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While we Wait

P1030124In “He Still Moves Stones”, and as quoted in his “Grace for the Moment” inspirational guide, author Max Lucado suggests that, “Sometimes God is so touched by what he sees that he gives us what we need and not simply that for which we ask. It’s a good thing”, Lucado adds, “For who would have ever thought to ask God for what he gives? Which of us would have dared to say: “God, would you please hang yourself on a tool of torture as a substitution for every mistake I have ever committed.”

Because we are still living in a place— where appearances can be deceiving; where emotions can be misleading; where inspired words can be misunderstood; where faith in our own understanding can seem like faith in God, and where our own sins can seem worse than the price already paid for them, we may wonder at times whether we are going to be able to hang on… until we discover what it means to be held by the One who is already holding us— in his own nail scarred hands (John 10:28-30).

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130 Responses to “While we Wait”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    I would say that the last paragraph of Mart’s opening topic could be a good description of his BTA blog’s participants.

    Aside from that I am not certain what can be mined from this topic.

    I have always liked this place because originally we made it personal and put our own thoughts out there, whether technically correct or not, just out thoughts and beliefs.

    Other people who stopped in remarked how refreshing it was to have a conversation that wasn’t filled with arguing over who was more scripturally correct over the other.

    Somewhere over time it has looked more like taking a test and being abased by either technocrats or just a plainly unpleasant personality.

    As we often talk of “tests” the experience has turned from a pleasant fellowship to a too often “test” for me.

    Leaving me with the decision of either joining or passing the invitation to comment.

    Though the snow is gone today they are calling for about an inch tonight, it is 25 degrees and clear as spring is a couple days old.


  2. joycemb says:

    Good morning Steve,

    I can echo everything you just said. I am even to the point of having some ‘dark thoughts’ about the veracity of this blog. I hate to say to the devil, ‘I guess you win this one’, but wisdom says the wise know when to leave. I have been in battle filled venue’s like this before only more face to face and even though God is all powerful there are some places we choose for ourselves to be so have to take that into consideration. I remember even Paul went where the Holy Spirit warned he would be in danger. I’m just as stubborn as Paul sometimes, I admit.

    This would not be the first time God has led me to a dying group, my gifts have been used in hospice and dying churches to help people with the changes they are going through. As Mart said, keeping our eyes on the nail-scarred hands is what gets us through anything, whether death of a loved one, death of a church, or the death of a blog. I’ve been here a little over a year and the same turmoil occurs post after post after post. It’s draining. Been Thinking About what I will do next. God knows, it’s in His capable hands.
    God bless all and I will be popping in from time to time just to see how all are. Joyce

  3. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Joyce. Years ago my dad told me if I wanted to make a difference in whatever, I needed to be a part of it, not just an observer of it. Like you I can be as stubborn as I need to be, and may explain why I have been the Mayor of our little town for now over 42 years.

    Battles of any kind are exhausting and nothing drains me as much as spiritual battles. This blog isn’t the only battles I have in life and I am sure that the same goes for you and most of the participants here.

    So for me life sometimes becomes a choice of which battles I take on and which I avoid. Sometimes like in Mart’s first paragraph, those choices are made for me, not by me.

    It is amazing the combined wisdom and spiritual wealth that can come together in this BTA conversation, but equally amazing and discouraging how just one comment said in contrast to that spirit can ruin it for everyone except the offender.

    Yours is a good spirit Joyce, stay tuned, things can always look up and I have to believe Mart hopes so as well.


  4. foreverblessed says:

    If we could really understand what Mart is writing, it is the Hands of Him who holds us.
    And the many battles we fight are not ours at all, we should not be engaged in them. We should bless the ones who we feel drained by. Feeling drained is real, but we should take this to the Cross, Jesus has carried it all. We are so slow in learning that. I am slow in this. I write that we should not be offended, but it is a disciplining thing, I am already offended, and then have to get rid of that. My next step in following Jesus is: Bless before being offended, bless and thing good things of the difficult ones. That is exactly what Jesus did to me, all those years, He was always looking for the best in me, patient, caring, looking to me as he looked at Lazarus, the grave clothes still on him, but Jesus saw the cleansed man within, cleansed through His cross.
    Joyce, U have a message for you in the former topic.
    God bless you all!

  5. poohpity says:

    Wow, Mart that is a life changing discovery. Sadly there will be many who claimed Jesus but when they approach Him He will say depart from me I never knew you nor did you ever really know Me but He waits and gives every opportunity for us to walk through that open door, down the narrow path to search for Him in every area of life but yet never really seeing or hearing. That desire He seems to put in the very heart of creation only for them to be very absorbed in the iny weeny tiny world around them rather than seeking or reaching for the Kingdom life.

    I would have never thought to ask for what Jesus did not in a million years going further I would have never realized I even needed that but God knew. The very One who breathed life into mankind provided everything we needed before we even knew we needed it. He created everything around us to enjoy before He even created us to enjoy it. Simply mind blowing to even consider the wonder of it all.

    While we wait, we look at what we do not have rather than all we have been given so maybe it could be While He Waits patiently for us.

  6. joycemb says:

    Reading between the lines’ is inevitable, but we must practise it with great caution, or we may find mares’ nests.”
    C.S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism

  7. joycemb says:

    “mares’ nest”= A much vaunted discovery, which later turns out to be illusory or worthless

  8. jeff1 says:

    While I Wait.

    When I’m confused Lord, show me the way,
    Baffled and bruised Lord, show me the way.
    Still my heart and clear my mind
    Prepare my soul to hear
    Your still small voice, your word of truth.
    Peace be still your Lord is near.
    Always so close to show you the way.

    When I’m afraid Lord, show me the way.
    Weak and dismayed Lord, show me the way.
    Lift my spirits with your love,
    Bring courage, calm and peace,
    You who bore all for my sake,
    So I could walk from fear released,
    With you beside me showing the way
    Showing, showing the way.

  9. oneg2dblu says:

    When I think how God planned for His Son to hang on the cross, to be a sacrificial, blemish free offering, given up for the sin of others, when God could have just kept on forgiving sin without requiring any sacrifice, which is what we claim as Unmerited Favor, or Grace,
    Our undeserved but freely given righteousness in the face of our disobedience.
    Then, I must conclude beyond all my ability, that His Ways are so far above our understanding, that God even though his body is transformed, He also retains the scars for a purpose.
    I believe sins cause scars that do not go away, and we all carry a few with us, from the cross we must bear as well.

  10. poohpity says:

    Gary, who is the “we” you are speaking about. If that is your claim that is fine use “I” but it is not mine or most other believers.

  11. street says:

    mart i think He calls this entering His rest.

  12. street says:

    forever said,”And the many battles we fight are not ours at all, we should not be engaged in them.”

    the battle i fight and must win is to hold onto His word. i think this is part of taking up your cross. i think you are right in asking for difficult times to be a blessing for one and all.

  13. cbrown says:

    Gary, I believe the scars He showed Thomas were evidence of His Love.

  14. cbrown says:

    John 20:24-29English Standard Version (ESV)

    Jesus and Thomas

    24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin,[a] was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

    26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

  15. joycemb says:

    Chris I really like the last verse, we are blessed!

  16. SFDBWV says:

    It never fails to amaze me that we think we can figure out the things of God. That somehow in our analytical thinking it all has to line up and make sense to us.

    Yet we all, all of us, do this and one reason we ask so many questions when things don’t make sense to us.

    In Revelation when the Lamb of God appears to open the seals He is seen as He was slain.

    I have always seen this revelation to mean that from the time of the cross until His triumphant return as King of Kings He suffers for the very people who continually are in need of His sacrifice.

    “Doubting Thomas” needed proof that satisfied Him and Jesus provided it.

    I have always thought that life is upside down, as it takes most of us a lifetime to learn how to be better people and grow in Christ. It seems such a waste that at the end of one’s life they have finally learned what it means to live and to be a better “Christian”.

    The only thing that makes sense to me is that we take this lifetime of learning into eternity.

    I cannot imagine that after death the physical scars of life stay with us nor the sickness and infirmities some endure continue, but I have to believe that the things we have learned do stay with us, just like the love we have for others remains.

    Emotional scars healed, but the fact that they are healed remains in our consciousness.

    1.2 inches of snow this morning, it is wet and I suppose our “Robin snow” and will be gone as the day wears on.


  17. oneg2dblu says:

    Pooh… please forgive my trespass of using we, and I in the same comment. Thank you for correcting anything you do not relate to as well.
    I’ll have to watch my tenses more closely as when I edit sometimes things do not recapitulate in grammatical perfection.

