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Backward and Forward

P1030476A journal article speaks of reading the Bible backward and forward to see how each page and chapter helps to tell the Story.

A pastor’s weekly messages reinforce the thought that what God has done in the past helps us to understand what he wants to do in us again today.

A treasured book reinforces the thought that we live forward but can often only begin to understand what God has been doing in us by looking backward.

By the calendar of Christ we are now once again in the 50 day period between Passover and Pentecost.

For three days, no one knew what would happen now that Jesus had been crucified. In the 40 days that followed no one knew when or where Jesus would show up next. Then for 7 days after Jesus’ last words and ascension, his friends waited to see what Jesus meant by the promise of his Spirit.

Seems to me that these are the kind of backward looks that can help us lean forward in the faith, hope, and love that enable us make the most of the moments given to us.

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104 Responses to “Backward and Forward”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    When I looked in on the blog this morning at 4:30 am I once again found myself confronted with either defending or explain myself.

    The decision to either write something or say nothing had to be made by a combination of past experience and whether it important for me to “move forward” in the conversation or “move forward” along other actions in my life here.

    I walked away from the computer and did other things.

    I have a life that has to be attended to on all levels continually. How I live as a Christian means that the actions I take as I live are influenced by all I have learned so far from being a follower of the Word of God.

    The Word of God for me has been a combination of what the Bible teaches from lessons thousands of years old, and the unction’s that the Holy Spirit puts in my heart and spirit.

    The difficulties and troubles of this life are all too real and demand immediate attention. While attending to those responsibilities I can look forward with hope because of everything I have learned about God.

    I have also learned that my view of looking ahead is often very different then what God my have in store for me.

    I have learned this from past experience in life as well as the stories of the past lives of ancient peoples given as example in the Bible.

    That’s what sets me apart from unbelievers, they only have their past experiences and examples from the world, I have hope because of my past experiences and examples from the “Word”.

    What good is knowing without doing?

    We can’t just set idle with the treasure of knowledge the Bible has given us, but rather get up and move forward, living what we have learned.

    Times up!


  2. joycemb says:

    Steve I like your post, you’ve said it all I think. Living in the world but not of it comes to mind. Have a God blessed day!

  3. joycemb says:

    Steve I have been asked on occasion: Why are you doing this, or why are you doing that, or even, don’t you think you’ve misread Gods will for you? Even my response to then which is “God was in it with me” isn’t always taken well by fellow believers who think they know what Gods will is for me. It is through the darkest times of my life I felt God nearest to me. And looking backward reinforces the commitment I made to Him long ago. And encourages me that whatever today brings, it’s going to be ok. I hear the same thoughts from you also.

    In the sweet, by and by, we shall all meet on that beautiful shore..

  4. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    Mart, you bring up some numbers, possibly from the mysterious journal — maybe from the unnamed preacher’s sermon series — most of all, from Scripture:

    “For three days, no one knew what would happen now that Jesus had been crucified. In the 40 days that followed no one knew when or where Jesus would show up next. Then for 7 days after Jesus’ last words and ascension, his friends waited to see what Jesus meant by the promise of his Spirit.”

    3 days (in the fish’s belly and the Friday, Saturday, Sunday of the period Jesus was dead)

    40 days (Moses was on Mt Sinai, Elijah was sustained by one meal, Jesus was in the wilderness, Jesus walked around in his glorious body)

    7 things/periods of time (too many to mention, always a holy number)

    Engaging with the Word, both the Bible and the Son of God (the Word made flesh), shapes the worship, the thoughts and the actions of all Jesus-followers.

    Just a brief search, front to back and back to front, through the Old and New Testaments, following these numbers of times — or things — or angels — will yield strong inspiration because of the mighty acts of God through all generations — past, present and future.

    Moving backward and forward among those people and nations who have been moved and used by the Lord fills this life with deep eternal meaning and purpose.

    Joy all day!

  5. jeff1 says:

    Joyce, I have discovered that though I feel nearest to God in my darkest days, he is still with me in my bright days.
    That says more about me than it does about God, for I have to crawl before I can walk. The God on the mountain is still God in the valley, it is I who looses sight of him not the other way around. This is purely my thinking but I was brought up with a God of Wrath rather than a God of Love. I have this notion in my head that God will be angry if I am enjoying life in this world for God is a jealous God. It is not easy to explain but I find it difficult to be happy around God and find it so much easier to be sad.

  6. poohpity says:

    I listened to a debate this week between an Islamic apologist and a former Muslim now Christian apologist on “What is God really like: Tawhid or Trinity?” The Islamic apologist Dr Ally has read the backward but without the forward while Dr Qureshi spoke from the forward to understand the backward of the scriptures. Dr Qureshi had the help of the third person of the Trinity which seemed to be what Jesus had told the disciples to what for before they went out to testify about the things they had seen, heard and learned.

    Looking back how God worked and changed peoples lives gives hope, direction for the future. The difference in depending on self or on God. The people may be different, the cultures may be different, the circumstances are certainly not the same, the times in which they happened are so totally different but it is the same God and how He works in peoples lives remains the same. God’s will has not changed, God has not changed and His hearts desire for us has not changed that is what seems to make that treasure we now have in our hands worth the time spent to read about our omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscience God.

  7. joycemb says:

    Vivien you say you have depression, right? Take that into consideration as I do for myself. Happiness for someone who suffers with chronic depression is very hard to find. I too am learning more about our loving God vs the wrathfull God. Even the words in the Bible can make me feel guilt if I have a hard time ansorbing them. But we keep going, don’t we, just like Steve said also. I try to focus on the little, simple things and find life much easier to bear. In 2009 God told me audibly to ” be simple”. I had a really hard time with that and panicked and went back to college to get my 2nd Bachelors degree in applied psychology. I only have about 10 credits to finish but ran out of steam. Thank God for His wisdom but I always said I am a slow learner. We all are but God gives more grace.

  8. joycemb says:

    Vivien I know you know everything I just posted. But sometimes for me telling my story helps reinforce the fact that God is near and not far off.

  9. oneg2dblu says:

    Backward and Forward, is to me, exactly how God first taught me about Grace, and about how even our own private short lived history, compared to the history of the whole world, teaches us daily about what work God actually wants to do in us.
    The lesson on Grace that God used on me, was to teach me another meaning of that word which to that point in my life, I only likened to my mother’s sisters first name, my Aunt Grace.
    But, when I became a Born Again baby Christian one day at 47 years of age, what other Christians were telling me was that I was led by Grace to walk into that little Baptist Church that day, and find an already prepared song, an already prepared sermon, and a private for Gary only, very personal conviction, that was so great, it could no longer be ignored.

    I surrendered my life to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and that day my life was changed forever
    God had used my sin of taking a life through the Abortion of my only child, to break me into submission, by showing me the absolute magnitude and greatness of His Grace.

    Yes, Backward and Forward, God knows our every moment, and uses them which have passed, and have become our history, to bring us forward into His Graceful, Loving, Nail Scared Hands!

    What a lesson I had to learn that day, from looking backward and forward and all in a one felt swoop of Grace, it was certainly beyond my past understanding.


  10. street says:

    mart said,” A treasured book reinforces the thought that we live forward but can often only begin to understand what God has been doing in us by looking backward.”

    looking back gives a us a different perspective. sure the experience was difficult. the pressures of the past circumstance, hopefully, diminished. looking back by faith gives us insight to God’s hand in it. His fingerprints will be all over it. Job was right when he pointed his finger at God. looking back also helps us to settle accounts. to find peace with God.
    thinking oh to be done with sin….some how that is not the answer or hope God is looking for in us. it is the symptom.

    p.s. Mart i wish you would quit posting a pics of me. God’s not done with me.

