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Staying with the Story

DSC00845We need to stay with the story. If we don’t stay with the unfolding drama of the Bible (looking forward to Christ in the first testament—and back to him in the second) we can end up consumed by worry.

Take Paul for instance. In the 9th chapter of his letter to the Romans he admits to being so concerned for his countrymen that he wishes that he could trade his relationship to Christ for their rescue (Rom 9:1-3).

Yet three chapters later he’s expressing a different emotion. By the time he gets to the end of chapter 11, the agony of his concern is replaced by his conviction that the glory of God’s goodness is beyond words.

After facing head on the hard thought that God shows mercy and compassion on his terms rather than ours (Rom 9;15-18), Paul concludes (in the paraphrase of The Message): “In one way or another, God makes sure that we all experience what it means to be outside so that he can personally open the door and welcome us back in. Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out.

Is there anyone around who can explain God? Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do? Anyone who has done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advice?

Everything comes from him; Everything happens through him; Everything ends up in him. Always glory! Always praise! Yes. Yes. Yes.” (Rom 11:32-36)

We need to learn from what we see Paul doing here. By moving from one of the most difficult of all truths to overflowing emotions of praise, he seems to be telling us that—regardless of what we might be thinking at the moment– as we find him  in Christ, God  is far better, far wiser, and far more loving than we ever thought possible.

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47 Responses to “Staying with the Story”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    “Sticking to the story”…I know of so many people as well as denominations, sects and cults that stop within the “story” and establish a *religion* based on where they stop.

    How often I have said that I envy the simple minded among us for not *needing* to know any more than there is a God and he wants me to lead a simple life of helping my neighbor and causing no problems for myself or others.

    *But* life presents many problems that we try and understand, like “why did this happen to me/us?

    Blessed are the simple, because they just accept life’s unpleasantness’s as the way things are and suffer on in silence.

    But the taste of that tree of the knowledge of good and evil stays with us and so we see things in that dual view…good and evil.

    Staying with the story from Genesis to Revelation has many diverted stories as well as stories within a story; all meant to enlighten and instruct.

    If we are ask to surmise or recap this story then do we all see the same conclusion?

    No we don’t, because we are all at different places in understanding the story or a least in understanding it relevant to what can understand and what God allows for us to understand.

    We can relate to another what we may understand, but cannot impart to them what we understand.

    I laughed this morning when I read Foreverblessed’s comment thanking Mart for stepping in, because clearly there was a storm rising within the conversation and Mart was needed in order to prevent its eruption.

    Why it is that some can’t allow for the thoughts of another to be expressed can only be found in understanding they are stuck within the story and not looking nor able to conclude beyond that place and not willing for another to be.

    This topic has a lot of room to grow, I hope we are gracious enough to allow it to.


  2. tracey5tgbtg says:

    I am touched by the Message version of Romans 11:32-36. Thanks for including it. It’s good in NIV too. The message of God’s grace is beautiful in any words.

    Great message on Discover the Word this morning.

  3. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    This morning, E Stanley Jones (Growing Spiritually, Parthenon, 1953) quoted John Calvin on “The Peace of God.” Calvin’s words:

    “God in a sudden conversion reduced my mind to a teachable frame.” This morning’s topic, it seems to me, points to such a surrender of my personal thinking about the matter of God’s will.

    Jones suggests that peace is an “obtainment,” not an “attainment,” and that God does not want us to “give our right arm” to have peace and assurance. Rather, he believes God is saying, “Give me your right hand, and I’ll lead you into it — free!”

    Can it be that the chaos of personal striving is quieted in acceptance: “Relax, Receive, Release?”

    As you stated, Mart:
    “After facing head on the hard thought that God shows mercy and compassion on his terms rather than ours,” then (Rom 9:15, 16, 17, 18). Isn’t it through staying with the Bible’s wisdom — the story of God’s faithfulness — that my heart and mind are changed?


  4. SFDBWV says:

    We are only able to speak of or understand matters based upon the scope of our experiences and knowledge.

