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Words in the Night

P1030465In the middle of the night, lately, I’ve found myself waking, with some of the same words running through my mind, over and over… and then over and over— as if something deep inside me is trying to reach and grasp something that seems too good to be true, suspended teasingly just beyond my will and control.

In the morning, the memory of those words linger, to express a longing heart, and even more— to express… in the deepest reality and truth— the desire of God’s heart for us.

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26).

This Aaronic (or Priestly) Blessing has been called “The Lord’s Prayer” of the first Covenant. It was given by the LORD to teach the priests of Israel how to pray for the people they served.

Looking back, we can read for ourselves how the joy and awareness of this blessing was lost by those who turned their faces and hearts away from the God who had rescued them from idols, slavery, and bondage.

Even Moses was not allowed to see the face of the One whose goodness, compassion and graciousness could not yet be fully revealed (Exo 33:18-23).

Yet, as many of us have now discovered, all of this was moving toward the day when the smile of God’s face would be seen by another diseased and demonized generation— who saw the glory and goodness of a High Priest who allowed himself to be criminalized, tortured, and publicly shamed to show us how much we are loved.

Now we can know, and “see” for ourselves… it wasn’t just for them, but for us, and for all— that the High Priest of God would, on the way to his prayers and sacrifice for us,  look up from the ground and into the eyes of a condemned woman to say, “where are your accusers now?”… neither do I condemn you…”

Not just in that day, but in the all that preceded and followed, we have seen how, and why, one nation was chosen— for all— to hear, believe, and trust, even in the middle of the night…

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”

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230 Responses to “Words in the Night”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Dreams have always had a profound influence on me, from my earliest memories through to right now. I am always looking for more and more encounters with God in them.

    I often don’t remember all my dreams, but have many each night and often instead of the detailed memory of them I am left with the *feeling* they left me with. Not always good.

    It appears dreams have always had an influence on mankind and several are mentioned in Scripture as being a communication from God. Even the Egyptian hieroglyphics give record of their dreams as do the ancient writings of the Greeks.

    Modern science tells us that our dreams are an action of our subconscious to balance things out in our mind so as to give us unconscious peace.

    I read a book years ago and its author thought that dreams we have from God are remembered in detail and the ones that are just dreams are just that, dreams.

    I am not sure he was right. The thought of God whispering into my mind as I sleep in order to give me rest and peace is a very comforting thought.

    At any rate the “Priestly” prayer Mart gives is one of hope given and offered to its intended receiver. One we can all use when thinking of blessing another, especially when we may not know what to say.


  2. poohpity says:

    That reminds me of how with a child most parents scream and yell to get their child’s attention but after learning how to better parent one walks over and gently cups the child’s face in their hands. Now the parent says “look at me, listen to what I am saying” then the child’s attention has been brought into focus then in a soft voice the parent shares whatever they need to share with that child((with few words). Then the parent goes one step further and asks what did you here me say? When the child has repeated it back then they both realize they are on the same page.

    To fully realize as the Lord holds our face gently in His hands time and time again to look to Him, to focus on Him and then asks us to repeat back what He has said to us, “hear, believe and trust”. With those few words comes a life of peace and rest for our weary souls.

  3. phpatato says:


    Just a quick response right off the bat….I too am finding that I am awake for a few hours in the middle of the night, lately. The words running through my mind

    The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want
    He maketh me to lie down in green pastures
    He leadeth me beside the still waters.

    Something deep inside me is reaching to grasp something that is too good to be true. My prayer is that we keep reaching. Reminds me of Exodus 17:12 – Where Aaron and Hur were on either side of Moses helping to hold his hands up.

    If I were closer to you, I’d be there to help you keep your arm stretched and reaching. In fact, I’m sure, there’d be a line full of people who’d be there for you.

    For it is when we stop reaching that hope fades.

    I have a poster that I framed and put on my wall

    May the road rise up to meet you.
    May the wind always be at your back.
    May the sun shine warm upon your face,
    and rains fall soft upon your fields.
    And until we meet again,
    May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

    I pass this on to all of you today.