  18. oneg2dblu says:

    Pooh…Apparently you do not carry any scars for your past sins and can not imagine why others would have to bear them..
    I’ve really got to proofread more or maybe “I” and not “we” require a little more wiggle room, tenderness, love, then the more nit-picking among us.

  19. oneg2dblu says:

    cbrown… yes, I believe that as well. Yet, during his transformation he was unrecognizable by some, as the scriptures point out.

  20. oneg2dblu says:

    I wonder if Doubting Thomas was given an insufficient deposit of Faith to believe, which led to his doubting posture, or did he only learn from seeing and touching in the physical?
    Just a thought…

  21. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… I love that last verse also. :)

  22. oneg2dblu says:

    Perhaps it is different learning abilities that make Christ’s return in the physical world, that will then usher in, or bring the faith lacking unbelievers, and the touch only believers, to their physical knees.
    Or, are the scriptures speaking about a more spiritual bending of every knee, and a confessing of every spiritual mouth?

  23. poohpity says:

    With our judicial system when someone does a crime they do the time if that were not so people would repeat the offenses but sadly in human courts often one never knows for sure if the judge is just or not. The judge could be slanted to one side or the other and maybe to someone else. God our Righteous Judge has no favorites and humanity was found guilty and Jesus served the time for our crimes. Since Jesus did such a wonderful thing for mankind does that make us follow after Him or return to the crimes? (Romans 6:14) The more we experience His grace the more we fall in love and follow Him and the less likely we go after sin or give in to the world around us.

  24. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… when you added in the diseases and the suffering elements along with the scars, then, you have changed what I was referring to, because Christ only presented in His scars, in His Transformed Body.

    And, we all know that we do not carry our diseases, or our suffering, or our tears, into the new body we will have for eternity.

    Perhaps the codicil you placed into your comment, was just to make your point, and not to pick apart, or diminish mine.

    So, I’ll give you some grace on your well pointed response.

    Yes, we just won’t know it all, or will we be able to prove it all, beyond the shadow of a doubt, in the here and now.

  25. poohpity says:

    ooops rather than “we” it would have been better stated to say, “the less likely one will be to go after sin”.

    With the two criminals beside Jesus at the Cross they both were suffering consequences for their crimes, one knew he was guilty and deserved what he got. The other scoffed at Jesus. One would be in paradise that very day the other would not. One believed in Jesus and one did not.

  26. poohpity says:

    One claimed knowing Jesus because he was right there beside Him and knew if Jesus said the right words they could be saved from the Cross, the other believed in who He really was. Do you believe or just claim? (Luke 23:39-43 NLT)

    One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”

    40 But the other criminal protested, “Don’t you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? 41 We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

    43 And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

  27. poohpity says:

    Which one discovered what Mart was saying, “until we discover what it means to be held by the One who is already holding us— in his own nail scarred hands”?

  28. jeff1 says:

    In God’s realm, life is eternal, but in ours time waits for no one. We are but ships passing in the night. We do not understand all that is here and now but as we enter into eternity I believe the two shall connect. It is that belief that keeps me going on in the faith when those around me tell me I am mad for having such beliefs. Our world has changed dramatically and Science is taking over from God in this modern world, in my opinion. God, I do not believe, will waste my/your efforts in the here or now. He understands my failings better than I do and so I believe can bring them to fruitfulness in his time, as his time is eternal, while I feel as I approach my latter years that I seem to make more bad choices than good ones and doubt if I am indeed of any use to God at all.

  29. poohpity says:

    jeff1, this morning those same thoughts were passing through my mind about doubting if I can be used by God at all. I know that the enemy just relishes putting those thoughts in our minds and using our own feelings of being insignificant as a means for defeat. But I know that I am able to do one thing and that is to praise God for who He is. That is enough.

  30. SFDBWV says:

    No Gary I am not picking on your thoughts at all, be at peace…I will let my thoughts speak for themselves and be sufficient of themselves.

    Vivian, personally I think you do very well in being of use to God, and I think that you being able to differentiate between good and bad choices shows that you have grown in wisdom.

    33 degrees and that snow is still here…

    Matt and I are heading out today for a trip outside the house, it will tire us both out, but be very good for his spirits.


  31. jeff1 says:

    Yes Pooh, it is important to keep on praising and you are right I must not let my thoughts defeat me for I know in my heart that God is goodness itself. Thank you for that encouragement!

    And thanks to you also Steve, I do hope that I will continue to grow in wisdom and that my choices will reflect that I want to be a better person in whom God will be well pleased.

    Have a nice day out and though it will be tiring it will do you the world of good.

  32. joycemb says:

    God At Eventide, March 24 says it so well.

  33. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… thanks, I am at peace, and may you be also.

  34. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… “In Revelation when the Lamb of God appears to open the seals He is seen as He was slain.

    I have always seen this revelation to mean that from the time of the cross until

    His triumphant return as King of Kings He suffers for the very people who continually are in need of His sacrifice.”

    I thought Christ said, “It is finished.”

    That Christ suffered once and for all.

    No mention that Christ continues to suffer, because there was only one crucifixion, of the only sinless propitiation ever needed for all the sins of the world.

    I wonder if unbelief is considered a sin?

    If so, then even unbelief has been crucified, once and for all.

    So, I guess we are all caught up in our own thoughts, never knowing all in the here and now, but always questioning.

  35. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… Yes, the Two Listener’s share much wisdom and are worthy of a daily look, as their discerning comments are a blessing for us all.
    Thanks for sharing.

  36. street says:

    wait, rest, peace
    faith, hope, love

    wonder how closely these are related to each other. it seems we are being tested while we wait. waiting is not much fun, like waiting for a slow pc. knowing that this is not the norm. it only exasperates us knowing that there is something not right. something is intruding or encroaching on us. is it reminding us our attention might be on less important things or on the most important thing. people have told me vision is important, but without focus it is blindness. may God’s word illuminate your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus and His Holy Spirit be your greatest treasure.

  37. joycemb says:

    street says:

    March 24, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    wait, rest, peace
    faith, hope, love

    Makes for a dynamic rather than a static faith life, doesn’t it?

  38. oneg2dblu says:

    street… good words, make for good thoughts.
    I particularly also like these words, trust and obey.
    “Makes for a dynamic rather than a static faith, doesn’t it?”

  39. remarutho says:

    Good Evening Mart & Friends —

    Max Lucado’s reference to Hebrews 4:16 presents so beautifully what Jesus-followers have “While We Wait.” This time of waiting is a time of need. And the Lord always provides mercy and grace to whoever approaches God’s throne in faith. There all needs are met.

    Got to pray with a neighbor who is frightened for her great-niece this morning. We went together to the throne of grace for this little girl’s sake, and we are waiting and holding fast to Jesus’ nail-scarred hand. He is our only hope.

    My neighbor and I believe that the dark purple of our waiting will break into the glorious golden light of Resurrection Morning for us — and for her niece.

    All will be well.

  40. lovely says:

    I am not sure how do you mean by scars of our sin and if we’ll carry it to heaven. But here is a scripture that’s worth thinking Hebrews 9:14. This word tells us we’re cleanse by His blood.. which means totally clean. Jesus scar will remain to tell us how much He has paid for us to have that relationship with God. We’re to confess our sin and believe that we’re forgiven, cleanse. Its important to believe I am cleanse because the danger of staying in my guilt, is to say Christ blood has no effect on me. . i won’t want that.

  41. foreverblessed says:

    I do totally agree, Christ’s blood has made us clean, it is only a long way for us to realize the depth of this: totally as white as snow.
    Paul wrote that he wanted nothing but Jesus and the Cross. The wonder of the Cross, Everything dark, and evil is taken up in it.
    I get a news letter from a christian community, and this week was: The crown of Thorns.
    Jesus wore our crown of thorns, the curse of our sins.
    Gen 3:18, the ground that was cursed and gave thorns and thistles, because of the fall of man.
    My thorns, Jesus was wearing that crown of thorns, so taking away the curse of my sins. It actually says: all consequences of my sins are taken by Him.

    The message of the cross is so deep.
    But I was is a church who was focused on the law, and that was a discussion we had at the end of the last topic:
    We died to the law, so that we might belong to Another, and that is Jesus
    Would our message center around the cross, what a difference that would make.
    We cannot make ourselves right, we only have to admit we were wrong and bring it to the Cross,
    and then Jesus will do the rest, all the love, and Peace and Grace, and Joy will flow from Him to us.