    When we talk to a three year old child we talk to them in a manner that they can understand, very differently then you may talk to a 30 year old adult with full faculties.

    If we were able to talk with a person who may live deep in a remote jungle with no knowledge of any of the modern world we live in we would have to find common ground in order to be understood.

    Thinking along that train of thought then how do you suppose God communicates to us?

    He (God) created us in His image/likeness, He gave us intelligence, emotions, and the ability to speak and hear.

    In the scope of our modern understanding He also gave us a Book from which we could *begin* to know Him and what it is He wants from us and what He intends to do with us.

    Solomon’s conclusion of life was to fear God and keep His commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14).

    Would I show wisdom or foolishness to try and rewrite Wisdom’s conclusion?

    God’s in control and because I believe that, sometimes I don’t understand the evil I see done, but because I believe that, I have to walk sometimes in blind trust, believing that His conclusion is best and far above my hopes.


  5. quietgrace says:

    “God makes sure that we are on the outside so that He can personally open the door” sounds like God wants to know us personally, to me. How can we know Him personally unless He introduces us to Himself, personally? What a God! And all we have to do is to turn toward Him and receive what He wants to give us. Such Good News!

  6. poohpity says:

    I know those who will not do anything because they worry about turning God away from them, they do not dance, or listen to certain music or go to the movies or this or that, etc.. Then there are those who feel that they are so good that they have earned or deserve a place in God’s kingdom by reminding everyone of all that they do, tithe, help the poor, feed the hungry, etc.. Both seem to base what God does on their behavior rather than on God. God’s love and grace are so much bigger than us and it is experiencing God’s grace that changes us and draws us unto Him. Acts 11:23 NIV

  7. blestsparrow says:

    When my daughter was little I would read her bedtime stories and so many times she wanted to jump from the front of the book to the back of the book not allowing me to read the complete story. I’ve been guilty myself of doing the same thing.
    I’ve learned so many times my outlook or perception on things many times is flawed, that we see the world not as it is, but as we are.
    We make evaluations from incorrect perceptions or incorrect facts. I interpet things from my personal values of my understanding. I rush and many times come to the wrong conclusions.
    God promised when the HolySpirit comes, he will lead and guide you into all truth. Truth which is accurate.
    Why is it, that we think we must understand everything or try to figure everything out? Is it EGO (edging God Out) or pride?
    I read again to day Psalm 139 and was so overwelmed that God is “All Seeing, All Knowing, in All Places (except sin) at All Times. Just the magnitude of that concept is so mind boggling.
    If I understood everything then there would be no need of living by faith or living in a total dependance upon him.

    I have heard it said the Apostle Paul’s IQ was equal to that of someone who had 3PHD’s and yet Paul counted it all as “dung” as nothing that he might know and understand Christ, him crucified and the power of his resurrection. Paul had the one of the greatest minds who ever lived and yet he referred to himself as chief of sinners and the least of the least. Even with all his God given knowledge, called up into the third heaven and his wisdom – he reminds us –

    “For now we see through a glass darkly,and we know only in part – but in that day we shall know even as we are known” (1st Corinthians 13:12) Our partial understanding will stop when we see him face to face.

  8. belleu says:

    Hi Everyone,Sorry I’ve been away.

    Romans 11:32 made me think about my own life. One of the reasons I knew I needed God was because of my disobedience. I knew I wasn’t living a good life. So, in His mercy he gave us conviction or a sense of guilt to bring us to himself. I guess that is what that verse means, at least to me.

    That God is far wiser and loving than I can imagine is certainly true. I’ve realized lately how little I know and understand Him. When he speaks to my heart sometimes it seems He tell me things that are opposite to what I think. He tells me life is beautiful while I am thinking it is ugly. So, now I look for beauty and I see it when my sister gives her guitar to a homeless guy who wants one, or when my mother helps her neighbor. The guy may be homeless and the neighbor may be in trouble yet there is beauty there. My grandson may have died, but there is beauty in how my daughters have come close to God because of it. God constantly surprises me so I think that means I have a lot to learn.

