I can add *sports* to that list.

    Also all my life I have had to work hard to provide for my family and not just to earn money, but to provide a good place to live and the care of all things around me.

    I have never had time to play nor have I ever given in to *sports worship*. To be blunt, as I have been, I could care less about who’s on top and who ain’t in the world of sports.

    Having said that I will say no more about any sport just in case one of you amongst us may be offended.

    Prayers for you and your daughter Grace.


  82. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    It seems to me the Olympic Games give young athletes and national teams an opportunity to see the vision of international unity and cooperation. The games do not mean the end of competition. Heaven, if I understand the apocalypse, will harbor no competition, strife, unforgiveness or war among people.

    We have not seen the coming of Christ’s kingdom in its fullness. Reports out of Syria, Somalia and the C.A.R. are evidence. Security around the Olympic village is intense. Prayers for peace are going up from people of faith — perhaps this year will be different…

    “Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.”


  83. bullwinkle says:

    Steve, glad to see you living the life that God has called you to. I love hearing about your life and seeing all that you do for your family and community. Know that there are many holding you, Glenna and Matt up in prayer often. Love you brother, and look forward to the day we meet face to face.

  84. poohpity says:

    Seeing the athletes admire each other and the abilities they are given seems like a kind of peace that we may experience in heaven as all the puzzle pieces one day come together. No piece is any more important than another they all form a beautiful picture.

  85. poohpity says:

    Steve, as long as I have known you I feel nothing but respect for all that you do in and out of your home. You have touched my life and I am grateful. Love Deb

  86. poohpity says:

    Steve, I see in you the gift of service from the Holy Spirit.

  87. quietgrace says:

    Dear, dear Amazed,
    I am praying for you and your daughter, and if it helps just wanted you to know that I too have a prodigal (son) that was once an on-fire believer but because of his dad’s influence has also gone the way of the world-with a vengeance, I might add. I pray for him and write/email notes of love and encouragement, as he won’t take my calls. But I know that love wins out! I was the first believer in my family and eventually, after years of praying, sending notes about my faith in Christ and just sending my love, both parents became believers; my dad just 6 weeks before he died at the age of 68, and my mom shortly after my dad died. She lived another 7 years and became a SS teacher and lay leader in her church and a blessing to many with her gifts of service and exhortation.

    I know how difficult it is to watch a child wander away from the faith, but, try to focus on God and what He would have you to be doing while we all wait for our prodigals to return.

    May God grant you the desires of your heart, and bring your precious daughter safely through her wanderings.

  88. oneg2dblu says:

    As we all encounter this race of life we are in, and with each in their own way, we who know Christ, know that we know, we know.
    We all know how we got here, we were called.
    We all know where we are going, into the Arms of the Loving Caller.
    The world has no place in our race for their closed ears and fixed eyes are set upon other things, and we know that as well having come out of that very world, and into where we are today, Under His Loving Discipline.

    Our choosing separation from God, as in our choosing to sin after receiving His calling and gift of Salvation, is our walking away, and is one way He teaches some of us His hardest lessons, that it is us who needs to return.

    AmazedbyHisgrace, may your daughter become again Under Discipline, and be totally Amazed by Grace, and learn this lesson well, having “another chance” to Praise God for it.

    In His timing, He will come and it will be perfect timing for those servants who are doing His Will, and perfectly justified for those He will continue to punish.

    My prayer is that we get to see a returning of all prodicals, “Who when they came to their senses returned,” and soon as well.

    Their Heavenly Father awaits their return, expectantly always watching for them, as it is His Will that none should perish.

    Come Jesus!

  89. poohpity says:

    All who stood at the foot of Mount Sinai feared God’s retribution, punishment and did not want to go near to God but then came Mount Zion which was Jesus who offered Himself as punishment for our sins making available a close relationship with God through grace, forgiveness, atonement and mercy. We can scare people into fearing the punishment of God by pushing them back to Mt Sinai and the old covenant or share the Good News of the new covenant.(Hebrews 12:18-21 NIV; Hebrews 12:22-24 NIV) A terrifying approach to God or a joyful approach at Mount Zion. Jesus made a vast difference in our relationship and restoration to God the Father.

  90. poohpity says:

    Isaiah had a beautiful gift to see the future when all nations will pour forth those who’s names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. That is the Lamb’s book aren’t you glad it is not up to us to make that determination, I bet the contents sure would look a lot different when we use our own criteria.

  91. quietgrace says:

    BruceC I was wondering how your sister-in-law is doing now?

  92. BruceC says:


    Thank you for asking. She has not had surgery as of yet; but I will post a prayer request when she does. Thee doctors say that there may be other complications also.

    Soli Deo Gloria!

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