  11. street says:

    been thinking and this has helped me tonight,
    17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

    jeff was thinking about happiness and sadness of the Christian life. was thinking how some people when saved think life will be easy street and one joyful thrill after the next. others think it will be an overbearing kill joy type of life with one cross to bear after another. somewhere in there is a true Christian life. the later will be able to adapt much more quickly to a correct walk vs the one expecting happiness and joy. i think i bought into the joy part. either way sin is dealt with at Calvary. no matter how much pain/sin i might have to go through i know He will not let me go! for that i will be eternally thankful. any one seen my cross? praying for strength and faithfulness to carry it. it’s mine! not yours.

  12. street says:

    thinking of the yoke Jesus offers His followers. he says it is easy and light. this is true compared to the yoke of sin. He asks us to take up our cross daily and follow Him. i find myself stumbling all the time. could it be i have been eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or drinking from the fountain of doubt? He picks me up daily and encourages me to go on. i know He is right and it’s the best coarse of action. i am glad He calls us sheep because He is not ignorant of our condition or short comings. oh to make my Sheppard’s heart joyful!

  13. SFDBWV says:

    Looking at the picture of the jackass brings stubbornness to mind. How it fits into this topic escapes me.

    However it makes me think of what basic instinct drives such a beast.

    I would imagine food and procreation.

    Which brings me to people. What basic instincts drive us that is so different from the stubborn jackass Mart has pictured for us?

    Most understand the term “creature comfort” as most of us just want to be comfortable and at peace; happy.

    Even in our lofty thinking about God, we seek to please Him so that we are assured of being cared for pleasantly even after we are dead.

    Solomon lived a life of self- indulgence in an attempt to find happiness and contentment, but learned only that such things are only chasing the wind and vanity.

    The people Mart mentions in this time between the resurrection and Pentecost were in confused anticipation of what await them. It appears to me that once a person becomes a Christian for the remainder of their lives they do the same.

    While non- believers work hard at producing a future for themselves, some Christians do the same believing they can convince God to do their bidding and give them what they want. Believing that living that holy life in obedience will be rewarded here and now as well as in the hereafter.

    Still all about finding “happiness”. “contentment”, “peace”; only to find out that in the end the only real peace is letting go and trusting everything to God.

    Only then can one go on with life accepting the good with the bad as being the will of God.

    Maybe now I see, why there is a picture of a stubborn jackass included in this topic.

    25 degrees this morning and clear.


  14. jeff1 says:

    It would seem then that Einstein’s quote may have hit the nail on the head.

    Before God we are all equally wise-and equally foolish

    Being a slow learner is what bothers me Joyce, I am so slow I believe I miss the point and that really bothers me. If it didn’t bother me then why is it in my thoughts, what is God trying to tell me and why do I not understand his will in my life!

    I am not learned in the word like many here are and maybe that is why I feel more vulnerable to ungodly thinking. Having psychotic episodes has made me fearful for it was like being in hell itself.

    You all here believe in reading the word for yourselves while I do not trust what I would take from the reading as I have too many mental issues.

    I am so slow that it took me ages to get Street’s joke about the picture. I suppose I don’t understand God’s patience because I frustrate myself most times!

  15. poohpity says:

    Statistics show that only 1.4 out of 10 Christians read their Bibles daily. One does not have to worry about mental issues and reading the Bible trust God to make His very Words come alive to whomever reads them. He is the teacher we are the students and knowing His omnipotent power that is not to hard for Him at all especially when that is something I would think makes His heart glad, that we search to know Him better and better.

    I chuckle about the picture because that is representative of all human nature stubborn and rebellious to the core but they are very useful to their Master.

  16. poohpity says:

    I was wondering if Mart may have put that animal in the photo because we are discussing the time of waiting after the events of Easter. The donkey brought Jesus into the city triumphantly with celebration and singing only to find days and weeks later fear, sadness, grief and mourning followed. The people were looking backwards rather than looking forward to the promises being fulfilled to promote faith, hope and love.

  17. oneg2dblu says:

    To me… that animal is like all humanity, he just being what he is, and before our knowing God we were the same, that would mean he is also unharnessed, unbridled, unyoked, roaming freely, using its own mind and will, if you will.
    Following instincts, nature, and his will to survive.
    That fact that he did survive at all, means that God provided for his needs.
    But, he is not created in the Image of God, like we are, he is an animal.
    Because all things are possible with God, God could even give him a human voice if God required it, as He’s done that once before…
    Probably, statistically, 0% of jackasses actually learn to read, and of that percentage, even less of them prefer to read the bible.
    That was my joke of the day!

  18. joycemb says:

    Good morning Vivien and all,

    Vivien even though you may not have the background of higher education IT DOES NOT MATTER! And even with your psychotic episodes God is using you! You ARE the very will of God, our very self that He created. Doesn’t matter what you do or don’t do according to what you think you SHOULD be doing. The word ‘should’ is a trap and neverending. Being simple, as God told me to be a few years ago has forced me to let-go of my own ‘shoulds’. The preacher is Ecclesiastes was right when he stated; There is a time and a season for everything. Also, I do believe that God will lead you into the Truth, as I also spent many years myself searching for Truth.
    Even though you may not be able to trust yourself for various reasons, you are way ahead of most as you trust and allow God to speak to you however you can hear Him. Music is a gift of God, you have been blessed with that wonderful gift of enjoying and hearing His voice through it.

    I am so blessed to visit with you and others on this blog. It gives me strength and courage to learn to trust myself that it is ok to trust God when He encourages me to keep going with what I have left (being 65) to give and do.

    By the way, Jesus said we were sheep not donkeys, or jackasses, or whatever variation of the word we like. Sheep are followers, we are the sheep of His pasture.

    Psalm 100

    Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
    Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing!
    Know that the Lord, he is God!
    It is he who made us, and we are his;[a]
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
    Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him; bless his name!
    For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.

  19. street says:

    steve said,”Most understand the term “creature comfort” as most of us just want to be comfortable and at peace; happy.

    Even in our lofty thinking about God, we seek to please Him so that we are assured of being cared for pleasantly even after we are dead.”

    i believe you are correct in this thinking. i also think of the fly in the ointment, suffering and painful circumstances are a direct result of God’s will. it is in this that we discover our independence and dependence on God. we also learn of God’s independence of free will. in all this a relationship is sought after and developed in Spirit and truth that leads to worship. i think this contentment comes when we get God and He gets us. the difficulty is that there is a sanctification process and growth going on till maturity. Job is interesting man in that he suffered greatly and was innocent. God said he was innocent and a man of integrity, meaning complete, mature, sound. their relationship grew deeper and profoundly when
    God responded to Job’s inquiry. in regard to all men being equal before God, all suffer too. question is did we grow closer to God or father away?

  20. joycemb says:

    Street I also agree with you and Steve. We were not built for the kingdom of the world (Satans territory) but built for the kingdom of God, which is why we suffer so we can learn by letting go of EVERYTHING, how to live in that New World.

  21. street says:

    joycemb said,”By the way, Jesus said we were sheep not donkeys, or jackasses, or whatever variation of the word we like. Sheep are followers, we are the sheep of His pasture.”

    He made us more than sheep! He made us Sons and Daughters of God by adoption though Jesus at the cross.

    i have to admit i feel like a donkey when i fail to carry my cross correctly or ignore it completely. obedience, practice and patients, He is faithful.