  9. SFDBWV says:

    I don’t have the statistics in front of me as I write, but I am sure if we only went back in time 100 years, far fewer people could read a single word than today, and if 200 years fewer and so forth.

    Yet Christianity grew from a handful of people to multiple billions, but there is a problem on the horizon as church membership is in decline.

    Is part of the problem that the more we learn, the more questions we ask, and the more questions we ask the more the *religion* of Christianity is questioned?

    If I look at the obvious that God is a being I cannot comprehend, and I am just one of billions and billions of His creation and am trying to figure out why I am here and what is my purpose; how does “staying with the story” answer or console my questions.

    For me *life* is a companion to the *story*.

    How do any of you *hear* from God?

    Certainly we all *learn* of God by reading the *story* of the Bible, yet God speaks to us in many other diverse ways, concerning perhaps *our story* and how it is interwoven into His.

    I hear God in the voices of my son, my wife in people I meet on the street; in quiet time and sometimes when He shouts.

    And have over the story of my life in dreams and visions.

    Why would a Being, who is so far and above my ability to comprehend, bother with me on a one to one level?

    What is it He wants me to know? And why?

    Could it be that in spite of all that information found in the pages of the Bible, in spite of the ageless train wreck that mankind has produced, and in part recorded in the Bible, that He has considered me not only worth His attention, but of His sacrifice as well?

    One thing I have learned from it all is that *you* are more important to me than me, and if God loves me as I have outlined here, just imagine how much you too are loved by Him.

    Be at peace, because if the *story* is all about Him, He is all about *you*.


  10. poohpity says:

    I used to base love on a human emotion and then I grew apathetic when the word is tossed around so much the meaning gets trashed. Falling in and out of love with a person, love of cars, love a good tender steak and then base God’s love on that.

    What drew me to God in the first place was the extreme measure that He went through to show His type of love for all humankind that is such Good News (John 3:16; 1 John 4:19). No matter what a person has done, what their religion, social status, gender, disability, skin color God wants us to know Him and His kinda love, the kind described in 1 Cor 13:4-7 NLT. Many make a choice to hate that which is different nor want to spend the time to get to really know the unfamiliar.

    As one reads the scripture and gets to know God through them you can see how God has pursued mankind with an everlasting, faithful love, full of mercy over and over again. I have to say there are times that my passion grows lukewarm but God is always there to ignite the fire again to remember what brought me to Him in the first place.

  11. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    The worry you mention, Mart, that consumes us when we lay hold of supposed “control of our own lives,” is genuine, it seems to me. Thousands, perhaps millions cannot sleep because they believe that they alone are steering the ship of their lives. These self-made or self-starting persons do not honor God as the source of human breath, heartbeat and pulse.

    Heard this little news report on the radio this morning:

    “In a peculiar ‘sign-of-the-times’ moment last Friday, Suzi LeVine was sworn in as the United States’ newest Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein by raising her right hand and placing the left on a digital copy of the Constitution. Instead of a paper-bound book, she swore the oath on an e-reader. It is believed to be the first Oath of Office consecrated in non-book form.” (nextgov.com)

    The buzz is about the official taking the oath of office on an e-reader instead of “a book.” My deep concern is that she and her family believe so fully in the Constitution (open to the 19th Amendment granting the vote to women), that they seem to pay more respect and honor to that document (actually derived from the God-given dignity of humanity) than to the story of God’s provision for us. Can it be we as a society have set aside the Holy Bible as some kind of “tradition” that needs to be replaced?

    It is The Book (that is the Holy Scriptures), not any derived law or idea, that is the source of genuine, inalienable freedoms or “rights.”

    The assurance and deep sense of peace we are granted in “staying with the story” is this:

    “…regardless of what we might be thinking at the moment – as we find him in Christ, God is far better, far wiser, and far more loving than we ever thought possible.” –Mart DeHaan

    I am praying many will encounter the risen Christ by learning the story about God’s love.