    I guess that the nails in His Hands must also have a specific message and meaning, just as the crown of thorns has, if anyone knows it….

  42. poohpity says:

    “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5 NIV

    “and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed” 1 Peter 2:24 NIV

  43. oneg2dblu says:

    lovely… I’m not sure either, but I know that scars are part of living, and although their original reason for being there has been healed, like our past sin has been forgiven and washed, our scars do provide an inescapable evidence of the past.
    I was taught that when we get to heaven, we will receive our new bodies, and we will also be recognizable.

    If scars are part of what God chooses to use, I’m good with that.

    Of course, we could all debate it until we get there, and still have it all wrong, and I’m good with that as well.

    Have a Lovely Day,

  44. oneg2dblu says:

    forever… ” It actually says: all consequences of my sins are taken by Him.”

    I just did a word search in the NIV and I could find many verses about the consequences of sin, but none reflect what you have posted here, could you provide us with the verse and what translation it is found in?

    Thanks, Gary

  45. poohpity says:

    For the wages(consequences) of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 in whatever version one chooses.

  46. joycemb says:

    Last night in the US CNN had a program on the new Athiests. It showed a couple preachers, one who denounced the faith because God didn’t seem to answer his prayers, and another who is staying in his job for the security, but is secretly atheistic. It was so interesting. Faith is such a mystery isn’t it? “Choose you this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my house we will serve the LORD.” I’d much rather die in the arms of the ONE who gave all for me, than to die thinking it is all just a big waste of time, and that death ends existence forever. If they would only look around and see how truly beautiful this world is, and could only be created by someone with a higher intelligence than everyone else put together!
    sorry for being off topic, but perhaps some reader needed to hear this today….

  47. poohpity says:

    I am looking so forward to the day when this decaying body prone to sin and rebellion will pass away and I am given a new body free from the struggles of this world to my salvation that is held secure in heaven safely within those nail sacred hands. While I am still here I know that Jesus will hold me close assured of all His promises. How can I look forward or wait for those promises if I do not know what they are?

    For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.( Romans 8:19-23 NLT)

    All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, 4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5 And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

    So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. (1 Peter 1:3-6 NLT)

  48. joycemb says:

    Amen Pooh!

  49. phpatato says:

    Deb you said: – “I am looking so forward to the day when this decaying body prone to sin and rebellion will pass away and I am given a new body free from the struggles of this world.”

    I am surprised and most certainly delighted that you have said this, this morning. You see, I recall you commenting to Steve awhile back, when he made a similar comment that he and his family were looking forward to going to heaven, and you said: poohpity says:
    February 9, 2015 at 10:09 am
    “Wow Steve it must be depressing to live in a home where everybody does not want to be there but thinks it would be better to die. I will be praying that y’all will find joy in the living……..”

    I wondered then how it could be that someone would not be looking forward to getting to heaven especially when we are told how wonderful and glorious our home in heaven will be. I am so happy to see that you too are now looking forward to the day of leaving this old earth where we will be free of our decaying and sin-prone rebellious bodies, to be safely tucked in the arms of Jesus!

    Welcome aboard Sister!!!! :-)

  50. poohpity says:

    Oh good grief Pat. Steve lives with someone even asking him to kill him which Steve has shared before so he does not have to live anymore and being depressed because life has not turned out they way one wants compared to one can look forward to heaven and still live a life of joy here. Hopefully you can understand the difference.

  51. joycemb says:

    Pat and Pooh I am so glad this came up. It shows how hard it is to convey thoughts when some have more knowledge of another, which is why I think that, (even though I too am guilty from time to time), it would be better to not reply to a post when directed toward a specific individual here, unless you are the one it’s directed to. Something to think about maybe for us all?

  52. joycemb says:

    Asking for prayers, I had 3 molars removed yesterday with stitches. Healing well, but ugh. Thank you.

  53. phpatato says:

    Deb – Yes I am smart enough to understand the point you are making. I may not have gotten a college degree but I can assure you that I am not stupid either so you patronizing me is all for naught.

    You know what, it matters not what the reason is for wanting to get to heaven. Your excuse is your decaying sin-prone body. You say that Steve’s is “life has not turned out the way one wants.” First of all, were you qualified to even speak for Steve? And second, every Christian has a reason in life that makes them eager to get to heaven. You want to know what mine is? To be safely tucked in the arms of Jesus is primary but I am also so looking forward to giving my mom and dad a big hug again. I miss them so much. So to me, there is no difference. We yearn to get to heaven and our reasons for that don’t matter. When I read what you said to Steve, it sounded like you much prefer to live here and now. I just couldn’t understand that, so when you said this morning that you were “so looking forward”. so yes good grief it is.

    I am sorry that you took what I said the wrong way – again, and I am Sorry for trying to reach out once again. Making an effort to mend a tear between us seems to be a total waste of time it seems. I will try and remember not to even try in the future so as not to evoke upsetting feelings for you (with you having to say good grief, in my mind’s eye I see you rolling your eyes). I will scroll past anything you have to say so I will not be tempted to comment….so now I hope you understand.

    Sorry Mart and others…..it happened again and I was part of it. grrrrrrr Forgive me. I WILL learn to sit in the bleachers which is where it is the safest not to become entangled in a war of misunderstandings and words.


  54. poohpity says:

    Pat, please stop, please. I only read the first part and if that was how the rest of what you wrote is going to go then I refuse to go there. I am so tried of being taken the wrong way. I do not think ugly like you people do. I try and think the best of everyone. I wish for once my words could be read with my voice rather than yours. When I write I do not talk down to anyone but with empathy and a heart that wants to understand the trails and struggles everyone is going through with no attempt to make them worse than they are. You people are really really mean.

  55. joycemb says:

    Dear Pooh, I have been around here long enough to also notice that sometimes you make statements that you later retract or change. I don’t think you are aware really of how off-putting your statements can be sometimes. I think that when you are called on about something you’ve said it is hard for you to take, or even understand? As you’ve said here, your previous life before Christ was a whole different world, probably more different than some here. I grew up in your world, as you know about me, although I was the victim and not the aggressor. Doesn’t matter, God loves and died for victims and aggressors! That said, you do come off as somewhat aggressive here, as do I probably come off as a victim at times. But what a kingdom God has! And that’s why I love you and keep loving you even when you irritate the %$#% out of me and others.

    You may or may be feeling completely misunderstood about now, and that’s fine. But know that I do get you, and love you as I love myself and God and others.

    blessings, Joyce

  56. poohpity says:

    clueless and mean.

  57. joycemb says:

    Pooh you are hurt. No one knows the depth of pain you can feel but you and God. Take it to Jesus, who knows every pain anyone has ever felt.

  58. street says:

    been thinking about how Jesus and God reveal truth or the lack there of by stories and questions. They both avoid confrontation. it does not make it go away. even with miracles that substantiates new revelation confrontation is still present. i find it interesting Jesus sent the disciples away so He could disperse the crowd who wanted to make Him King. funny thing is He did not need their help. this was not the kind of Kind they needed at the present time either. even in our wild and misinformed ideas, Jesus comes along to guide us to the best way. He warns us we will be broken, it is better than being turned into ashes or powder. He was broken for us. the scars are signs of healing and history. when He breaks those seals it is a relief for creation, because no one was found worthy. it also points to Him as slain and alive, Lord of the living and the dead. remember All Authority in Heaven and on earth have been given to Him. He is Faithful. my soul is moved to thanks and joy for His eternal grace and mercy sent my way.

  59. joycemb says:

    Street that was beautiful!

  60. narrowpathseeker says:

    Joyce, I hope prayers have been answered and that your mouth is healing and that your pain is minimal. I have to say once again that you are amazingly elevated with the Love of God. I can only hope to possess that kind of Love and Compassion some day.

    Pat, I understand completely how you feel, but PLEASE don’t beat yourself up. You have been through enough in the past few years and you still have quite enough on your plate without feeding on the bait..

    Pooh, you don’t “think ugly like you people do?”!!! You jest right?

  61. Regina says:

    Good Evening BTA Friends,

    Hope all is well in your lives! I’ve been reading your comments on previous blogs and have been truly blessed by the wisdom and insight that you’ve shared. Just want to ask you to help me thank God for another year of blessed life! Today is my 48th birthday, and I’m SO grateful to God for all of the wisdom and revelation that He’s given me since I arrived here on earth! I’m walking through a valley situation right now (served with a petition for divorce; and preparing to hire an attorney to complete the process. I welcome your prayers that all will go smoothly), but the LORD has been my constant companion through it all! He gave me several (very) comforting Bible passages that I want to share with yall (especially for those who may also be walking through a valley situation…

    Phil. 4:6-8; Isa. 43:18-19; Jer. 29:11 and Psalm 91

    Partly cloudy blue sky and 83 degrees in Big D…

    Love to all,

  62. joycemb says:

    Happy Birthday Regina! Been through the valley of divorce myself….God goes with you as he did with me. May your new life be filled with new and wonderful revelations of our faithful, loving God.