  22. street says:

    dear joycemb, this everything you mention has been on my mind again and it collides, i think with two scriptural verses. the first verse is the board in the eye and the second is taking up your cross. Jesus said we would be able to help our brother to remove the splinter from his eye if we able to remove the board from our own. a truly worthy goal for the children of God! my thinking is our cross we carry is the board in our eye. we can leave it there or carry on our backs and follow Jesus clear sighted. Oswald Chambers devotional as been talking about crucifying the old man over the last coupe of days. my thoughts on this are the s.o.b. doesn’t want to die! even though i know without question the old man will be left behind and the is no real life in him. life, real life is in the New, or second, Adam.

  23. joycemb says:

    Street I think that dying to self is a process, a lifelong one. Enoch and Elijah were translated without having to physically die. Did they complete the process? Or did their usefulness here on earth end? If God would have granted Jobs desire to die (and mine also many, many times) we would not be enjoying the fruits of our labors, our dying to self to find that God is more than enough!

    My humble advice is to ease up on yourself, we are always harder on ourselves than God is.

  24. joycemb says:

    John 10:26-27

    Yes we are sons and daughters of God, but Jesus is always our shepherd who teaches us the way to go.

  25. joycemb says:

    BTW, Jesus died for all of us s.o.b for that’s what we once were but now are new creations in Christ Jesus!

  26. foreverblessed says:

    Steve, did you also read my comment to you on 5.40 am yesterday, I hope you did! I have no ill feeling towards you, but my question was not appropriate, as I myself have not gained that total peace in Christ yet, although I look for it!
    I do not mean a blissful life in the physical, I mean the peace that Corrie ten Boom talked about, a peace she had while being in a Nazi camp! Jesus was very close to her! So she was not as badly damaged as were other prisoners. Her sister was much closer to God then she was, she said, her sister Betty would teach her to forgive the evil doers all the time. I guess, Street, that is the cross you are talking about, the cross where we put our anger when mistreated, while being in very dark places. Where Jesus is there is the Kingdom.
    (Corrie ten Boom was dutch so she speaks to my heart a little more)

    But I was also looking for peace around me, all people around me being obedient to God, being lovable, and my country being a christian country, but Paul told us to pray so that we can preach the gospel, The Gospel of the Cross.
    Everything is solved at the cross, it helped me yesterday, and today, and I hope not to forget it.

    About the Jackass, a male donkey-
    In our country there is a saying a donkey does not hit a the same stone twice.
    So the donkey remembers what was in the past, he does not forget the pitfalls he was in.
    But do not get in depsair when falling more often then once:
    Anyway Proverbs 24:16 says, though we fall 7 times we will rise again

  27. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Evening All…I just want to say that I stop by daily to read and it is very uplifting to see the collective wisdom, humor, inspiration, humility, sincerity, love and peace restored to this site. I don’t have time to write in regard to each of your contributions here and I know that if I started naming you all that I would momentarily forget someone and I don ‘t want to do that…so thank you to all of you that make this site an encouraging place to rest in an ugly scary world. May our Lord Bless each of you for your loving contributions.

  28. street says:

    foreverblessed said,” I do not mean a blissful life in the physical, I mean the peace that Corrie ten Boom talked about, a peace she had while being in a Nazi camp! Jesus was very close to her! So she was not as badly damaged as were other prisoners. Her sister was much closer to God then she was, she said, her sister Betty would teach her to forgive the evil doers all the time. I guess, Street, that is the cross you are talking about, the cross where we put our anger when mistreated, while being in very dark places. Where Jesus is there is the Kingdom”

    this touched on a though from the book of Job again. Job testified that he was innocent and God confirms it. by the way the list of Job’s integrity is long and impressive. the bet with satan is Job speaking well of God or believe for nothing. in other words for payment or benefit. satan lost the bet, twice. for Job to seek justice and true judgment in suffering is in keeping with the requirements of God for upright living. he did this in integrity and uprightness. his faith and trust were broaden and deepened. his longings for God were satisfied. i would think they were on a first person basis, would be an understatement.

  29. street says:

    foreverblessed said,” I guess, Street, that is the cross you are talking about, the cross where we put our anger when mistreated, while being in very dark places. Where Jesus is there is the Kingdom.”

    the cross of personal struggle is the cross of a former pet sin. it’s influences are still felt today. the anger management and condemnation are to be dealt with at the cross. either way, external or internal, struggle with sin does not diminished the effect of grace and mercy. my struggle is understanding and doing life correctly in regard to my former self. i guess i am not growing up as fast as i would like. in this God grace is magnified. He must increase i must decrease. John had it right.

  30. street says:

    backward and forward…

    “There is a wisdom that is woe; but there is a woe that is madness. And there is a Catskill eagle in some souls that can alike dive down into the blackest gorges, and soar out of them again and become invisible in the sunny spaces. And even if he for ever flies within the gorge, that gorge is in the mountains; so that even in his lowest swoop the mountain eagle is still higher than other birds upon the plain, even though they soar.”
    –from MOBY DICK by Herman Melville

    i like the quote but, why the interest in self to compare to others? sounds backwards to me. cain stumbled badly when comparing.

  31. poohpity says:

    Understanding what God wants to do in us and making the most out of the time we are given seems like worthwhile reasons to seek out what is revealed in the Book of Books. We have the pleasure of knowing now what the disciples waited for in the gift of the Holy Spirit. But do we know how to listen to that Spirit? Or do we really trust that there is a Spirit who wants to bring so much into our lives so that the time we are given is meaningful, fruitful, experienced with great joy as we grow closer to our God. Keeping our lamps filled with oil so they continue to burn brightly until the bride groom comes to claim His church. Will we be aware and prepared?

  32. street says:

    joycemb said,”My humble advice is to ease up on yourself, we are always harder on ourselves than God is.”

    Matthew 5:29

    Matthew 6:22

  33. jeff1 says:

    Gary, your post 12 April 10.34 am

    I have been thinking your observation on animals not being created in the image of God like humans are. You have said something which is very apparent in Society today without God we behave like animals. I would go as far as saying a lot of animals behave better than some humans. The problem is that because I(speaking for myself) struggle with being somewhere in between an animal and a human being I do not always reflect God in a good light.

    If I fail as a Christian then I fail God and cause more people to fall away from God because of my actions. When I listen to non believers talking it is mainly because of what Christians have done in God’s name is the reason for them not believing in God and history has shown that these Christians believed that this was God’s will for them.

    In my own Country terrorist’s have done deeds and are still supported by their Church. I worked with a Roman Catholic woman from Southern Ireland she said to me she could not forgive her Church for when her friend committed suicide the Church would not bury her and she was buried in a field.
    She said to me that the same Church had buried a hunger striker who was a member of the IRA and give him a Christian burial so how was it right that her friend had been denied such a service.

    While religions continue false teachings in God’s name this world cannot reflect the God of the Bible and that is why humanity cannot solve her own problems. If Christ were to return to this Earth today he would meet with the same hostility from religious leaders as he did in his time.
    God knows what he is doing for lets face it man certainly does not know the difference between what is right and wrong in God’s eyes.

    In my Country today homes that were set up for orphan children by so called Christians men and women are now being named and shamed as homes were abuse was carried out. This is not just down to one Church for I just hear the other day that other religions have been brought into disrepute.

    Looking backwards Christians have done very little for God’s reputation because if we are not practising what we are preaching we are doing God more harm than good.