  4. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA —

    The priestly prayer is a gem — it does teach the one praying it aloud and the one(s) hearing it with heads bowed.

    Noticed last evening as I watched the news, the Vatican representatives who were interviewed by journalists ended their remarks with, “God bless you.” Such is the power the faithful have among this “diseased and demonized generation,” as you put it, Mart. These communicators for Pope Francis’ encyclical about carbon economy showed wisdom in speaking gently and graciously, not with condemnation or anger.

    The wee-hour call to prayer can be night-mares and horror. What a blessing to have the great Amen resounding in your heart and mind, Mart!

    Christ will overcome evil with good. We knew it all along, didn’t we?

    56F and cloudy in NW Oregon.

    Joy all day,

  5. joycemb says:

    Yes, the priestly prayers are powerful and life giving as it forces our attention on the One who gave us life!

    Early on and for several years after my conversion I battled demons of all kinds as the enemy did not give me up willingly and I had to learn the power behind my recovery from evil. I had many many battles in the daytime and in the night. When I learned I could rebuke demons while still dreaming was when I knew I’d become an overcomer, not by my power but by the power of a living God. Those prayers in the Bible have so much power, yet for some reason many churches in the US have convinced us that rote prayer is ineffective because the heart of the speaker/hearer is just looking at ink.

    Mart thank you for sharing this, as usual I will be thinking about this and how my own mind has been shaped by my early fundamentalist teachings.

    My new dog and my cat are getting along like long-lost siblings! It’s beautiful to watch.

  6. joycemb says:

    Pat I used to have a beautifully framed pic of a dense, green forest with the same old Irish prayer in it. It is a lovely prayer, isn’t it!

  7. jeff1 says:

    I would agree with those churches Joyce as I have thought about the times that I prayed with urgency and how quickly God answered while most of the time my prayers are repetative and might as well come from the soles of my feet than my heart. I have lost how to pray passionately or else I do not know what to pray for because I am unsure of what it is I really want from life anymore. My grandmother told my father that she was tired of living and was ready to die and they say history repeats itself and I so understand where my grandmother was coming from now. When the world changes so much that it has outgrown you then you wonder what your purpose is for not even my children understand me and life becomes a battle and I am weary of battles!

  8. oneg2dblu says:

    Pat, Thanks for sharing that prayer.

    How could anyone come away from hearing that word place upon them and not feel blessed.

    Mart, that particular verse you shared today with us I remember hearing many many times growing up, as it was the favorite choice of words for my church as a benediction.

    At first reading, I began to panic relating only to the past hearings, and the closing elements it had always brought with it, but soon saw a great light of continuation and lingering of fellowship revealed.

    I too have been blessed with many dreams, knowing well the Lord was working through them in me.

    Last night my dream contained the needed making a phone call to a well known number for some guidance, but the party who answered was not my intended, but the guidance given was exactly what I needed at that moment.
    Go figure…

    Peace and assurance were both found in a place I did not know existed, nor could I say that it was just a lucky accident, but more Divine Intervention.

    Like Steve has mentioned, this one I can not remember either, not even one word that was spoken to me, only that my spirit came away totally blessed in knowing the Lord was there.


  9. joycemb says:

    Viv my experience with battles is they became a blessing when I realized they were His battles and not mine. I sure understand the weariness of being caught in any battles and after a while (65 years now) a person just plain wears out. We were not built to last but our Spirit will live for eternity. Ask God to shield you from battles and to give you His will for you. He will and I promise it will be a LOT easier and less stressful to deal with than anything past, present, and future if we keep our eyes on Him. I will pray with you that you will be strengthened in your whole body, mind, and spirit until He returns for us. Blessings abundant with love, Joyce

  10. street says:

    “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”

    what this means to me.
    in the not so distant past where law, doctrine, and the coldness of ignorance ruled from a heart of stone, God’s face broke through the darkness with warm tenderness of grace overflowing in love and mercy establishing a peace in a Person. sounds like a new birth. instead of hi mom, it’s hi Dad!