  63. jeff1 says:

    When we are stressed or in pain we usually hit out at those closest to us and regret it afterwards. Unfortunately the hurt we have caused by our words or actions can still damage the person on the receiving end. Their is consequences to our words and actions. If we want to be a good ambassador for Christ then we need to change our words and behaviour or we are not walking in the light and will continue to damage relationships with others. We do not have to have the same opinions or come to the same conclusions but if you respect other viewpoints then our comments should reflect that.

    I see myself as an outsider on this blog in that I am from a far away Country but I have to say Pooh to call anyone clueless and mean shows a lack of respect for anyone not to mention a lack of love. I also have to add that since I read all the comments on here I do not see anyone showing you the same lack of respect.

    Joyce in particular is repeatedly explaining herself to you and telling she loves you.
    I have often felt hurt when someone points out a flaw in me but after reflection and looking at my heart and realising their was truth in what they said I was thankful for their rebuke and glad to admit it and move on.

    We may think we know ourselves but I have discovered that I only really get to know myself by constructive criticism from others. It is sometimes difficult for me to accept it but I ponder it over and will either admit my weakness or give my reasons for not. If I want to become an ambassador for Christ then it is worth me being critical of myself so that I can become more like Him.

    This is a lovely place to come for encouragement, learning, sharing, offering prayers and it saddens me to see that you must be feeling hurt to make such nasty comments so I do hope and pray that you are just having a bad day as we all do from time to time.

  64. oneg2dblu says:

    jeff1… thank you for sharing your wise words and the healing they can bring when they are accepted.
    I am so glad that you expressed how far reached the consequences for our actions can go, like when we sin, it affects so much more than just the sinner, who may well be forgiven, but the others involved are still hurt by their actions, a ripple effect if you will, goes throughout the ever- darkening world today, and all because of the original sin of one, many still suffer.
    The reality of the real consequences a sin are very much alive and spreading everywhere today.
    You’ve shed much light on this word, consequences, which others are claiming as only one’s wages that are just attached to the sinner and forgiven,, but we all know that sins consequences, or its reach, is very broad, even contagious.


  65. street says:

    jeff said,”… see myself as an outsider on this blog in that I am from a far away Country”

    feelings, perception, opinions, and appearances can good/bad, true/false, prideful/meek, and/or mixed.

    God’s gratuitous will is lavished on all creation in stunning fashion before the angels in heaven. men and angles wait dumfounded and perplexed at His doings. yet He delights in showing mercy of every kind to His children that he made and bought back. could it be His Joy, is the Light of men?

    every son is perfectly made with weakness to accomplish the goal of conforming us to Jesus. the extravagance and expense are unmatched in human thinking. simply, utterly, completely, fearfully, amazing mystery to be revealed.

  66. joycemb says:

    Street thank you for your post at 9:18, what an encouraging word.

  67. lovely says:

    Gary, i believe perhaps the scars your’re referring to is the consequences of sin? ,yes i believe sin does leave consequences , we ‘re either hurt by other’s sin or hurt others with our sin. But knowing just this part doesn’t help us take away the sin. In fact it will cause me not to move forward with God, or do anything for Him because of being afraid of sinning. I find that believing in the power of the Cross that can forgive give me a much victorious Walk with God then holding on to the past, guilt(of course this is after i confess my sin) . By not understanding the power of God ‘s forgiveness and His love can cause me to live in un-forgiveness , that’s a powerful stronghold if you know what i mean. I find myself getting hurt so easily and always trying to hurt others. 1 Peter 4:8 . This is evident in the life of Peter, one of the disciple of Jesus when he denied Christ, he sin big time, but Jesus already knew he will do that ,He ask him to get up and go and encourage others when he get out of his “grieving of sin” . If he would have continue to stay in the “grieving of sin” God could not have used him mightly in Acts. He could have use others. Paul for instance when preaching about pressing forward Phillippians 3:14 , he was preaching to the people whom he had put that in jail. He couldn’t have done that if he hasn’t move out of his past.
    Just a thought

  68. lovely says:

    Praying for you all to discover His love for you daily .
    2 Corinthians 4:16. We do not loose heart cause He is always doing a new thing in us all. Lovely

  69. SFDBWV says:

    Obviously reading over the comments of yesterday has given me a great deal to think about.

    People with terminal illness are often ask if they have a support group. In some ways this community has become something of a support group for many that need to have a venue to express themselves.

    What I hear from some here are sometimes complaining about life, or happy about it; sometimes needing comfort and more often trying to use a personal experience to make a point.

    All of what I have to say fit into those categories at some time or another, depending on what subject is being discussed.

    Trying to just quote Bible never works as well as using an example of life to illustrate a point. Jesus did this all throughout His discussions and teaching.

    Some people are just not going to understand what has been said or able to connect it to a thread of conversation; some are.

    It is very unfortunate when someone doesn’t grasp the meaning of another’s point and even more upsetting when they use it incorrectly in some spirit of winning an argument.

    Both Pearl and Pat love me and it only natural for them to defend me when they feel I am attacked. I am deeply blessed to have such friends.

    I really try to bring some form of encouragement to others when I comment, even using the struggles of life me and my family may endure as a way of showing empathy and sympathy for others; never really complaining about them only sharing them.

    I am daily reminded of the “pearl” of wisdom that says “A kind word turns away wrath”. And see how it works when we do and how things get worse when we don’t.

    I am not sure if Lovely and Vivian are harassed by phone calls from people who are trying to trick or con you into sending them money as I am here in the America’s. But if you are like me sometimes when I try and be polite and they won’t take no for an answer, I then have to either just hang up or get in their face and try and make them understand I am unhappy with them.

    No real difference here, we all put up a defense, but have a point when we have had enough.

    I have actually only “hung up” on one here, but the phone keeps ringing, something else I can’t control.

    I am not going to try and contend with pooh, everyone else is doing a good job of that.

    The problem continues to be that her attacks against me or others causes the focus to be taken off the subject and placed on her. And we waste time and effort away from the encouragement and blessings that can be shared with each other in favor of discussing her, so she gets what she wants, attention.

    She only wants to be loved and just don’t know how to behave in order to feel loved.

    Personally I failed in my attempts to help her, I pray others of you succeed.

    I am only discussing this as I was brought up in the conversation. I can only hope that from all of this, there is some healing.


  70. SFDBWV says:

    Regina I am sorry for your struggle, but hope it works out well for you in spite of the upsetting days and weeks ahead. Joyce I also hope your dental surgery heals quickly.

    You both get a special prayer from us today.

    Vivian you are no more an outsider here than I in your country. One of the very good friends I made here is from Cornwall and though he and I may see some politics a little differently we remain friends. If you feel outside looking in, then I invite you in, and will over time give you a view of my life and my walk with God.

    Lovely you remain very lovely in your Christianity, we all can take a lesson from you.

    Matt’s two friends, Mere and Jenifer came for a visit yesterday. They had a good time with lots of laughter and the promise of being better friends and returning soon. If our intentions only would line up with our actions…

    I do hope everyone has a good day today…While we wait.


  71. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… that was a tough and needed reply. I almost equate it to walking on hollowed ground. As it dirties even the feet of the messenger.
    It takes a huge heart to express guilt, to bring rebuke, and to just share plain truth.
    I’ve had to make a stand in the past and it has brought upon me, much injustice, but, the stand was one made for truth, and that overwhelms all other thorns the world wants to wrap upon our truth revealing heads.
    Truth divides, as of course it reveals and conquers, and heals as well.
    Have a blessed day my brother,

  72. oneg2dblu says:

    lovely… the sin can always be confessed and be forgiven, washed to being as white as snow, and the sinner walks free from the guilt it caused, free from the death which was the original penalty for many a sin, and spiritually free from death in Christ.
    I agree some leave the presence of the Lord, with a thorn in their side, or a limp that never goes away.
    That is scriptural.

    To continue my thoughts…

    Some even believe all sins are the same, even though the scriptures would conflict with that premise.

    Back to the guilt held by the sinner, is was used as a huge teaching of a past experience and which can certainly still be crippling when no forgiveness of the sin is ever given.