  34. jeff1 says:

    Joyce, want to thank you for encouraging me that through music I can hear God talking to me for when you have mental issues you can get confused but I do believe God is reassuring me through Gospel music which as I said before I was introduced to when I was just about ten years old. Your words lift me and it is because you understand what I am going through having been there yourself. Also I agree with you on seeing us more like sheep than donkeys and your are so right Jesus is the Good Shepherd. This site has also been instrumental in my walk of faith for I see such varied views and this helps me realize, that as you say Joyce, we can sometimes be hard on ourselves because of past mistakes. My concern is that I want to learn from my mistakes and I need to change my way of thinking to do that which is why here is such a sanctuary for me as I do not have many right thinking around me.

  35. oneg2dblu says:

    jeff1… Yes, the world can’t help or heal itself.
    If it could it would not need God.
    But, only through a right relationship with God, as shown in the word, in the past times of blessings received by Israel as a nation, and by other certain individuals that God chose to write into history.
    Many times where Obedience trumps Sacrifice.

    Now, through a personal relationship today with Christ, we can be raised up out of this downward spiraling world, and be lifted up out of the mire of our own making by receiving His Grace, and walking into His Marvelous Light.
    So, the world that says they don’t follow Christians, or read the bible, or watever, “because,” they say Christians are no better than them and even worse in some cases, as they love to cite the Crusades as part of every Christians failed walk, where they may be correct in the eyes of the history held by man, but in the eyes of man, “All a man’s ways seem right to him,” and Christians who know better, even if they do not currently do better, they are still well ahead of the learning curve, or the rest of the herd/world, because by faith they can, Recognize Christ as their Personal Savior, and the world, still being Enemies of God, refuse to accept God as Ruler, or Master of their lives, and they will use any excuse to support their wrong minded thinking, their wrong minded blindness, their wrong minded fallen state.
    Only through the Renewing of the Mind will God ever set them free from the thoughts they now, thoughts they now so strongly hold on to.
    Today’s ODB addresses this issue of not letting go, even for a Christian, and not fully submitting our lives so that God can use us as, as representing a right standing, a law abiding, a putting God first, and a Praying First, type of Christian.
    We are all still failing works, but we are progressing toward perfection in Christ, Thank God!
    Be Blessed, Gary

  36. joycemb says:

    Street yes Jesus offered a whole new way of looking at the commands. The jist of it is He must increase, I must decrease. Keeping our focus on Him no matter how any times we stumble or fall He will pick us up. He does not like false piety or those who try to fool God and others by outwardly doing what appears to be richeous. No, he wants our devotion from the heart. Being honest with Him about our sins-yes those no one can see- is how He can help us. And He will help us if we ask out of a pure heart that has been cleansed by the grace as found in Christ Jesus atoning for our sins; ALL our sin. We receive grace because it is a gift of God, and cannot be earned by acts of righteousness. Those are useless to God. All the worry in the world will not bring us one inch closer to God. But He is very near to the broken-hearted, those who trust that only God can cleanse them from all unrighteousness.

  37. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Vivian, do your friends or family ever call you Vi? Some people like shortened versions of their name, even nicknames while others prefer to use their full name.

    Want always to put a smile on your face is why I ask.

    In a perfect relationship with friends, friends never condemn, but rather always try and be a support.

    In reality such friends are very rare.

    One of the things I have learned in looking backward over my life is that looking backward only has value in how it can help me look forward.

    Backward glances are too often done in regret, while forward looking is most always seen in the spirit of hope.

    The past being the past cannot be changed, but there is hope and wisdom in having learned from those errors we may have committed for they have helped make us who we are at this given time. Without the mistakes we may not have learned a better way.

    Together they make us the whole person we have become.

    Matt and I are off to a doctor visit and so our day a little off schedule. I pray a good day for all of you here today.


  38. lovely says:

    Indeed man certainly does not know the difference between what is right and wrong in God’s eyes.Jeremiah 10:23
    O Lord , I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.we are never meant to know the complete picture God has. Our job is to trust & obey & let Him direct our steps.Isaiah 55:8
    “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.I work with religious folks in a church & have seen injustice within & outside the church.But it is because of all these darkness that the Lord has sent us.Matthew 5:14 . Wherever we ‘re place by God we’re called to shine.lights shines even brighter when it’s dark

  39. lovely says:

    But.I am not perfect & still make mistakes.joy your right I m sometime too hard on my self.But here ‘s what God taught me.When I make mistakes..confess the sin get up & move on.Like learning to walk, when we fall we don’t stay there..just have to keep trying,that’s what training is all about.Looking backward.God chooses imperfect people.Gideon was the least in his clan, Moses is someone slow in speech.God doesn’t need a perfect vessel He just need a willing vessel.Because then His glory can shine brighter through us. God said to me instead of complaining,I can pray.Because when I disobey…& resist God is harder for Him to work in me .the kingdom of God is from witin

  40. poohpity says:

    When I focus on me, my world becomes so small and riddled with mess upon mess but to focus on God and let His grace shine out the world becomes a better place. It seems to me when I expect perfection from myself or other human beings disappointment and discouragement follows and the purpose of looking up is to gaze at a love I know I will never be able to emulate but I can emulate mercy and grace once I have experienced it.

    If I can not even show love, mercy or grace to myself than how will I ever be able to show it to others. God has taught us what is good; to act justly (treat others as I want to be treated), to love mercy (because we have been given so much) and to walk humbly with our God (not to play god).(Micah 6:8 NLT)

    When I look at my life backward I see the oh so many areas I was blessed to be given the gift of mercy to one so undeserving. I see the times the Lord intervened and prevented things from being worse than they were but I am looking at them through the grace of our Lord if I look back through my selfish lenses I look at what I do not have, how disappointed I am in the hand I was dealt and how many horrible things are happening all around. Taking the Lord out the equation does not promote faith, hope or love but a defeatist attitude.

    The only way I can be a reflection of Christ is to allow Him to have His way in my life. The OT in light of the NT shows so many times the Lord has shown His creation grace (undeserved, unmerited mercy) repeatedly and the finishing touch was Calvary. Living a new life is right believing. Getting rid of things that keep me chained to old thoughts, patterns and behaviors and filling my mind with new things and living like I am loved.

  41. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… your closing line made me think of a verse in a song I love, “I am loved by the King and it makes my heart want to sing.”
    Chris Tomlin “How can I keep from singing….on youtube.
    Thanks, Gary

  42. jeff1 says:

    Hello Steve, I get called Viv, and Vi but I let people address me as they wish but I do like Viv best.

    It is so true what you say about looking backwards especially as my Country as such a painful past, my hope is for the future and I see that hope in my Children. The past is now water under the bridge and from my struggles I have found contentment in knowing God forgives me.

    I try to rid myself of thoughts that keep me in the past but in a Country where the past is what effects the present it is a battle I sometimes feel I cannot win, the war and the aftermath have taken their toil and I long sometimes for a peace that surpasses understanding and I do not really believe that such a peace can be found in a world that seems so alien to me.

    I love my Country but in a nutshell I do not believe it is good for my health. Living a new life is not just right believing, it is right living and in an environment where hatred and strife is still rife knowing God loves me is not enough I need to feel His love around me.

  43. poohpity says:

    jeff1, when you go outside what do you see? That may depend on whether you live in the country or the city but what do you see?

  44. bubbles says:

    jeff1, in which country do you live?

  45. poohpity says:

    I guess it would be nice if I went a little further. When I go outside I see different kinds of trees, butterflies, birds, lizards, cactus, bushes, streams, rivers, lakes and mountains all around. That is what God gave me to enjoy because of His great love.