  11. SFDBWV says:

    “Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me the sinner”
    A simple prayer with a multitude of results according to the followers of the Eastern Orthodox Church. A membership of between 225 and 300 million people

    The Rosary equally important and effectual for the Catholic. A membership of some 1.3 billion followers.

    I don’t personally know that many people living or dead, but of the smaller number of people I do know not many are all that good at producing what they feel are well orchestrated prayers.

    Admitting that God hears and respects the most basic and simplest prayer, that none ever have to be eloquent or poetic to get His attention. I hear all too often the most basic prayer ever uttered and I know it gets the same attention of the most talented among mankind.

    It being a deep heart wrenching cry out to “God!” and nothing else said.

    It is said that with moaning’s and groaning’s the Holy Spirit intervenes for us in prayer.

    It is my belief that God already knows our need and request well in advance of any prayer we might offer, and like Viv when we are just tired our prayers still go out from our heart and God hears and receives them.

    Whatever Christian order one may belong to whether one recites a prayer from Scripture or as a discipline of their church or just as a conversation between you and God they all are still prayers and we read that they ascend up into the very throne of God as incense. And they all work for the individual giving them.

    Just for the record Wikipedia is my source of church populations given above and it records Protestant’s at 800 million.

    Do what works for you, just keep the line of communication open to our Lord and you will never feel alone.


  12. street says:

    mart said,”…something deep inside me is trying to reach and grasp something that seems too good to be true, suspended teasingly just beyond my will and control.”

    i find this true when reading where something catches my attention and i have to read it over and over till that which is hidden, distorted, or true is reveled. many times it’s a surrendering to God’s truth because the lies just don’t satisfy anymore.

    we love, forgive, extend grace, because He first loved, forgave, and extended grace to us. may you find Him and all these things will be added.

  13. jeff1 says:

    Thank you for your prayers Joyce for today I feel so very sad, it does not last the sadness for being a manic depressive I am difficult to live with as my family would tell you. I can go from high’s to low’s very quickly and then I level off again. I know God is my protector and that is all I need to know right now. I am not sure that I can cope with anything else but knowing He will always look out for me gives me peace today and I have learned to take one day at a time.

  14. street says:

    remember the woman at the well in the Gospel of John? she said, ” i have no husband!” takes on new meaning in light of the church being the bride of Christ. she was looking for the Messiah and found Him in the most unusual place. not only that she became His ambassador without any ceremony. yes, she carried on her life in that village and we are not told the rest of her story, because God is the rest of the story.

  15. poohpity says:

    Mart, I to believe that those dreams the Lord gives us are hard to grasp especially when they seem bent on drawing us closer to our Lord. It is amazing to understand the fullness of God’s desire to be part of our lives, sometimes I shake my head in unbelief of how this can be. The dreams from Him bring on this sense of relief, amazement, wonder, peace and the warmth of His presence, the magnitude of His care and protection, all the things that are so very hard to understand from what I know, think or feel.

    I think sometimes that all this love from God is just words I cling to but when I ask do you really? Somehow God gets that message to me in some way or some how. Maybe in the things I can see in nature or a song I hear or in a dream but He has always been faithful to help me to experience it.

  16. oneg2dblu says:

    street… do you remember the parting word or the benediction Christ actually gave to her?

  17. joycemb says:

    Viv I guess I had forgotten you have bipolar disorder so please forgive me for carrying on so. I know you have no control over your cyclical moods, but also know your faith in God in spite of them is amazing and real.
    blessings, Joyce

  18. joycemb says:

    Pooh I too used to battle with believing God loved me but, like you, when I would actually challenge Him He always showed up! And in the myriad ways you described. What a great God we serve! Blessings, Joyce

  19. joycemb says:

    My apologies for dis-ing fundamental churches, again. I am being convicted, thank God. There is nothing loving about complaining about how other Christians live out their faith. Obviously I have some hidden grudges lying below the waterline. Trusting God’s mercy to help me get rid of them.