    That guilt is real for sure, and brings multitudes to seeking resolve from it, through Christ, so it has its place in the Divine Plan.

    It is the life experience that has already passed, and which can not really be changed, only our reaction to it.

    Does a killer ever forget? A drunkard ever forget?

    No, and the value of those scars are there for a purpose as well.

    Do scars keep one from moving forward in Christ?

    Do they make one useless in God’s Eyes?

    Perhaps only if one will not surrender all to the Lord, but retain that one besetting sin element which defines both the lack of faith, and the lack of total surrender.

    Many today hold on to the past as it plays over and over against them, until they learn to release all the the Lord’s Nail Scared Hands, they are never truly free.

    If that means a drunkard can remain a drunkard and follow Christ, and a killer remains a killer and follows Christ, then in my mind that says to me, that flesh still rules the inner most parts of the already confessed, already forgiven, already following Temple of God.

    Those actions to me, are more like open wounds and not scars.

    Now I ask, who today is still upsetting the tables which continue to defile, God’s House?

    Could it still be, those how choose to live in disobedience and without fear?

    “Choose to sin, choose to suffer.”

    Be Blessed, Gary

  73. jeff1 says:

    Street I believe you have a wonderful way with words but I am not always aware of what you are trying to say because I do not. I believe God is more of a mystery to me than I am to him and that is not the same for everyone for there are those who walk closer like Paul did. My closeness reflects my relationship with God which has always been one step forward two steps back.

    Lovely what you said about holding on to past guilt can make us unforgiven and I agree that by holding myself accountable I can find it hard to forgive myself and also holding others accountable can make it difficult to forgive others. You have so hit the nail on the head for me,for that is where I see myself right now. There are choices that I made that had consequences and I see those consequences now and find it hard to believe that God has forgiven me for them. It is moving on that I am afraid of because I am afraid that the past will repeats itself and I will make more bad choices causing more difficulties for myself and those around me.
    That is why I feel so useless to God because I fear taking a wrong step.

    I feel I have come to the end of the road. So here is a poem from Helen Steiner Rice for any who share my difficulty.

    When we feel we have nothing left to give
    And we are sure that the “song has ended”-
    When our day seems over and the shadows fall
    And the darkness of night has descended.
    Where can we go to find the strength
    To valiantly keep on trying,
    Where can we find the hand that will dry
    The tears that the heart is crying-
    There’s but one place to go and that is to God
    And, dropping all pretence and pride,
    We can pour out our problems without restraint
    And gain strength with Him at our side-
    And together we stand at life’s crosswords
    And view what we think is the end,
    But God has a much bigger vision
    And He tells us it’s only a bend-
    For the road goes on and is smoother
    And the “pause in the song” is a “rest,”
    And the part that’s unsung and unfinished
    Is the sweetest and richest and best-
    So rest and relax and grow stronger,
    Let go and let God share your load,
    Your work is not finished or ended,
    You’ve just come to “a bend in the road.”

  74. joycemb says:

    Messy business this loving one another. Let us all keep our eyes on the Prize.

    Vivien I’ve been where you are. Hold fast sister, God will once again restore your heavenly Vision. I like the line, “So rest and relax and grow stronger”. Remember how it felt after giving birth? That sense of AHHH its over! How good that felt until the reality of little sleep, tending to a child 24/7 sets in! You are in a time of AHHH right now so enjoy it!

  75. joycemb says:

    Elizabeth Elliot comes to mind also Vivien. She is a wonderful Christian teacher/speaker who’s husband Jim was killed by natives he was a missionary to. She teaches that when you are in a place where you don’t know what to do just do the next thing. Whether that next thing is taking a bath, feeding the cat, making a sandwich, just do it and God will show you in due time what to do next. We forget that everything we do is sacred if we belong to God. Another writer, Brother Lawrence wrote in The Practice of the Presence of God that our everyday mundane seemingly unimportant tasks are important because if we look, we will see that God is in them, and we can use these things as ways to please God.

    God isn’t all that hard to please, I think. He just requires our devotion and a willing heart, or at the least a conversation with Him about our unwilling heart and what He can do to help.
    blessings, Joyce

  76. foreverblessed says:

    Much sadness here in Europe, by the news that the co-pilot crashed the plain on purpose. I had a conversation today, with a woman who has had it with God. How can a good God allow this? How can you call Him good? Now there rests for me only
    prayer, God is all powerful, He can reach a heart.
    May God bless her mightily, that is my prayer.

    I had been reading in God calling, twolisteners, March 16, Jesus saying that His disciples are so eager to use words in explaining about Him.
    And again in God at eventide, March 31, His disciples and their much speaking
    “Learn of Me. How often I would have spoken to some heart, but the voice of one too eager with explanations about Me crowded Me out.”

    So I kept listening to what God was telling me, listening to His voice, and as I heard nothing I started to pray silently, interceding for her.
    But I could use some positive input form believing christians. And of course I can sit silently with my Lord and wait for Him to speak to my heart.

  77. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Joyce, that was good, and uplifting adn good for my inner being. Thanks

  78. foreverblessed says:

    Regina, may God bless you, and keep you!
    Thanks for all these bible verses, and I pray that God will work it out in your life, a new thing.
    I also pray for your ex, that God may bless him and keep him too! And may God give you a attorney, and may God bless him also!

    Waiting, as we wait on the Lord, He may fill us with Hi peace, His love, His life, life to the full
    Look to Me and be saved Isa 45:22 Isa 26:3-4

  79. oneg2dblu says:

    When we feel under attack, 2 Chronicles 20:12 is a great place to visit and to remain or rest.
    Some times just sharing a verse, just waiting its turn to turn things around.

  80. oneg2dblu says:

    It is like mining for jewels, knowing we can find an abundance just waiting for us to dig in.

  81. jeff1 says:

    It is in those everyday tasks Joyce that I do find rest and peace and you are right I must realize that God is there too, I see God as so big and I am so little in this big world that I can feel quite lost.

    For anyone who likes some Royal history, today in the UK
    King Richard 111’s remains were reburied in Leicester. They had been found beneath a car park in Leicester in 2012. Some 35,000 people lined the 22 mile route along the streets of Leicester to mark the historic occasion. It was in 1485 that Richard rode out to battle and it was to Leicester that he returned. defeated, slung ignominiously across the back of a horse. I watched it on television and it was a splendid and dignified ceremony.

  82. poohpity says:

    forever, if I may about the crash and asking the why’s. I do not know the why’s but God once told me when 9/11 happened, tornadoes and hurricanes happen that mankind made up their minds to forsake the Lord. They do not want Him involved then blame Him when things go wrong and ask where He is. God is right here. Even though we do not see His Hand we can trust His heart. I wonder did the people pray before they got on the plane for a safe journey?

    God gave us guidelines to follow so that our lives would be blessed. One of the rules we were given was do not murder and Jesus took that even further to say if we even have anger in our hearts it is the same as murder. That pilot did not listen to the warnings of God and murdered all those people. God does not seem to get involved where He is not wanted.

    I asked when I was in Africa about the starving children and He told me that was what He his followers were for to help those who are unable to help themselves, to do good, to give out care and kindness. Sadly most seem to concentrate on ripping each other apart rather than doing all the good we could be doing.

    That seems to be what we could be doing “While we Wait” for our eternal glory (salvation).

  83. joycemb says:

    Check this out, google the following: If looks could kill (Matt. 5:21-26)

    It explains what Jesus meant by holding anger in one’s heart. The pastor explains the process of reconciliation between angry parties in the body of Christ. It is very very good.

  84. narrowpathseeker says:

    Joyce, I wasn’t able to find anything but a movie under “If Looks Could Kill”..Is there something else I should be looking for? Thanks..Pearl

  85. narrowpathseeker says:

    Regina, I am so sorry for what you are going through. Been there too…I will be praying for you. I have a story that should be encouraging to you, but I can’t seem to put it together right now(have trouble retrieving thoughts sometimes)but I will work on it..in retrospect, I am 70 years old and have never been happier in my life…I was married for 17 years and divorced for about 34 years and all those 51 years were miserable until the day he died. BUT the Lord has Blessed me beyond my own belief and those many years of misery don’t even matter to me now…just keep praying Regina…He will get you through

  86. joycemb says:

    Bible dot org If looks could kill (Matt. 5:21-26)

    Put the verses in with it. The article is by Pastor Chip Bell

  87. joycemb says:

    I you can’t find the site, here’s part of the article,

    Unresolved Anger is Sin
    You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, “Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.”
    The first part is OT (long ago), the second part was what the rabbis taught. Judgment here is the death penalty.
    [22] But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.
    Anger (internal heart!) is also sin. It also brings God’s judgment.
    Cf. difficulty of prosecuting a “hate” crime. God knows heart.
    There are a couple of misunderstandings about this verse:
    It is NOT saying that anger is the same as murder or just as bad as murder.
    (Just for the record, I would much rather you were angry with me than…)
    It is NOT saying that anger itself is sin. From other passages, we know that Jesus himself was sometimes angry and that we can be angry without sinning. (We’ll see that in a minute.)