    I used to base my love on a feeling but then I was asked to describe what feeling love is like? The Bible describes love as giving up a life for another(action)John 15:13. Then I learned that love was also commitment to seek what is in the best interest of the one loved(action). It does feel wonderful to have someone hug me but that same person could also turn around in the next moment and knock my eye through my eye socket, so was that love or a momentary feeling of comfort?

    Then love is described as the stranger that stopped and took care of a person who was beaten up and left to die. He bandaged and anointed wounds, gave him a drink of wine and payed for him to be off the street (actions). So it seems to me that love is more of an action than a feeling.

  46. poohpity says:

    I think she lives in Ireland.

  47. bubbles says:

    OOOH! How lovely! I’ve always wanted to visit there.

  48. SFDBWV says:

    Viv knowing that you aren’t a Bible reader I give you this verse from Philippians 4:4, 5, 6, 7 a promise of peace that don’t make any sense.

    There are plenty of thieves in our lives, the type of thief that steals our peace or at the very least tries to take it from us.

    As you and I have agreed to before, the world around us is getting darker and more evil all the time. We see it in the news and in our arts.

    But rather than see the darkening horizon as the foreshadowing of coming doom it can be seen as the promised days that herald the return of Christ.

    People who seem to come against our peace can be understood to be in contrast to the peace of Christ that we already have. So in a way proof of christ in us.

    I learned many years ago that the Holy Spirit feels and we feel His happiness as well as His hurts and insults within our own spirits.

    Which helps explain why we are offended by those who come against our peace.

    Be therefore happy when those around you try to bring you down to their place of unrest.

    Thank you Viv for your friendship here, I pray you are blessed today in a very special way.


  49. jeff1 says:

    I live in a town with shops, restaurants, businesses, pubs and churches many churches. I was born and bred in Northern Ireland which is British. The religious war is about just that those wishing Ireland to be united. The republicans took up arms against the British and people like myself who were raised British took the side of Britain. When the republicans took up arms our Countrymen joined what you would call the Home Guard to defend our Country. Many were blown up or shot in front of their families to deter them from taking the side of the British. In the end the British and Irish Governments signed the Anglo-Irish agreement and the Peace Process where Northern Ireland would share power between Nationalists and Pro-British. The war as you can imagine caused much bitterness and as a result voters on both sides voted in the extreme parties. One of these parties has members who were militant in the fight against Britain and make no apology for acts of violence caused out during the war. Their victims therefore find it difficult to forgive those who see their arms struggle as justified. While extremists are in power I do not feel my Country will progress but the threat of them taking up arms again means Governments are reluctant to rock the boat. The situation today is an historical one and although I know little of Irish history having been taught British history republicans have taken up arms many times.
    This is not a struggle likely to go away any time soon so we live with the aftermath of war and an uneasy peace.
    While my faith has been my refuge many times I have doubted God. Before the troubles my faith was simple but I have struggled before God many times during them. I have found peace in that I trust God, but trusting God does not mean for me peace in this lifetime for I have seen too much of violence and what it does to people to see that.

    Gary you said in your post April 13 8.30 am

    Obedience trumps Sacrifice, in a world where God seems so far away from me Obedience is Sacrifice.

  50. oneg2dblu says:

    jeff1… yes, obedience is the work part of sacrifice, and it takes the work of faith also.
    Faith in action, to me, equals obedience, and faith without action, to me, is dead.
    So, by faith we take His Yoke upon us, and in faith we find it is easy, for the scriptures say, in 1 John 5:3, His Commands are not burdensome.
    However, “any work,” for the lazy, or the ones who feel they do not need to participate, they, will certainly have a problem with the work it takes to actually sacrifice.
    I think the word mentions something about idle hands, and I do not think it is considered a blessing sit with folded hands, or to be idle.
    Ecclesiastes 10:18, 11:6
    Be Blessed, Gary

  51. oneg2dblu says:

    The NIV that I failed to reference here says it more closely to the words I actually used, but the meaning, no matter how you express it, is not lost.

  52. oneg2dblu says:

    1 Samuel 15:22 speaks to obedience.

  53. oneg2dblu says:

    In Genesis chapter 22, Abraham was tested by God, and by his faith in action, went up on the mountain to “obediently sacrifice” his only son, and God provided a blessing for him, another way, after seeing his faith in action, or his obedience, which brought about the blessing of provision.
    To me, the two, obedience and sacrifice, are linked as one and both represent a proof of faith.
    For faith that is not tested, can not be trusted.

  54. jeff1 says:

    I am not versed on the Bible so I am not coming from where you are Gary but where from I am and I know God has spoken to my heart as I struggled with my doubts. I find myself in circumstances I would rather not be in but I believe that for whatever reasons God will sustain me in these circumstances. As I see it I am right with God not through obedience but with the sacrifice that Christ made on my behalf. It is because of Christ’s sacrifice that I wish to be obedient but if I fail I believe that God has assured me that I am right with him as a gift not of any obedience or sacrifice on my part. What feels like a sacrifice me is not in God’s eyes for he has already ordained my circumstances.

  55. jeff1 says:

    Mistake in last sentence should be ‘What feels like a sacrifice to me is not in God’s eyes for he has already ordained my circumstances.’

  56. poohpity says:

    Now that is the “Good News” (gospel)! Amen jeff1! :-)

  57. poohpity says:

    Through that message we can look backwards then failures turn into lessons, brokenness turns into strength, weakness turns to dependence and trust on/in God.

  58. joycemb says:

    Our Daily Bread was so encouraging to me today,
    1 Peter 5:6-7

  59. oneg2dblu says:

    Sorry if I confused the Good News with citing scripture.

    Talking about the history given in God’s word about faith in action, seems confusing to some.

    Again, we only seem to go backward to the salvation issue, when challenged to change, which has been for some the whole meaning of the bible message is only the cross.
    I always wonder why we only go back to the cross when we can go forward into a following of the word in obedience instead, and be like salt and light to the ever darkening world around us, and also find that God is pleased with us if we do so.
    Sorry if I have muddied up the water for the “faith only” crowd who think “any works” are not seen by an all knowing and all seeing God.
    No wonder the rest of the world can’t believe we are saved, because we have not a thing, or no good works to show them, other than how we live, whether in obedience to the word or not.
    Have we each decided for ourselves which is a better witness to the world?

    Obedience or disobedience?

    For those who think it makes no difference, perhaps that is why we can’t change ourselves or the world for Christ.

    If we don’t stand for something, we will fall for anything.

    Have a nice day… Gary

  60. joycemb says:

    Hi Gary, I pm someone I thought was you on fb, must have the wrong Gary! But I also wanted to say that in reference to your last post here I think there comes a time when people have to agree to disagree for the sake of good fellowship. Not to do nothing, but continuing to pray for one-another that the light/wisdom of Christ would speak to all hearts, then let go and let God have control. There is obviously an impasse here with both sides just as passionate about their position. I don’t think there’s any real value as far as edification of the Body continuing the debate. That’s my 2 cents worth, please disregard if it annoys you. Blessings, Joyce

  61. poohpity says:

    When one speaks of obedience the focus is on self when one speaks of the Cross the focus is on Jesus. See the lesson Jesus taught about the self righteous religious leader and the sinner tax collector. Luke 18:9-14

    Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness(obedience) and scorned everyone else: 10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer[a]: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

    13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

  62. jeff1 says:

    I think Gary Joyce is right we have to agree to disagree for the sake of good fellowship, I am not trying to be disagreeable I am telling how it is for me, how God turned my doubt and despair around to start thinking differently. Pooh is correct when I look backwards now I can forgive myself for the bad choices I made, in my brokenness I can recognise others who are broken and have patience with them because God is patient with me, and while taking baby steps become the person that God intended me to be before I became so blinded. You are salt and light to the darkening world around you Gary, I am one of your pupils, I am learning from all of you as I have very little Biblical knowledge, that is the Good News that we enlighten each other. The rest of the world does not need Preachers they need to see us behaving the way Christ would and when they do they will see that God’s way is best. If believers cannot get the right fellowship then how can we show the World the right fellowship. We must stop talking on that which will divide us and put Christ first, keep our opinions to ourselves if we have to, humble ourselves is what God wants us to do and leave the rest to God. Let us be his hands and feet for the tongue is the deadliest of weapon.