  12. remarutho says:

    Might better have said “learning the story about God’s love written in the Hebrew and Christian Bible.” Maru

  13. street says:

    Faith comes by hearing.

  14. quietgrace says:

    “…regardless of what we might be thinking at the moment – as we find him in Christ, God is far better, far wiser, and far more loving than we ever thought possible.” –Mart DeHaan

    I Cor. 13:8-13 NLT or whatever translation you wish says it all!!!

  15. quietgrace says:

    I particularly like v. 12 where it says, “like puzzling reflections”. Ever try to put a puzzle together without knowing what the end result is supposed to look like? Would be a very long challenge. That, I think, is how we know and experience God’s love, yet, with grace we can expect that it is much more than we could ever hope or imagine. But, we keep learning and the only way we can truly learn about love is by looking to and listening to God; asking Him the hard questions and accepting His answers, which are always full of hope and love.

  16. foreverblessed says:

    Years ago I got a book, a 40 day study, and it started with this: the bible is not about you, it is all about God.
    That statement did not ring a bell with me at all. I did not do the study either.
    So I liked very very much what Steve wrote:
    It is all about God, and God is all about you…
    Great stuff that is, that is more complete then the first quote:
    Everything in the bible is about God wanting us back within Him. It is God all about us.
    Everything that went wrong can be swallowed up by Jesus if we give it in faith to Him.
    Today I was in my church housegroup, and a young woman talked about that she was released from her great agony of something terrible that happened to her as a very little girl. A trauma, something that she could face. But with the help of God, she was in prayer, with many christians around her praying for her, and Jesus took her back to the instance, and now she saw that God was with her, had been all along, but she didn’t see. And God’s love was with her, and it was as if a veil covered that what happened at that moment. And she was comforted, and greatly relief-ed (how do you spell that).
    The story of God, who in Christ can change everything to the good. It is Christ who took all our infirmities, and worries, and disasters and sin to the cross. And they are tossed in the sea and are as far away from us as east is from the west.
    What a great story that was today, and what a freedom for the woman!

  17. refump says:

    Mart’s last paragraph states, “We need to learn from what we see Paul doing here. By moving from one of the most difficult of all truths to overflowing emotions of praise, he seems to be telling us that—regardless of what we might be thinking at the moment– as we find him  in Christ, God  is far better, far wiser, and far more loving than we ever thought possible”. My problem, and suspect many other’s problem is getting from point A to point B & staying at point B! One of my biggest struggles is with worry. No sooner do I give my fear/worry over to Him that I take it right back. This fear/worry is simply a lack of faith, but, is faith something we just order up or decide to have or is it forged out over long & difficult situations or events God allows? I know faith comes by hearing & hearing by the word of God, but what does that really mean? As Steve seem to say earlier that it seems so easy & simple for some but for others it is a moment by moment battle. ” Now praise be to the God & Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion, the God of all comfort, who comforts us in ALL our troubles SO that we may comfort others in their troubles”.

  18. poohpity says:

    If we stay with the story, there is nothing that we go through that God has not already seen in us, the way we think or the way we act yet seems to go to any lengths to help us in our weaknesses even our unbelief yet God is there. (Mark 9:24 NIV)

    Jesus did not turn away from Peter even when Peter denied vehemently that he even knew Him.(Luke 22:61-62 NIV) Jesus knew what Peter was going through inside yet made it a point that Peter would feel so much shame that he might walk away but Jesus. (Mark 16:7 NIV)

  19. poohpity says:

    It seems in most other religions folks give fruit, flowers, incenses, good works and lay them before their gods as a gift offering to appease. Our God wants us to bring our worries, trials, weaknesses, doubt, suffering, sicknesses, and sin as a gift offering of reliance, dependence and trust in the One who is above all. We come before God with empty hands, hearts and minds for God to fill us up so we can share what we have been give like refump suggested.

  20. poohpity says:

    It seems our love is fleeting and is dependent on how others treat us but God does not know how to not love us.