  20. cbrown says:

    Gary, maybe this verse adds some light Mathew 5:20 “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

  21. poohpity says:

    Gary, Jesus’ benediction to the woman at the well was, “I Am the Messiah” and with that she became the first evangelist as she went back into the village to tell everyone that there was a Man who claimed to be the Messiah who knew all about her and still talked to her and many came out to hear Jesus. John 4

  22. street says:

    i had to look up the word benediction, still not sure i got it right. but it did make me look for something more. Jesus reveled Himself to the woman who was looking for Him. she understood a husband just was not making the grade. yet God uses the term husband to describe a relationship along with many others like son Father shepard king lamb servant friend. what she found was much much more. it literally was the answer to this prayer and hers.

  23. poohpity says:

    Thank you Mart for teaching us what a real Spiritual Blessing looks like.

    I find it really said when people say things that are not true, uplifting, right, noble and then sign off with “be blessed” when in all actuality what they did say is anything but a blessing and most often turns out to be a curse instead.

  24. poohpity says:

    I find it really sad not said. lol

  25. carlj says:

    It is in the stillness that God uses to fellowship with us. Many times in the busyness of the day we fail to hear him. There aren’t many worship leaders who use a benediction prayer any more at the end of the worship service. I have noticed when done it causes people to pause, and be silent, rather than rushing out.

  26. oneg2dblu says:

    cbrown… thanks for sharing the light.

  27. oneg2dblu says:

    I think that is exactly why we are all here.
    Although, some do prefer more personal attacks than just enlightening, but, to those who we know constantly bring their personal demoralizing, we must just give those to God, knowing He hears us when we say, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
    Or, praying that they, and do it anyhow, thinking to themselves, that they are already forgiven…

  28. oneg2dblu says:

    Or pray that they know better, and do it anyhow, thinking to themselves, although wrongly motivated I might add, that they are already forgiven.

    Let’s see how should I sign off now that my “Be Blessed,” is seen by some as a curse…

    Maybe, I’ll ask Mart, thinking that it always seems to give some credence to any recent trespass we desire.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  29. oneg2dblu says:

    I find it really said when people say things that are not true, uplifting, right, noble and then sign off with “be blessed” when in all actuality what they did say is anything but a blessing and most often turns out to be a curse instead.

    Me too!

  30. oneg2dblu says:

    cbrown… you like others who I speak out to, only to bring to light, also did not tell the fullness of the context, but pick only what supports a partial point.

    Why not share the fullness found in the preceding verses, along with your message?

    John 5:17,18,19
    “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
    I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
    Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.”

    So, I have a real problem with saying, or falsely teaching, do not look to the Law for any guidance.

    I ask this for our keeping things in proper context…
    Has heaven and earth disappeared yet?
    Has everything been accomplished yet?

    If not, then how do we think we should then ignore, or not look to the Law for guidance, if it is not yet abolished?

    Be Blessed, Gary

  31. oneg2dblu says:

    Everybody gets a chance to mess up, I meant to reference, Matthew 5:17,18,19
    Leading up to Matthew 5:20
    Be Blessed, Gary

  32. oneg2dblu says:

    carlj… thanks for sharing.
    You are correct on how we close our teaching, or service, and how it can bring about a certain effect upon the gathered.
    Be Blessed, Gary

  33. joycemb says:

    Carlj I agree with you that silence is where we find fellowship with God. God does not talk over us when we are talking, at least that’s been my experience. That still, small voice the psalmist talked about remains, after so many centuries, small and if I hear it I must be still, or I can easily run over it with my “busy doing” as Jesus said when Mary and Martha were entertaining Him at their home. Be still and KNOW that I am God. I will be exalted above all nations. Ps. 46:10 I believe.

    I’ve always understood benediction to be a parting blessing also. When God speaks in our dreams is while we are still, isn’t it. Job had to be still and finished with his wrangling over ‘why’ with his friends before He heard Gods voice. I need to be more quiet when I don’t understand something and perhaps God will reveal something to me about the depth of His love.

    I read and write quite a bit on this blog, but I only learn as God reveals Himself to me, His true self and not what I’ve thought whether I’ve studied it from scripture or heard it from someone else. I think we all still have a lot to learn about Love. That is my pursuit.
    Be blessed all, by God, not me.