    Anger is initially a response, not a choice. We probably respond with anger so often because we’re fallen—so in that sense even that initial anger is sinful. But it’s not a sin in the sense of a choice I make to disobey God. When it first strikes, I think anger is more of a temptation than a sin. It’s what we choose to do with anger and what we choose to do because of anger that makes it sinful. As we’ll see from later verses, it’s unresolved anger that is sinful. Pastor Chip Bell, Texas

    (copywrite grants permission to share for teaching purposes)

  88. street says:

    while we wait….thinking of david being told he could not build the temple for God. he did receive magnificent promises from God. while he waited, he gathered materials for building, even though he could not.

  89. lovely says:

    Hi Jeff1, thanks for relating with me about staying in the past, and from the poem you wrote, you have the answer, to move on, and yes sometimes i was afraid too but, God never promise we ‘ll live a troubled free life but He promised to be with us. In other words, you don’t have to walk through it alone. John 16:33 , Hebrews 13:5.
    Gary , in response to your post Does a killer ever forget? A drunkard ever forget? No, i do agree that they can never forget and no they can’t stay a killer or drunkard and walk with Christ. But i believe the love of Christ can change them. We can see this in the story the sinful women that anoint Jesus feet with perfume.Luke 7:37. Luke 7:47 Jesus said “But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”Does that mean Simon is not forgiven? The difference between Simon and the women is that the women has a greater sense of the need of Christ then Simon who believes his righteousness can resolve sin rather than the forgiveness of Christ. My point is let us not be the Pharisees that is ready to stone those who sin but be like Jesus looking at the sinner with Compassion.. love just like He has love us.
    Steve.. thanks for your encouraging words, I do learn from your wisdom

  90. jeff1 says:

    Lovely in your address to Gary, “But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” “Does that means Simon is not forgiven?
    The greater the sinner then the more thankful the heart as Paul is a very good example of this. If we have tried to lead a life of righteousness as I did because of teaching, and then fail as I did, at first we can feel angry with God for allowing false teachers in the first place. It is I who listened to the false teaching when I should have been focusing on Christ’s teaching. I realize that now, my father had tried to warn me. I am my own worst enemy and knowing that I have now a thankful heart. Jesus looks at all sinner’s with Compassion and so should we (to do so we must change our old ways which is a struggle for me anyway) look on all God’s creation, we should not cherry pick whom we believe should deserve compassion, we are not God that is his business, ours is to feed his sheep and in the end God will separate the wolves from the sheep.

  91. jeff1 says:

    Romans 12:19-21 Vengeance is mine saith the Lord.

    God has told us to focus on Christ’s teaching for a reason, we can easily be deceived, I was.

    I am weak but Thou art strong
    Jesus keep me from all wrong
    I’ll be satisfied as long
    As I walk, let me walk close to Thee

    Just a closer walk with Thee
    Grant it Jesus, is my plea
    Daily walking close to Thee
    Let it be dear Lord, let it be

    When my feeble life is over
    Time for me will be no more
    Guide me gently, safely over
    To Thy Kingdom shore, to Thy shore

    Just a closer walk with Thee
    Grant it Jesus, is my plea
    Daily walking close to Thee
    Let it be dear Lord, let it be

  92. foreverblessed says:

    Amen Jeff1 and lovely!
    And thanks Gary for that verse in 2 Chronicles 20:12,
    see Pooh, that is what I was trying to say, our explanations don’t help. It is a spirit of negativity where people are trapped in.
    An enemy, and I can say, like Jehosaphat did:
    “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
    And you know what, in the evening, the night had fallen, and I looked to the sky, there the moon was, and with the lighted side it pointed to the area where that woman lives. And it was as if God said to me:
    Be comforted, My eyes are steadfast upon her.
    So thanks for any of you who have been praying for her.
    Maru also asked for prayer for a woman, lets pray, and our eyes fixed on Jesus, and wait…
    and see how He will work…

  93. foreverblessed says:

    Gary, the scripture reference was already there: Gen 3:18 and 17b cursed is the ground because of you…it will produce thorns”” so the thorns stands for our curses, consequences of sins together with John 17:5 Jesus shed blood also by/through/forthe thorns of our curse.
    He that has an ear let him hear

  94. foreverblessed says:

    about the crown of thorns is John 19:5
    John 17:5 some talked about this verse in the former topic, it was the Glory of God, this sacrifice.
    Glory! God’s world is upside down!

  95. cbrown says:

    Good morning all.Last night I was handing out “Our Daily Bread”in prison and one of the inmates who is serving a life sentence asked me a question. He was in the process of answering questions for a bible study on the “Book Of Jonah”and the his question was, “did Jonah suffer because God was punishing him or was it because God was instructing him?” We went back to the “Book of Jonah”and looked for the instances where Jonah was afflicted to find the answer.Our answer was that God was instructing Jonah. The inmate reached for a small brown tract that said something like, “Did Christ Really Have to Die?”My immediate response was, I do not read things like that but I asked to look at it. At the top it said “Day of Discovery”.God helped me to see 2 things as a result of that conversation.

  96. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA —

    What a good word, CBrown! Thank-you. Much that Mart brings to this forum is well presented in the Discovery Series booklets. These are great little gems that can be offered to all we meet in our travels! Along with “Did Christ Really Have to Die?” you will find: “In His Presence” (Spending Time with God) — “When God Says No” (Broken Dreams to New Beginnings) — “Is Jesus God?” — and many others. Perhaps everybody here is already receiving them by mail — or downloading them from the ODB website.

    On the question of God’s instructing/punishing, I believe the current topic of BTA has great insight into God’s love:

    “Sometimes God is so touched by what he sees that he gives us what we need and not simply that for which we ask. It’s a good thing”, Lucado adds, “For who would have ever thought to ask God for what he gives? Which of us would have dared to say: “God, would you please hang yourself on a tool of torture as a substitution for every mistake I have ever committed.”

    Thanks for your renewed and faithful call to prayer, Forever!


  97. SFDBWV says:

    How simply marvelous Maru, I had copied out the very same quote you did from Mart’s comments from Max Lucado, but got pulled away and deleted my comment before being able to post.

    I am one that can testify that God provides. Period!

    I am a recipient of His blessings and an observer of them in others as well.

    Not so much what we ask for, but rather what we need.

    Foreverblessed I too have been following the horrible story of the plane crash in the Alps, it is sounding as if the copilot had serious mental issues he kept hidden from the airlines.

    How very sad for all involved.

    Chris isn’t it just too cool when we see the hand of God so clearly. It usually silences me and just makes me smile while it hits home.

    Sometimes our answers to another aren’t meant for them, but rather ourselves; revelation knowledge.

    35 degrees this afternoon and snow flurries.


  98. poohpity says:

    lovely, forever, Chris and Maru your comments remind me of this song;

    “How Great Is Our God”

    The splendor of a King
    Clothed in majesty
    Let all the earth rejoice
    All the earth rejoice

    He wraps Himself in light,
    And darkness tries to hide
    And trembles at His voice
    Trembles at His voice

    How great is our God – sing with me
    How great is our God – and all will see
    How great, how great is our God

    Age to age He stands
    And time is in His hands
    Beginning and the end
    Beginning and the end

    The Godhead Three in One
    Father, Spirit and Son
    Lion and the Lamb
    Lion and the Lamb

    How great is our God – sing with me
    How great is our God – and all will see
    How great, how great is our God

    Name above all names
    Worthy of all praise
    My heart will sing
    How great is our God

    Name above all names
    You’re worthy of all praise
    And my heart will sing
    How great is our God

    How great is our God – sing with me
    How great is our God – and all will see
    How great, how great is our God

  99. poohpity says:

    “Beware of attempting to diagnose sin unless you have the inner pang that you are one of the worst sinners.” –Oswald Chambers

    Jesus put it another way; Matt 7:3-4 NLT “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye?