  21. remarutho says:

    Good Afternoon All —

    It seems to me, Pooh & Refump, that staying with the story helps us keep steady in the knowledge of God’s everlasting love:

    Lamentations 3:21, 22, 23, 24

    What is it about the human heart and mind that causes us to forget that God is not like us? God does not waver in his devotion (James 1:17).


  22. quietgrace says:

    Good evening all-

    Maru, to answer your question I think we forget that though we are made in the image of God, we will never know God completely through our damaged psyches. We sometimes forget that God is not like us at all, but we do have Jesus who revealed God to us. It takes faith to believe and trust that God is who He says He is, and does what He says He will do. Jesus said all we need is faith the size of a mustard seed. Sometimes that’s all I have, but its enough.

    Blessings, Grace

  23. street says:

    My Portion
    “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone in silence when it is laid on him; let him put his mouth in the dust–there may yet be hope; let him give his cheek to the one who strikes, and let him be filled with insults. For the LORD will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.
    –Lamentations 3:24-32

  24. quietgrace says:

    Street that is beautiful.

  25. lovely says:

    Hello Everyone
    Faith has already been given to us Romans 12:3, we just need to believe that and make our faith grow day by day. Psalm 85:10. I believe the key to growing in Faith is the love of Christ. Like all of us know how deep the love of God is. The key to that is to believe agree and walk in it. Other words, you must believe that God loves you in order for you to have Faith in Him. This is one of the most important truth that the “evil” one are always trying to steal. We agree in the earlier post, he uses deception. If he can get you to believe God doesn’t love you it will be hard for you to believe His word let alone have faith in Him. Many has been deceived , sadly Christians too if they don’t know the word .
    I’ve experience this; God loves simple faith. Although we need to be wise what we hear from the world, but towards God’s truth and what He says.. be like a little child , believe , agree and received His word
    Matthew 18:3
    And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

  26. pegramsdell says:

    God is love and I am learning everyday how to love. I haven’t got it all figured out yet, but, everyday He shows me more love. How does He do that? lol….He is love and love saved me and cherished me. Thank You Lord God! …….and perfect love cast out ALL fear!

  27. SFDBWV says:

    I came across this quote I would like to share with you all.

    “All the secretes of the world are contained in books. Read at your own risk.”
    Lemony Snicket

    Early on in my adult Christian experience I chanced upon a casual conversation with an old crusty preacher whom I knew. In an awkward attempt to find common ground with him I had said that I especially liked the comment from Paul that the more he tried to do that which was right, the more he did that which was wrong. Also the fact that Peter, though bold, failed in doing right by Jesus. I said I could identify with both of these men.

    What I got was a scathing lecture in how I could never compare myself to these great men of God.

    This same old preacher once told an old friend of his that he had been a preacher for over 60 years and never had to work a day in his life, laughing he called it a “racket”.

    When I read the NT, most of which was written by Paul, I can see a development of Paul from his conversion to his last moments alive.

    For the old preacher I spoke about, he never developed nor changed in all the years of his being employed by his church, it was just a job and an opportunity to be treated *special*.

    There are a great many questions I have about life and why so many things are as they are; questions only God can answer. Or perhaps said better, questions I would only accept from God Himself.

    An old worn out adage goes something like this, “Be careful what you pray for, you just might get it.”

    Are you really ready or able to receive the deeper secrets of God? Only God knows that and only God will open your eyes, ears or heart to receive such things, when the time is right for you to receive, not before.

    Jesus told us not to cast our pearls before the swine. I understand this to mean not to waste your wisdom or knowledge on the ears of someone who can’t or won’t appreciate it.

    Do you think that Jesus would offer advice that He Himself doesn’t follow?

    Hold tightly to that which you know and let the Lord give you peace.

    Sometimes the best prayer is just praise and let God do the rest.


  28. poohpity says:

    If we really trust God do we need to know the why’s? If we get stuck in asking those type of questions I bet self pity, frustration and anger will be the result.