  63. joycemb says:

    One other thought on the thread. When we post scripture to make our point we must be sure it lines up with the whole of scripture. Scripture should be able to confirm itself. A good preacher knows this.

  64. joycemb says:

    I like what Mart said about reading from front to back and back to front. You would surely be able to pick up on what God wants us all to know. Like proofreading a text. Only we would be proofreading the truth God has shared with us.

  65. oneg2dblu says:

    I am going away and this is probably my last post.
    So, to all here who find obedience so backward thinking and appalling, please remember that Christ hung on that cross because He was Obedient to His Father’s Will and not his own. Good bye for now.
    I find that everyone here finds me out of context.
    I can no longer be of any use here. Gary

  66. joycemb says:

    Gary I never meant to imply that you are out of context. My comments were to all. Please do not go away mad. I understand though, I’ve been mad more than once here. We are human and tend to take things personally, making it hard for some of us, me included, when people don’t agree with my interpretations or in your case challenge you head-on, so to speak. Ask God what is his purpose in the challenges that cause emotions to rise. We are all in this together, learning and listening for the Holy Spirits’ direction at the same time. Do fast again if it helps you. Blessings, Joyce

  67. joycemb says:

    Pooh you said: When one speaks of obedience the focus is on self when one speaks of the Cross the focus is on Jesus.

    I admit I’ve never quite heard it put that way before. For a follower of Christ obedience is the outcome of our devotion and walk with God. Jesus spoke to the Pharisees in a way they could see how their works were not going to cut it, but that all they had been taught was a trap and going nowhere.

    Not to be mean but to me it sounds almost like a cop-out for not having to be obedient. Just my humble impression. We all see things differently though, that’s for sure.

  68. jeff1 says:

    It is what we read between the lines that causes our differences, Jesus spoke to the Pharisees in a way that they could see how their works were not going to cut it, (your quote Joyce) I see myself as a Pharisee who while I tried to do the obedience i.e. follow the commandments I believed I was right with God, but my heart and thinking were not in align with God. I had hatred for my enemies and did not even feel that sad when they got what I felt was their comeuppance. I struggled before God until He made me realize that it was the Cross made me right with God and for that I am eternally grateful and it is now because of a grateful heart that when my old thinking comes into my head I think instead what would Jesus want me to do instead of what I think I should do! The battle is in my head and one which I still struggle with but now I believe I struggle well because I feel secure in the Cross of Christ that even if I take a fall He will be by my side always.

    I hope it is nothing I have said that as upset Gary for I am only telling my story and everyone has a different walk and in my opinion should not let another influence theirs, I for one do not think obedience is backward thinking, I am simply saying how I had got it so wrong in my thinking that I was obedient when in fact I was wayward. I must think what Jesus would do in my circumstances and my doing this I focus on His way which was a life of Service rather than judging, I believe he has left that to His father and we should do likewise.

  69. foreverblessed says:

    Good morning everyone! Especially to Gary, may God bless you very very much!
    May He give you the Spirit of His love, of His peace, every day more and more.

    Today is the day that Jesus died for us, and Today is the Day of Sunlit Garden of the Resurrection.
    Here is a beautiful sunlit day in my garden, with the flowers blossoming, the trees growing green leaves, the birds singing, and it feels like as if Jesus says: come out of that dark winter and put away your winter-clothes and walk with Me in the garden full of sunlight and LIVE!
    God a eventide, April 3,4

    What I learned there is that we have to look to others that we find in sin, “we must always go further and see him as free, the grave clothes of sin and limitation cast aside”
    I never have thought of that, but that is what I try to obey, and ask God to give me the strength and patience and of course love to do that! On the other hand of course this is so, that is how God looks at each of us, when we sin, He sees beyond our sins, He sees us freed from sin, and stepping out of the Tomb in a resurrection life in Jesus.

  70. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Jeff for your story, it is well written, and I understand it.
    I also was an obedient christian, obeying what God commanded in the bible, the 10 commandments, and yet there was still all these dark things deep in my heart.
    There I was the older son, the brother of the lost son.
    Jesus wants to save both of them.
    I do agree, that at the Cross our hearts are changed. And then we are free to follow Jesus! Obediently following what He commanded, and He commanded that we come to Him.
    So what is wrong with sitting at His feet? There the healing power of His Spirit flows to us. We have to sit quietly to have the Spirit working and cleanse us within. Everyday, and then strengthened we go on our way, doing good. But always coming back at His feet to be regenerated. Doing a task, and then come back, and sit with Him.

  71. SFDBWV says:

    I began yesterday by reading Gary’s 2:23pm comment and was confused about his anger and where the conversation had gotten around to his point.

    So after reading over everyone’s comments a few times I just steered clear of saying anything.

    I suppose I should as well now, but I feel it important that we know the difference between living a Holy life and believing we are saved by it.

    There is no doubt that we are to be obedient to God’s directives concerning sin, equally we are to realize we will fail sometimes to do so.

    We are to recognize our sins, confess them and repent, God will forgive because of Jesus’ sacrifice we cannot be expected to answer for God’s decisions concerning any other person, ever!

    Divine judgement belongs to God not us.

    This does not mean we are supposed to remain silent if a believer crosses that line and enters a life of sinful activity while professing to be a “Christian”.

    The key to broaching such a person is “gentle” “loving” “friendly” confrontation, not blunt accusation.

    Of course taking the courageous step of confronting someone’s disobedience puts you in a position of losing that other person as a friend, but the cost is worth the results of helping another realize they are not living the example Christ wants of us.

    We are to be so concerned for the condition of another that nothing else should matter.

    If we see another who professes to have accepted Christ, but lives a life without regret for their actions we may doubt that they ever truly accepted Christ at all and so our concern becomes one of their very eternal condition.

    The evidence of Christ’s presence in us is exhibited by the fruit we bear. Even so we are not to judge that person only present ourselves to them as examples of what living a holy life looks like.

    In case any are confused what a holy life looks like read Galatians 5:22, 23.

    Equally if any wants to see what advice is offered concerning living a holy life read Galatians 5:25, 26.

    One also has to read the entire Bible to see what further a God led holy life looks like. Hard working, family oriented, generous, sacrificial, forgiving, bowing to the authority of God, faith filled and a good neighbor to all.

    This is how wants us to live, but none of which will save us from judgment. Only Jesus’ sacrifice will do that.

    I am in agreement with Joyce that those who believe they can be disobedient to the directives of God expecting Jesus’ sacrifice to carry them *purposely*, seems to be living a welfare life of not contributing to Christianity only taking from it.

    Whereas to me that looks bad, once again it is for God to judge and only for me to struggle on trying to live as well as He expects of me and gives me the power to be able to. Hopefully as an example not a stumbling block.

    Gee I am worn out already. 34 degrees some ground fog as I can see the stars shining through.