  34. poohpity says:

    What is the meaning of “Jesus came to fulfill the law” mean to you? If Jesus fulfilled it what is left for us to do but accept by trusting and believing in the One who was able and that certainly was not or is not us, well except for those blinded by self righteousness like the Pharisees.

    Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness 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: ‘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.”

    Receive God’s blessing of grace.

  35. joycemb says:

    Matthew 5:17-20 Jesus is talking about Himself. The word “whoever” means Himself, Jesus. Only He could and was the fulfillment of the OT as He states. If we insert ourselves into the text it makes no sense as to the significance of it.

  36. poohpity says:

    Receive God’s blessing of grace and only those who understand how undeserving they are will ask to receive it or understand how amazing it truly is.

  37. joycemb says:

    But yes we still are called to obey and the I dwelling Spirit reminds me quickly if I am teetering toward rebellion.

  38. joycemb says:

    In dwelling

  39. joycemb says:

    Pooh I sometimes still have a hard time accepting grace. Thinking maybe Gary might have the same difficulty? But God does not berate us or shame us for not asking, seeking or knocking as we all know. The miracle of grace.

  40. joycemb says:

    Pooh that was in no way, shape or form meant to be a criticism of you personally. Blessings, Joyce

  41. cbrown says:

    Galatians:19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”[e]

  42. cbrown says:

    Galatians2:19 I looked right at the comment and still did not see that I failed to enter the Chapter.

  43. jeff1 says:

    It is what I tried to do and failed miserably and had then to deal with my anger, frustration and lack of faith which still keep rearing its ugly head. It is God who convicted my heart that brought me to this understanding that I was completely on the wrong path.
    I cannot in my fallen nature obey completely and God knew it was not possible for me or Christ would not have had to die. What we do in this life will affect our eternal position in Heaven but not our Salvation for we know God is a just God and will reward those accordingly. Do I expect to be the most in Heaven when I know so many who have given so much more of themselves for the Kingdom. When I consider how I mess up my life and my Children’s I can tell you I am overwhelmed that I will be a citizien of Heaven when I have done nothing to deserve it for no matter what good I have done in life when I think about it there was in there a selfish motive, it was never 100% about Jesus or doing good for others there was always ME in the equation. I look at others with compassion because of my awareness of my own self-righteousness and that is why I see my self as another sinner saved by Grace.
    I now endeavour to walk the path of righteousness without the critial spirit (will require God’s help)and in doing so will please God and be of more use in the Kingdom than I am now.

  44. street says:

    gary said,”knowing He hears us when we say, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”
    Or, praying that they, and do it anyhow, thinking to themselves, that they are already forgiven…”

    the incredible message of the Gospel is you are “forgiven” in Christ Jesus.

    what would happen if we changed some words in this prayer?
    lets say,” Father forgive me for I do not know or do not understand”

    remember how it all started one sin led to many others in the same individual? one act of obedience lead to other acts of obedience. yet we still find we our sinners? without Grace it would be a nightmare. as we grow we become mature and not overnight.

    when looking up benediction and who was giving it, a priest. it reminded me that we are a kingdom of priest. there purpose and function are summed up in Christ The High Priest. if i remember right we will be conformed to His image. keep benedictin”g” or interceding on behalf of others. and do not neglect your faithful walk with the Lord. our adversary is not idol.

  45. street says:

    gary said,” Everybody gets a chance to mess up, I meant to reference, Matthew 5:17,18,19
    Leading up to Matthew 5:20

    are you saying we only get one chance to mess-up? “Everybody gets “a” chance….”
    what happen to 70 X 7 ? i know this will blow your mind and it dose lead to the absurdity of repeat sin. i guess eventually you will stop asking for forgiveness or stop the transgression. in the verses above there is mentioned a Kingdom with the least and the greatest side by side and it mentions some that can not enter because of unbelief. they set up their own standard.

    who ever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved!

  46. joycemb says:

    Back to priestly prayers for a second; did you know that when you pray the Lord’s Prayer the ” us” means all believers! That’s so powerful to me, that with one significant prayer I can pray for the whole body. What a blessing!