  29. poohpity says:

    Then it really isn’t trust at all.

  30. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    It seems to me Mart has introduced the theme you mention, Steve: That the very character of the Apostle Paul morphed over time. His hallmark back in his temple days was anger, impatience and even violence.

    1) The went around swinging his own weight and influence to eradicate the “heretical” sect known as “The Way.” (Acts 9:1-2)

    2) Next, in Romans chapter 9, he is weeping for the Judeans who are thinking just as he used to think (that Christ-followers are dangerous and wrong). He claims he would give his own life to see his fellow Jews saved by faith in Jesus. (Romans 9:1, 2, 3)

    3) Finally, later in Romans chapter 9, he has come to rest in a difficult truth about the character of the Creator God:

    “For He says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.’ So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, ‘For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.’ Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.”

    Has Paul, then, come to terms with his own image — his own changes? He looked into the mirror and saw somebody like Pharaoh! God has managed to use Paul to the best advantage in every stage of his spiritual growth, it appears. So, without self-defense or hard feelings, Paul praises the “depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!” Romans 11:32, 33, 34, 35 36)

    As you put it, Mart:

    “We need to learn from what we see Paul doing here. By moving from one of the most difficult of all truths to overflowing emotions of praise…”


  31. poohpity says:

    I have found that the people in the Bible are no different than us and in most we find some commonality in our experiences. They are our teachers that have gone before us and we see what works and what doesn’t, we see them living apart from God and the difference when living with/in God. As we experience their lives it opens our eyes to our own.

  32. quietgrace says:

    Good morning. I had never thought of Paul as one who morphed over time, but I see it clearly now, thanks to both Steve and Maru. That does explain some of Paul’s earlier thoughts. Glad to know that even God’s earliest chosen, like us now, are still a work in progress and wow what delights we have in store for us, as we grow in grace and knowledge of the Truth.

    More blessings to come….Grace

  33. remarutho says:

    Amen Pooh! As Paul later taught Timothy – 2 Timothy 3:16, 17) Where can we find the transforming word except in the Story contained in the Old and New Testaments? Maru

  34. street says:

    What is it about the human heart and mind that causes us to forget that God is not like us? God does not waver in his devotion (James 1:17).

    I think it is the wilderness experience that trips us up.
    The desert has almost no life and very little distraction. Today we see a different wilderness with the opposite, so many distractions so much like the heat in the middle of the day of the former, very oppressive. In the parable of the sower Jesus warns not to let the devil come and take God’s word away, not to let persecution deter you, nor riches, cares, and worries choke out the transforming power of God’s word.

  35. quietgrace says:

    Yes street, it is all the distractions. I’ve said this from early on in my walk, that following Jesus would be easy if weren’t for all the distractions that we can see, hear, feel, smell, taste, touch, etc. We can get distracted also by the good things God gives us. And then, if that weren’t enough, God gives good things to ALL-no matter what our religious affiliation or spiritual definition may be today. He is a conundrum. But He is good to all all of the time. Good to remind the devil of this from time to time. Ha!

  36. poohpity says:

    I think that is where the importance of abiding/living and that takes self control and discipline which are products of Christ, so we do not have to do it alone. We take the steps and leave the results to the Lord.

  37. quietgrace says:


  38. SFDBWV says:

    July the 3rd isn’t remembered as something special by most, as July the 4th overshadows it. But on July the 3rd 1863 the battle of Gettysburg began.

    Many believe that was the turning point of the Great American Civil War assuring the salvation of the Union and abolishment of slavery in America.

    Every year there is a re-enactment of the battle along with some movies or mention in the media.

    Here in my community I have a picture of some of the sons of a veteran of the battle of Gettysburg standing proudly at the monument in Gettysburg PA. The picture always makes me tear up a little.

    A famous “moving” picture relic shows old bearded men shaking hands over the stone wall at Gettysburg, veterans of both sides who had survived the battle where 53,000 men had died.