  72. foreverblessed says:

    Steve maybe you overlooked, but I asked you to forgive me, would you be so kind to react? That would really be helpful, thanks.

  73. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed, because you ask long ago I do not use your proper name here, I just want you to remember that I do know it. Your feelings and wellbeing are always foremost in my thoughts.

    In recalling your earlier comments in the last topic as well as your earlier one during this one, I seen no offence directed toward me nor did I sense any.

    If you need my forgiveness in order to obtain peace, you have it, for what you feel you need it and for any future offence that may occur.

    I forgive you.

    Please my friend be at peace.


  74. lovely says:

    Obedience & the cross they go together,action & Faith goes together.James 2:17.We are to do good works.Ephesians 2:10.But we don’t run the race aimlessly 1Corinthians 9:26
    Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air.If I ever been in ministry you ‘ll know you can’t do anything without the love of God.that’s what set us apart from other religions that do good works.If we do the works without His love you ‘ll be burned out ,that’s why we need to follow His instructions, how do we do that ? By obedience. We need to know His love..before we can love or even preach about love to others.That is by knowing Him for God is love

  75. cbrown says:

    I have been traveling for the last several days so this morning I caught up in “Discover the Word”. If you have not listened to it,I would encourage everyone to listen to the study on the “Book of Ruth” and share it with someone close.As a prayer request,this Thursday night and Saturday the prison ministry I serve in will be going to a maximum security prison and two youthful offender institutions.Please pray that God’s will be done.

  76. lovely says:

    Gary by looking at darkness doesn’t help us get closer to God although it is a fact that there is darkness.,but that’s why God has called us out of darkness.We tend to speak what we see that’s the way we’ve been taught by the world but God has teach us to believe & speak what we don’t see.Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.When Peter walked on water, he sank because he took his eyes off Jesus and looked at the waves.Yet Jesus reached out His hands & saved Him. We can either choose to stay in the water Let the darkness, fear , worries of the world consumed us or we take Jesus hand & overcome the waves of the world together the choice is ours

  77. joycemb says:

    Chris praying for you, the team and the lucky recipients of the Gospel! God’s will be done. Yes!

  78. poohpity says:

    Trust and Obey =

    They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?” Jesus told them, “This is the ONLY work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:28-29 NLT

    Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If you trust me, you are trusting not only me, but also God who sent me. John 12:44 NLT

    Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.” John 5:24 NLT

    If one does not have the foundation of exactly what we celebrated at Easter and the results after, the gift of the Holy Spirit, the very foundation of our faith how can one go back through the other scriptures and make heads or tails of anything else from God? Nothing from God is dependent on our obedience because only One was able to be perfectly obedient and He took upon His back what we deserve. Even after one accepts Christ as their Savior and wants to boast about anything they do has missed the point, the meaning and the work of God in one’s life totally.

  79. poohpity says:

    cbrown, I heard the other day about all the hearts in prisons that are being transformed. It is just wonderful and will continue to pray for the Lord’s work to be accomplished through your group.

  80. joycemb says:

    Street hi, thinking of you and wondering how you are doing?

  81. poohpity says:

    Some friends of my daughter spent life right after they got married in PNG learning the language of the Mibu tribe to translate the Bible into their language they came back to the States when their daughter started high school and now they raise foster children. The husband just went back to another tribe to ask permission to learn their language so they could translate the bible into their language. There are no roads for transportation other than their feet hiking 25 miles in down and up mountain trails to talk with the people. They got permission now they begin. After they got back to a place that a helicopter can come pick them up again because no automobiles can reach even the pick up points. They had a wager on the hike who would get the most leaches. Just when one thinks they are being obedient to see someone taking the Gospel into all the World should cause one to put their hands over their mouths.

  82. street says:

    backwards and forward
    been thinking about the what Jesus said in Gethsemane.
    “Stay here and keep watch with me”
    “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?”
    “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
    “Are you still sleeping and resting?
    “Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.”
    “Rise! Let us go!”
    “Here comes my betrayer!”

    the words, “watch and pray” stuck in my mind for quite awhile. i find it is a failing event much like the disciples experience. the reason they found success in this is they watched and prayed with Jesus. to watch and pray without Jesus is a most bitter experience.

    The high places were not removed from Israel. Nevertheless the heart of Asa was loyal all his days. —2 Chronicles 15:17

    to not remove the high places is madness.
    looking forward to the day when everyone knows the Lord!

  83. joycemb says:

    I would love to visit privately with anyone here. My email is joycebrown84@yahoo.i am a great listener!

  84. joycemb says:

    Moderator I apologize for posting private info. Please remove. Thank you, Joyce

  85. street says:

    joycemb said,”Enoch and Elijah were translated without having to physically die. Did they complete the process?”

    in God’s eyes they are complete. but i think they feel a sense of incompleteness till they get their new bodies with all the Saints.

  86. joycemb says:

    Could be street.

  87. SFDBWV says:

    Whom do you think, Street, are the two witnesses who are killed during the Tribulation mentioned in Revelation?

    Personally, even though it was Moses and Elijah at the Mount of transfiguration. I have always believed these two “Prophets” to be Enoch and Elijah.

    Completing, as you say, the process of life and death.


  88. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Mart, you reference the Bible, I think, when you say:

    “A treasured book reinforces the thought that we live forward but can often only begin to understand what God has been doing in us by looking backward.”

    Hanani, the seer, advised King Asa of Judah concerning the case of war-fever that had him in its grip. The judgment he gave the king has always reverberated in my memory — as a mighty counter-balance to the working of evil in the world. (Job 2:2)

    Hanani said:

    “The eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)

    It seems to me every Jesus-follower must decide how to live in view of God’s intimate and continual presence in all places at all times. We have never been alone. We are now observing that season between Passover and Pentecost — anticipating the extraordinary appearance of the Holy Spirit!


  89. joycemb says:

    Good morning Maru and thank you so much for posting 2 Chronicles 16:9 as it is one of my favorite scriptures!

    As you posted I was writing about how the enemy has a favorite tactic he uses on the elect; To make them think they are not really Christians. If anyone is beginning to feel that way, take heart! The Lord is with you and will strengthen you in due time. Your time of testing is the Lord’s patience as He waits for you to cry out to Him for wisdom and strength. And He WILL strengthen you! In our obedience we call upon the name of the Lord and we are blessed as we trust in Him for our deliverance from evil, and life everlasting!

  90. poohpity says:

    When I look back in that treasured book I see the repeated attempts of God to be a integral part of our lives and for our desires to be for Him. Hosea was a very good book to show that. Now with the help of the Holy Spirit our eyes can see how our relationship with God is manifested through that book. The faithful seeking the unfaithful, the committed seeking the uncommitted.

    Oh, that we might know the Lord!
    Let us press on to know him.
    He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn
    or the coming of rains in early spring.”

    I want you to show love,
    not offer sacrifices.
    I want you to know me
    more than I want burnt offerings.

  91. poohpity says:

    When one thinks about it the authors of the NT were looking backward and telling what they had witnessed so that to go forward we would come to believe. Jesus also looked backward and taught from the OT about Himself to reveal the Father’s intent all along that had gotten so messed up and confused by those religious folks who wanted to hold places of honor rather than honoring God.

  92. poohpity says:

    That does not seem any different than today where Christians want places of honor and recognition rather than giving all that to the One they follow to whom is the very source.

  93. street says:

    mart said,”A pastor’s weekly messages reinforce the thought that what God has done in the past helps us to understand what he wants to do in us again today.