  47. joycemb says:

    Ok so I have something else I’ve been mulling over in my mind for a few months now. About 16 years ago I was told first by a pastor and then a few months later after I’d entered Bible College by a missionary/pastor that there was nothing notable about my testimony of what God had saved me from, that actually I had more sin to deal with than most. Which left me sad and depressed. But I have come to the conclusion that where sin abounds, grace does that much more! And that the love I feel for God (as Jesus told the woman who anointed His feet with oil) comes by receiving great forgiveness! There is no shame in being forgiven because all sins, all sins are washed away by the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus our great King! Feeling joyfully blessed today.

  48. oneg2dblu says:

    Wow so much contention, or tension, or intention going on here, it almost makes one think they have no contribution worthy of posting.

    Joyce… on the issue of Gary being confused, I Am Saved by Grace. and I am not confused about where my Salvation comes from.

    Others may confuse my thinking, or my place here, but that is for them to do what they want with it.

    Unfortunately, it is not always accompanied by any grace shown by some of the others here, or if it is, then I am confused, but I’m not confused about what grace looks like, or how it feels.

    street… thanks for wanting to change my prayer, I do pray for myself, my understanding, my growth, my healing, my problems solutions, and the like.

    But, I also pray for others as well. I believe the word says that it is appropriate for us to follow Christ in every way.

    So, I will use His words too.

    Father take this cup from me, if it is your will, not mine.

    On your next point, street, I said everybody gets a chance to mess up.
    You asked… if that means one chance,or “a” chance.

    Does that mean I should change my words in that statement as well, for your understanding?

    Okay, I will just to help your understanding.

    If I said everybody gets a chance to forgive, repent, love, share, play nice, respect others, help, would you have asked the same question?

    Probably not, but, I may be wrong, so please correct me if I do not understand.

    Be Blessed, Gary

    0and not by going to the Ten Commandments for guidance.

  49. oneg2dblu says:

    Please omit that somehow “tagged on” last line:
    Oand not by going to the Ten Commandments for guidance.

    I did not put that in this post. Gary

  50. joycemb says:

    Gary I did not say you were confused, I said maybe you have a hard time accepting grace. Is that at all possible? Do you accept grace without any – ifs, ands, or buts? Thats all I’m asking because grace is so much more than a noun, it is also a verb, ongoing never changing but changing ever the recipient of Grace.

  51. oneg2dblu says:

    Joyce… yes, Grace is a difficult one to understand by many who find themselves unworthy, unrighteous, unlovable, or trying to find their righteousness by living Under the Law.

    To all…

    But, I do not expect that finding guidance in the words of God, even those found in the Law, will ever bring one back to being Under the Law.

    So, why would we want to avoid the guidelines/guidance for right living found in the Law?

  52. oneg2dblu says:

    Perhaps the word abolish is misunderstood?

  53. oneg2dblu says:

    Perhaps the word guidance is misunderstood.

  54. oneg2dblu says:

    Maybe the word look is misunderstood.

  55. jeff1 says:

    I would say Joyce that I find it difficult to accept grace. I believe part of that is down to being conditioned into believing I had to obey God’s commands to be right with God. I find it hard to get it into my head that God is not punishing me for mistakes I have made and that it is just consequences of my bad choices.
    My heart knows that God has forgiven me but in my head I keep getting confused as to whether God is punishing me for disobedience. I find it easier for myself to focus on Christ for when I look to God for clarity it is where the confusion sets in. Some may say that I am stopping my growth but I have to live with my manic depression and I find it difficult enough and just want the peace I get from knowing Christ has saved me from myself if you like. I do not try to tell anyone else what to do for they must do what is right for them also.
    I believe God uses me with my weakness just as He uses others with great strengths and if I am happy in the knowledge of that what does it matter to another.

  56. joycemb says:

    I think that ‘grace’ makes us all a little uncomfortable if we admit it or not. It so goes against our fallen sin-sick nature. The nature we are still tied to in this body. Yes ViV the more we look to Jesus the more ok we know we are, warts and all!