    While we Wait let us realize there was only One who was perfect and keep our eyes on Him then everything else around us will pass away in the light of His Glory and Grace.

  100. street says:

    while we wait….

    “This headship, then, is most fully embodied not in the husband we should all wish to be but in him whose marriage is most like a crucifixion; whose wife receives most and gives least, is most unworthy of him, is–in her own mere nature–least lovable. For the Church has no beauty but what the Bridegroom gives her; he does not find, but makes her lovely.” c s lewis

    i thought this fit the topic.

  101. lovely says:

    joycemb, referring to your post , about anger not dealt with. I just want to share something i’ve learned. That is Anger can be mastered. The first anger that leads to murder was in the story of Cain that killed his brother. He didn’t deal with his anger and God has already give him the instruction .Genesis 4:7 The bible never denied the sin problem and the need to confess and be cleanse but it also gives us the instruction how to overcome it. Key to resolving anger- forgiveness. The cross. Look at the cross instead of the offender. Pray for the enemies.. These are God’s instruction. Matthew 5:44 , Luke 6:28. I got the revelation of these truth when i do the word. When i react in anger it make the situation worse. Only when i start to pray do i find release. Doesn’t set me free to just focus on my sin , and others, but when i focus on Jesus’s cleansing blood, there’s when freedom comes.
    Steve, about receiving harassing phone calls, i was a customer service consultant, i use to received 100 calls a day with people calling to complains.I was really bitter at that time..But i didn’t understand that God was preparing me for His plans. Now that i realize, i could actually overcome a lot of rejection because of that training. We will face persecution and rejection especially when we do God’s will. Jesus faced that , so did Paul. it is said we either start a revival or a riot. So whatever hardship you’re going through. ITs God’s training.


  102. SFDBWV says:

    Seems that the subject is slowing down some…patience.

    3 inches of snow this morning and 13 degrees Fahrenheit; going to be some unhappy robins this morning.

    Last Friday after Glenna and Crick came home from their trip to the hair salon, they discovered that Crick (my 96 year old mother-in-law) had no heat. No electricity either.

    I quickly discovered that the power company had been there and shut off her power and locked out her switch box on her electric pole.

    I cut off the lock and returned her power which gave her heat, so she was back in business, but upset.

    I called the power company immediately and through a process of being transferred around found a nice “Resolution Expert” through whom between my information and theirs, they discovered they had turned off the wrong residence. In fact they had no idea why this one had been switched off and not sure which one was supposed to be…Patience.

    Glenna took our car over to the tire shop to have our snow tires taken off. The mechanic told her we needed our front brakes replaced in the next 1500 miles and offered an estimate of $300 dollars to “help out”. I took the car to another inspection station yesterday only to discover there is nothing wrong with the brakes. That car doesn’t get 1500 miles on it in a year…patience.

    Matthew turns 37 tomorrow, he has been depressed about it all week. He was injured at 21 and has been struggling with a multitude of disabilities now soon to be for 16 years. His heart breaks as does mine every day…patience.

    The martyrs under the altar mentioned in Revelation complain to God about when they would be avenged and were given white robes and told to be patient…

    It seems that life is a series of being patient or trained to learn how.

    Watching the entire region in the Mid-East melt down I have to wonder just how much more time is left before the Rapture comes and Tribulation begins…patience.

    Sometimes patience becomes vigilance and I believe that is what we have become, vigilant as we await the return of our Lord.


  103. saled says:

    Oh, Street, thank you for the C.S.Lewis quote. I especially loved this part: “he does not find, but makes her lovely.” How much hope this gives those of us who sense we are among those who give least.

  104. joycemb says:

    My greatest joy and sorrow was when I really learned what it means to be held in nail-scarred hands. The joy of recognizing I am held in the hands of the creator of the universe, and the sorrow of knowing the suffering He went through to give me that joy.

  105. poohpity says:

    To think that “While we Wait” Jesus came to give us a rich and satisfying life(John 10:10). In the world peace comes when everything around seems to going my way and God’s peace seems to be when nothing around is understandable nor does it look appealing but yet we have peace because we know God is in it all with us. Having a life of abundance does not seem to necessarily mean monetarily or to be in perfect health or be surrounded by perfect circumstances but the knowing that God is in control and we can rest in Him, not looking how big our troubles are but how big our God is.

    I can not only look forward to the hope I have in an eternal home but while I am in this life I can see beauty where there is ashes. I still remember that picture Mart when you were in Singapore and out of the ground was a yellow flower in the midst of grey ashes and darkness. That to me is like having Jesus in the center of this life.

  106. street says:

    dear lovely enjoyed your post. it brought home the theme of temporal retributive justice and God’s freedom of gratuitous love and tenderness. i believe our anger comes from sin and manifest it’s self in bad theology of retributive justice and self-righteousness. if God acted this way we would all be in hell a longtime ago. this love is most clearly seen in this and the cross. if not for the cross and His predetermined love for His children there is no point to His waiting. we need to love like this. does this ignore justice? no, it’s shows us we still have a need for closer walk with God. wrestling with God is a good indication of the nearness of God. it’s a time of dialog, speaking and listening, with God. i wonder if wrestling is a time of shaking out the lose ends of the heart to make a comfortable stay?

  107. foreverblessed says:

    “while I am in this life I can see beauty where there is ashes”….
    I sincerely hope that you will remember these words when you see ashes in a fellow blogger the next time.

    That quote about Jesus as the Husband is so beautiful!
    I pray that we grow more like Jesus, that we see each other more like Jesus does. Where there is ashes we see beauty.
    It is a hard thing to do, it means to look to Jesus, as Lovely wrote, look to the cross instead of to the offender! It means crucifying our old man, our natural way of reacting, feeling offended, wanting to retaliate. 1 Peter 2:21,23
    The Crucifixion is also a way of Life that Jesus showed:Jesus showed the way,besides that He freed us from sin, 1 Peter 2:24-25
    Patience, being disciplined takes time, but just as God trained and disciplined Jacob, so He can train us, instruct us.
    I like that very much too, about Jonah being trained!, not punished. We have to see with eyes of the Spirit.
    So much to learn yet, patience
    wait on Jesus working in us through the Holy Spirit

  108. joycemb says:

    I never thought of Jonah as being punished, but being a human with all the fears and stubbornness we all have. God’s patience is what gets me. My, how patient He is with you and me!

  109. poohpity says:

    forever, I can not remember that in other person but Jesus. He brought beauty into the ashes of my life but I hope your message applies to you as well. ;-)

  110. poohpity says:

    Like I said earlier I am clueless and mean but God is still working in me. So do not look to me but to Jesus.

  111. poohpity says:

    With all the effort to get me to see what I already know that is time not spent in the word or in prayer or doing good or thinking about the beauty of/in those nail scared hands.

  112. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… don’t hate me for this, but, I fail to see the patience factor in your taking matters into your own hands and cutting off that lock.
    Where was the patience in that move?
    Patience to me, would have been better served if you had first made the call, and then, had the issue resolved by the proper authority, the power company.
    That story does not pass the patience, smell test…
    You seem to have taken the law into your own hands on that one.
    Perhaps I read your words too quickly, and posted too quickly, perhaps I should have had more patience myself.

    Sometimes, I think I have more patience than a doctor. PUN
    But,I know better.

    I had a friend who used to say, “Some days you get the bear, and some days the bear gets you.”

    Be Patient, Gary

  113. joycemb says:

    Good evening.. Thought of this and wanted to encourage us all:
    If you are successful,
    you will win some false friends and some true enemies.
    Succeed anyway.

    If you are honest and frank,
    people may cheat you.
    Be honest and frank anyway.

    What you spend years building,
    someone could destroy overnight.
    Build anyway.

    If you find serenity and happiness,
    they may be jealous.
    Be happy anyway.

    The good you do today,
    people will often forget tomorrow.
    Do good anyway.

    Give the world the best you have,
    and it may never be enough.
    Give the best you’ve got anyway.

    You see,
    in the final analysis it is between you and God;
    it was never between you and them anyway.

    By Kent Keith with revisions as posted in the childrens homes founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta

  114. street says:

    steve i salute you on this one. you keep shepherding the sheep with the wisdom and strength God supplies.

  115. SFDBWV says:

    Ha, ha, ha, ha, Gary, thanks for the laugh. I think we all may be a little gun shy here, don’t worry I won’t hate you.

    Gary your confusion is that you don’t realize it was well below freezing as it is this morning and she had no heat nor any way to even heat up something to eat. Never having to deal with our electric company here you also don’t realize it may take several hours to a few days before anyone may show up. They still haven’t come to get their lock off of the box, I removed only the portion that enabled me to throw the breaker switch back to the on position; and it’s been over a week.