    A treasured book reinforces the thought that we live forward but can often only begin to understand what God has been doing in us by looking backward.”

    looking backwards i see He has given me life and blessed me. why is it hard to see these looking forward?

  94. street says:

    steve said,” Whom do you think, Street, are the two witnesses who are killed during the Tribulation mentioned in Revelation?”

    i think one of them will be Elijah. the other i don’t know. maybe He could send you?

    it’s not easy wrestling with evil. i do not envy their job or the things they will have to go through. i am thankful for His mercy and grace He has extended to me and mankind. just need to love like He does.

  95. joycemb says:

    Thanks for all the emails. One email from a Kathryn N. asked me to please stop causing contention and strife on this blog with Pooh. She said I was the reason she does not read here anymore.

    Well, I’ve been praying about this all morning, and I did ask her to share her thoughts here so we could discuss it honestly.

    The conclusion I have come to is this, when there is an ‘elephant’ in the room, the tendency is to tip toe around it, ignore it so you don’t cause it to get angry and hurt you, or, try to appease it. This is what happens in abusive families a lot. Some people are wise enough to walk away from hopeless situations like this. Some of us who are trained to work with abusive situations-(why? Only God knows)-do not tip toe, we challenge the elephant head on. It’s not pretty and upsets a lot of people and is utterly crazy-making. But God has brought me here and I have a certain skill-set that He has given me to use.

    I have tried in various ways to befriend the elephant here, but to no avail. And what I have gotten in return are lies, self-pity/righteousness from this very strong elephant both here and in private.

    As you just stated, street, “It’s not easy wrestling with evil.” But wrestle we must till God intervenes.

  96. SFDBWV says:

    This place just like any gathering of individuals presents the opportunity for us to put our best face forward, especially as we come together in the name of Christ to discuss life issues in the context of our faith in Jesus Christ.

    Personalities are going to get in the way of our discussions, this is a casualty of two or more coming together.

    I ask Street an honest question of who he/she thought the two witnesses would be in Revelation. I completely respect an honest answer of “I don’t know”, but to follow it up with “maybe he could send you” seemed to me to be derogatory, inflammatory and certainly unnecessary.

    So it upset me.

    Now Jesus say’s for us to simply turn the other cheek when we are insulted. So I am immediately faced with just letting the matter slide off and ignore it, especially being that the Proverbs teach that a kind word turneth away wrath.

    Or reply in kind.

    I don’t know who Katheryn N. is as spoken of from Joyce, but if she has not been reading the blog for any reason, how is it she read of Joyce’s email?

    Why would she single out only Joyce’s well stated comments to pooh and not a string of others who have had to contend with insults, slurs and un-Christian like comments directed at whomever by whomever?

    I don’t think it is healthy or proper not to tell a person that they have offended them. At best the two can resolve the matter and remain friendly, at worst one or the other will just stay angry and remove any opportunity to make up. But then at least you know where you stand regarding them.

    Having said all that, Street I felt offended at your added comment, if it was not given in the spirit I received it, then I apologize to you for thinking it was an insult, if it was given in jest, it wasn’t funny and if meant as an insult how then do you think you have represented yourself as a Christian?

    I give you all evening to think of your best reply because I won’t be back on here until tomorrow morning, I only ask that you be honest. God will know if you aren’t and so will you. Some of the rest of us will too.

    Joyce is not the only person who has had words with pooh. I don’t get dragged into disagreements that can’t be resolved which is why I continued to have a discourse with Gary and will with any, until I see no hope for any resolution. It is then that I just don’t read what they have to say any longer and try and have as pleasant a conversation with those who want to.


  97. narrowpathseeker says:

    LOL!!! Joyce, if there is a Kathryn that doesn’t read here anymore because YOU confronted ANYBODY, I would be VERY surprised… I think few if any would agree with “Kathryn”s view. Please don’t take it to heart. Smile!!! It is almost comical.

  98. phpatato says:

    Amen Steve…as always. xo

    You voiced my same question….how can one get an email address if one stopped reading the blog???

    Joyce, please know that I consider it a blessing to have your name in my email contact list. There are many more here whose email addresses I wished I had. Save for one or two “banes”, I love this blog and everyone participating in it!! I hope the old saying proves wrong in that the bad apple won’t ruin the barrel. Love does win and there will be plenty of it if we patiently persevere by overcoming the bad with good.

    Blessings to all


  99. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pat and Steve..an AMEN to both of your comments.

    Steve, I am glad that you confronted that remark, “maybe He will send you”. I was insulted for you and had to sign out.

  100. jeff1 says:

    I agree with Steve about the remark “maybe He will sent you” and understand why he would feel hurt. It was unnecessary in the context of the answer. You are the one here Joyce who is least likely to offend so I do not get where Katharine is coming from. These are my honest comments.

  101. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you very very much Steve, that does good to my heart.
    I honostly believe that whatever grudges we hold against one another, we above all forgive!

    Imagine if God would think about us, like we think about each other, we would have had no chance with Him.

    I God calling, April 16
    ” God is Love. Link it up with My “I and my Father are one.” Dwell on My actions on earth. See in them Love in operation.

    If it was God who so acted, then it was Love, Perfect Love, performed those actions, those wonders. Then you, too, must put Love (God) into action in your lives. Perfect Love means perfect forgiveness. Lo, my children, you see that where God is there can be no lack of forgiveness, for that is really lack of love.”

    That is why I believe the message of the Gospel is the message of the Cross, Christ and Him crucified-
    It is and exchange at the Cross:
    We bring our grudges, our grievances, our hurt to the Cross
    He gives us Comfort, peace, love

    Only, this is not done in one big magic step, but bit by bit.
    That is why we are called to persevere.
    I pray that all of you will have big exchanges at the Cross!

  102. foreverblessed says:

    That big exchange at the Cross is what the whole bible is about.
    Psalm 111 to Psalm 118 is sung at the Jewish Passover.
    And the longer I study it, the more I see that it is a veiled message, the message of God sending salvation, that is what it is all about.

    If you read the bible backwards or forwards, you will cross the middle, and the middle of the bible is Psalm 118.
    A few years ago I got a PDF, which said that Psalm 118 is the middle, and with some math they chose Psalm 118:6 as the middle verse.

    But- last year I joined a Jewish Passover, and the Psalms 111 to Psalm 118 were sung in Hebrew, beautiful it was.
    The last Psalm that was sung was Psalm 118, and then it occurred to me: This was the Psalm that Jesus sung at the end of the last supper.
    When you realise that, this Psalm gets a whole new meaning.
    This is the day the Lord has made Psalm 118:24
    -let us rejoice and be glad in it-
    At that moment of the evening Jesus was still rejoicing, this was now the day that was coming, the Day why Jesus came on earth:
    To be bound on the altar Psalm 118:27
    The middle of the bible the Middle of the great message, the message of the Cross!
    We can thank God for His great provision in Jesus!
    Psalm 118:28-29

  103. joycemb says:

    The Lord also led me to read Psalm 118 today along with Psalm 119:1-8 and Gary comes to mind. The message he shares and tries to live by. Jesus’ death does not take away our responsibility to walk in His ways the rest of the days of our lives. Looking back, we see where we needed improvement. But looking forward we see the reason we CAN improve, the Savior who made and changed the world through His obedience. And at the end of our days, gives us assurance that the good we do now will be rewarded.

  104. street says:

    We have no right to judge where we should be put, or to have preconceived notions as to what God is fitting us for. God engineers everything; wherever He puts us, our one great aim is to pour out a whole-hearted devotion to Him in that particular work. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.” My Utmost for His Highest, April 23, 773 L

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