  57. bubbles says:

    I was told by my youth pastor when I was in high school that if any person did not read their Bible every day that he seriously doubted their salvation.

    Fast forward 15 years and this man had an affair and left his wife and four children.

    Those in leadership can damage people deeply with their erroneous words.

  58. joycemb says:

    Bubbles those kinds of judgemental teachings or boasting rather always comes back to haunt them but the damage those words do to a young mind trying to learn Gods ways is used by the Enemy to hurt and deceive, just like Satan did to Eve in the garden. Actually words can be a curse that takes years to remove sometimes, I think, depending on the shape the mind is in when we start seeking God for answers. My mind was shattered to bits but after years of healings and the gentle, consistent presence of Jesus in my life it has been renewed- not completely though till I go Home. Aren’t you glad you’ve lived long enough to see those changes? I sure am! I am so grateful for what He’s done so far in mine, yours, and everyone else’s here.

  59. bubbles says:

    Yes. I was skeptical about what he said about doubting the salvation of someone who skipped devotions even one day. Where in the Bible does it say this? He said a TRUE believer wouldn’t skip reading the Bible even one day. I’m thankful for God’s forgiveness, mercy, and grace because I mess up daily.

  60. poohpity says:

    If we understand that we mess up daily then what causes one to examine so closely the lives of others? So we can feel better about our own shortcomings? So we can compare how bad they are and think I am not that bad? What is it?

    To me the reason I daily read is not because I doubt my salvation but I need to hear from God everyday, to spend time learning about His grace, His unfathomable love and not to fall prey to false teaching.

    If one can say I mess up everyday then could we not agree together to show grace rather than condemnation, judgement and criticism of the behaviors of others?

  61. street says:

    joycemb said,” I was told first by a pastor and then a few months later after I’d entered Bible College by a missionary/pastor that there was nothing notable about my testimony of what God had saved me from, that actually I had more sin to deal with than most.”

    dear joycemb, i reflect on this statement in my own life and it it punishingly true for me. over time there is developed a discernment and a hatred for evil. when one comes to the realization of it’s severity and depth like paul one can say they are the chief of sinners. it like running from a forest fire, hot on your coattails till you are safe in the arms of God. there is great joy over the one who repents then over the 99 that do not need to repent. the fire and destructive force of evil in a human heart is unmistakable. it’s on the news every night and i have one in my chest. we are to watch and pray. do not be afraid He has overcome the world.

  62. poohpity says:

    If anyone prompts one to read the Bible everyday I actually do not see anything wrong with that our conversations on here it sure would be deeper, more meaningful, full of life, peace and joy. It is not a must to gain anything, it is a want to.

  63. street says:

    mart said,”one nation was chosen— for all— to hear, believe, and trust, even in the middle of the night…”

    God is not done with this one little nation. right now it is the international issue the rest of the nations grapple with every day. sounds like the same issue the human heart struggles with every day. do we believe what God said or strike out on our own?

  64. street says:

    poo said,” it sure would be deeper, more meaningful, full of life, peace and joy.”

    i find life this way when spending time there.

    the Spirit is in us, the Word is in the book together they make a great relationship between the Father and His children.

  65. poohpity says:

    Yes it does street. We learn of His promises to us, His story, our story and the glimpse of the future along with so much more.

  66. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pooh you wrote this, “If one can say I mess up everyday then could we not agree together to show grace rather than condemnation, judgement and criticism of the behaviors of others?”

    I have to ask, because I just don’t understand how you could possibly write that as though you are above this. What do you call this?

    “I find it really said when people say things that are not true, uplifting, right, noble and then sign off with “be blessed” when in all actuality what they did say is anything but a blessing and most often turns out to be a curse instead.”
    Do you think that is showing Grace? Did you not call one of our brother’s a liar in a subtle and condescending manner? Moreover, you do this daily and usually no one says a word about it but when they finally can’t be silent any longer and DO say something you play the victim..
    Then this….”If anyone prompts one to read the Bible everyday I actually do not see anything wrong with that our conversations on here it sure would be deeper, more meaningful, full of life, peace and joy. It is not a must to gain anything, it is a want to.” Really? That would be nice but I don’t see that happening.