    They did the same exact thing to a friend of mine’s rental property about a month ago. He had quite a frustrating time figuring out why his little house didn’t have electric and after asking me if I knew of any other houses without power, it slowly became apparent it was an error of the power company. In that case they had removed the meter and “booted” it so no electricity could be used. It took him about a week to get it turned back on.

    Still smiling, you are right, I still suffer from knee-jerk reaction, shooting from the hip and swinging back way too often, which is why I suppose God has had me on such an intense life course of learning patience.

    Joyce I really liked the comments of Kent Keith, thanks.

    Street thank you also for understanding and giving me a thumbs up.

    It is 10 degrees here this morning and it wasn’t until afternoon that it got above 11 to a balmy 20 yesterday. What happened to that old adage about March coming in like a lion and going out like a lamb? It came in and is going out pretty much in the same way this year….Global warming, I guess, is to blame.

    Happy Palm Sunday to all.


  116. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… I expected nothing short of all the reasons why you had to do it, and do it all in your own strength, with your justification, and why you excuse all your immediate actions to play out over all your commended thoughts of patience.

    Patience is a virtue, self control is as well, but, taking immediate action, regardless of any well founded reasons, is not having patience, but it is virtue.

    That was my point, and nothing else needs to be clarified.

    We are all in the same boat here in this life, some of us are grabbing the oars and flailing away in our own strength, and others are reclining on a pillow of faith, patiently resting in that faith.

    I’m not saying you took the wrong action, I’m saying that using immediate action and calling it patience, is a misuse of the meaning patience actually represents.

    This does not fit “my experience” of showing patience, but it shows your heart, your will, and your still learning to be more patient.

    So, I’m giving you a thumbs up for your immediate actions!

    Certainly there is no defense against such love.

  117. cbrown says:

    Happy Palm Sunday Steve and Gary.

  118. oneg2dblu says:

    Of course, we can all claim the speck and log verses, and reject any and all other’s well versed opinions, wisdom, care, love, and correction, while we also use the Word of God, but, out of context.

    In much counsel comes wisdom, but, if we see only specks and logs, don’t we also refuse any counsel as well?

    Everything becomes perspective, it either takes root and grows, or it withers in the heat of the day, having no good root.

    Let Him who has ears… Be Blessed, Gary

  119. oneg2dblu says:

    cbrown.. yes, to all, Have a Blessed Palm Sunday.

  120. jeff1 says:

    While I wait may I see what is important to God for it is what is important to God is where my heart should be but if my mind is elsewhere then I may be blinded to that which God holds dear.

    Heart Gifts

    It’s not the things that can be bought
    that are life’s richest treasure,
    It’s just the little “heart gifts”
    that money cannot measure…
    A cheerful smile, a friendly word,
    a sympathetic nod
    Are priceless little treasures
    from the storehouse of our God…
    They are the things that can’t be bought
    with silver or with gold,
    For thoughtfulness and kindness
    and love are never sold…..
    They are the priceless things in life
    for which no one can pay,
    And the giver finds rich recompense
    in giving them away.

  121. joycemb says:

    Then sings my soul, my savior God to thee. How great thou art, how great thou art. Then sings my soul, my savior God to thee. How great thou art, how GREAT thou art!

  122. cbrown says:

    LOL!I look at the picture above and I see myself,at times. But, praise God He is not finished with me.

  123. narrowpathseeker says:

    Joyce, I have Mother Theresa’s poem framed and hung right over my desk…UNFORTUNATELY like so many other things I print, frame, and hang…it becomes part of the décor and I forget to read it and let it sink in..thanks for reminding me.

  124. narrowpathseeker says:

    Gary… AMEN to your 7:18am comment. I am finding that the conversation and sharing of views here has returned to a more encouraging and uplifting state.

  125. narrowpathseeker says:

    I was wondering if any of us can see ourselves in this analogy. A lady with ways and means to empty her trash, just keeps storing it in her house…day after day..month after month…she buys a compactor..so she can store more…she has a cart to take it to the curb and she has read countless books on how to keep a nice smelling house, but she doesn’t do any of the things she knows to do. The stench is so bad that all the neighbors suggest to her that it may be her garbage that stinks…she responds angrily and tells them she knows how to empty her garbage and that she doesn’t have any more garbage than they do…to worry about their own garbage(which they take out regularly and some without having read all the books on keeping their house smelling good) She tells them that she has an excellent relationship with the garbage collector, but the neighbors wonder is she has ever really met him….The neighbors finally don’t go near her house. If any can relate to this, wouldn’t it be mere common sense to leave our garbage at the curb regularly and stop resisting help.

  126. street says:

    jeff posted,”They are the priceless things in life
    for which no one can pay,
    And the giver finds rich recompense
    in giving them away.”

    the thought crossed my mind, ” what did they give away?”
    they gave away themselves. so hard to do correctly.

    narrow your post reminded me of a comic strip i read a couple weeks ago, the line that was so funny to me was, “resisting “a”rest!” stop resisting!

  127. joycemb says:

    Narrow I’ve worked with a few hoarders in the past. The ones that seemed to be the most equipped to deal with the ‘mess’, the real mess of emotions, were those who knew Christ and really wanted to know Him better, those who were willing to face the pain in the mess. But it sometimes takes a long time to find grace to face the deeply rooted issues that lie underneath. Baby steps. I once helped a Christian friend by having her painstakingly clean one drawer at a time, and praying that God would help her. That was many years ago and she now has a beautiful, clean home and helps others with their relationship with God.
    When I see someone with a bigger mess than I have (I’m not a hoarder or too physically messy) I know it’s what lies beneath that’s troubling them. Prayer works. It’s all in God’s time.

  128. poohpity says:

    While we wait to “discover what it means to be held by the One who is already holding us— in his own nail scarred hands” we can;

    “If you are going to live for the service of your fellow-men, you will certainly be pierced through with many sorrows, for you will meet with more base ingratitude from your fellow-men than you would from a dog. You will meet with unkindness and ‘two-facedness,’ and if your motive is love for your fellow-men, you will be exhausted in the battle of life. But if the mainspring of your service is love for God, no ingratitude, no sin, no devil, no angel, can hinder you from serving your fellow-men, no matter how they treat you. You can love your neighbour as yourself, not from pity, but from the true centering of yourself in God.” –Oswald Chambers, in Biblical Psychology from the Quotable Oswald Chambers.

  129. SFDBWV says:

    I thought I might share this from my copy of Daily Praise. It seems things have slowed down for us.

    March 29, 2015
    Zechariah’s Strange Prophecy
    “All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.” (Matthew 21:4-5)

    When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on an unbroken donkey colt on that momentous first day of the week, just a week before His resurrection, the multitudes quickly recognized that He was fulfilling an ancient prophecy and thereby specifically claiming to be their long-awaited Messiah. The prophecy was that of Zechariah 9:9, and the people in turn began to fulfill David’s even more ancient prophecy, laying palm branches in His path, and crying out: “Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD” (Psalm 118:26).

    This is one of the few events in the life of Christ that are recorded in all four gospels, though only Matthew notes it as the fulfillment of prophecy. And what a strange prophecy it was! One would think that the anticipated King would come riding on a great white horse, ready to put down all His enemies (and indeed He shall do exactly that some day—see Revelation 19:11).

    But here He comes riding on a colt, the foal of an ass, not high and mighty, but meek and lowly! Ah, but as Zechariah prophesied, He comes “just, and having salvation” (Zechariah 9:9). And the salvation He was bringing was not deliverance from Roman subjugation but eternal deliverance from sin and its awful wages.

    These same multitudes which hailed Him soon were following their high priest in clamoring for His crucifixion. Nevertheless He someday will fulfill Zechariah’s later prophecy: “They shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him” (Zechariah 12:10). Then, finally, indeed, “the LORD shall be king over all the earth” (Zechariah 14:9). HMM

  130. lovely says:

    Street responding to your post
    March 28, 2015 at 1:09 pm, i think everyone of us is at a different stage and different way of us talking to God. Thats because He make us different. Sometimes, i do wrestle with God. But after that I need to move on and out of my comfort zone. God’ want us to grow. Doesn’t want to stay where we are. I think after we wrestle we’ve to let go and Let God. The more i hold on and go against the Lord the harder it is for Him to work in me. When i am in trouble especially with sin i should run straight to the cross or to Jesus not run away or be angry with God.

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