    Today is June the 6th and remembered as the day the liberation of Europe began. There are now old men in wheelchairs and standing with canes who will go to Normandy France and remember those who died today for the freedoms of others.

    As July the 3rd slowly fades from memory so will June the 6th, as people tend to live in the moment and the moment demands all of their attention and energy.

    There is indeed a greater story being unfolded here on earth, forgotten is that life as it moves along is all part of the story between God and man that we are continuing to write the “Book of Acts” that we are part of the story and our story as relevant as any.

    I am concerned about Cheryl and wonder about Gary as their absence from the conversation is noticed, as well as many I can name but for space and time.

    Remember today and the drama and trauma so many a young man suffered as they did what they could for the freedoms of another.


  39. poohpity says:

    Steve, history does one thing it teaches us we do not learn from it. Wherever hatred lives quarrels will follow or whenever one tries to dominate another’s way of thinking oppression of some kind takes place. (Proverbs 10:12 NLT; Prov 10:14 NLT; Prov 10:18 NLT) History is written it can be the kind of remembrances of wars but then we also have the kind of history that proves great times of love. One shows the death of many whether physical, emotional or spiritual the other shows healing and life. (1 Peter 4:8)

  40. poohpity says:

    Yesterday I was called to be a witness, at first it was for the prosecution but after speaking with me in his chamber the County Attorney gave me over to the defense attorney because what I saw disproved the states case. The case was about anger over a handicapped parking space, go figure! The state was trying to prove that the defendant physically assaulted the complaining party but there was no physical contact at all but the complaining party went so far in the story at first was a finger touch in anger to a nose to yesterday pleading it was a punch. The lie grew from a little incident to a big incident when neither were true but the one party had really convinced herself this happened and was in the right. It is strange how things get carried to such extremes.

  41. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Perhaps the friends you mentioned, Steve, have taken a break, or are dealing with life just now. Prayers going up for safe-keeping for all at BTA.

    Took my daughter to Normandy twenty-odd years ago, where we found the marker for her great-uncle Herschel. Made an impression on her, but her children will only study WW II as part of the tapestry of former glories on the walls of nations, I imagine.

    After the “hot” wars, we had the “cold” war. We are currently engaged in the “cool” war where nations and corporations hack into one another’s defense and information systems. There is a tedious sameness to it — a dull repetitive tone to the pursuit of war.

    My heart goes out to the innocents — the very young, pregnant and nursing mothers, the elderly, the infirm — who are fleeing by the thousands out of terror- and war-torn countries in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

    God gives us the promise of peace and salvation when Messiah is on the throne and the kingdom is here:

    “For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
    and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
    He shall judge between the nations,
    and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
    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 any more.”


  42. remarutho says:

    Isaiah 2:1, 2, 3, 4 — The basis of prayers for the world…Maru

  43. poohpity says:

    In staying with the story of God’s great love, David asked God every morning to remind him of His love. (Psalms 143:8 NLT) As we look into scripture everyday we are very much reminded of that or if we get a scripture verse emailed to us God seems to let us know however and in whatever way He knows we will get the message. How totally great is our God and worthy of our praise.

  44. street says:

    Steve mentioned the many dates of different battles fought in wars by different generations. I think this is a symptom of the same problem, the struggle that goes on in the human heart. God says He is in control of human history, not man, and He chooses who is to rule. Israel was told by God that 4 kingdoms would rule over Israel by Daniel. We are strongly encouraged by God to trust Him and follow His ways with pure heart. A devoted heart like Daniel and many others. Encourage one an other with telling and “Staying with the Story.”

  45. quietgrace says:

    It seems no matter what we go through, whether war or a personal catastrophe, that God is in control and all He asks of us is our devotion and trust. Proverbs 3:5-7
    He has shown Himself to be faithful and trustworthy through time, through His-story and ours.

  46. Mart De Haan says:

    Such good comments and conversation here. Thanks to all!

  47. shawnkeally says:

    Matthew 6: 25 “Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

    26 Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

    27 “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 21st Century King James Version (KJ21) – smk

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