  67. oneg2dblu says:

    Lets all pray that all the verses we share here, the well meaningful thoughts we share, first apply to us, before we bring them to light for others.
    If, we could Practice what we preach, we need to also walk the talk, or our talk starts to look pretty petty, cheap, and repetitive and useless.

    I still do not think that just putting out verses alone, without also including some context, or content of intention, like who or what they are directed to or for, otherwise, there is no real conversation, or dialogue, just copy.

    Be Blessed

  68. oneg2dblu says:

    I would assume most of us already have a copy of the verses one is posting, so if verses are all that gets posted, then anyone of us could just say in reply, see Genesis 1:1 through Revelation 22:21, then we’ve covered all the basics, the bases, and we need not ever post again, because we will have brought all the light that “verse alone” can bring here.

    Just kidding, but, we need to do more than just copy word, we need to copy Christ, to be more human while we are here, and be more holy, as He is Holy.

    Things I know for sure…we all can do better, and we should all do better, and with Christ guiding us through the Helper, the Holy Spirit, and our sharing of the Word of God, even with its Ten Commandments guiding us, we will all be better for it, and properly guided as well, and doing better and better, day by day.

    Be Blessed

  69. joycemb says:

    Sorry Gary, I think Christ has left the room.

  70. poohpity says:

    Just think if you put as much time into thinking about the Lord as you do about me how much better your lives would be. I really do not understand the obsession I am really not worth it.

  71. joycemb says:

    Pooh, with love I tell you think too highly of yourself. You are not an obsession but an irritant. And you are not the only one here…I irritate the you know what out of myself at times. But I try not to irritate others with too much self-aggrandizement and phoney-boloney twisted thinking, as you are superb at.
    I know you are the way you are and can’t change. I know I am the way I am and I can’t change. May God have mercy on us all. If He shows up here again….

  72. bubbles says:

    Ephesians 4:29

  73. bubbles says:

    Ephesians 4:32

  74. jeff1 says:

    I am just thinking out loud about something my friend and I noticed about our sons. When they are under our feet too much they start to irritate us and we them.
    When this happens both parties need time away from each other or the irritations gets worse. It is the people whom we come to contact everyday are the people who get to know our warts and us theirs. I know people who can go on holidays on their own and wonder how they do it for while I love to have time to myself two weeks of my own company would drive me madder than I already am. I love my Children yet they behave in ways and times that I do not like and of course I behave in ways they do not like but we accept each other as we are for that’s what love in action does. It is applying this to my enemies that I have struck a brick wall and handed it over go God. My everday living with family and friends is one thing but loving my enemies who are faceless to me is quite another and while I wish they turn away from the evil they do rather than Governments having to lay down the law the reality of this is that evil is not something man can eradicate. It is in our DNA and until God’s final judgement it is a thorn in a believer’s side. God has ensured that we will all be free from wars, diseases, hatred, abuse the list goes on. In a world were all these are so rife it is sometimes hard to get my head around a life free of them but it is God’s word not man’s word and that is what makes the difference because while men cannot keep their word I know in my heart God will keep His. It is in trusting God’s word that I have hope for the world to come and it has been listening to men’s words and empty promises that has driven me to God’s word. If I had never listened to false teachers and been led by wrong thinking I would never have gotten so close to God to realize that His words do not condemn me for it was in believing that which steals the joy I have in knowing I am His. It is in knowing that God can love an unforgiving person like myself that I no longer hold on to the right to judge those I consider to be my enemies for who are they anyway but those who are been led by false teaching and wrong thinking and I have been that soldier.

  75. joycemb says:

    Just last evening I had a conversation with another blog author Ted Gossard, Jesus Community on WordPress about how the Bible says very clearly in 2 Corinthians 5:10. This judgement is for believers but does not say what the rewards are, but it will be decided on both the good and the bad done by believers. Chilling, isn’t it? We will be held accountable for what we do in the here and now. He states that it’s not a good idea to add on to scripture mans thoughts and ideas to make it say something it never intended. I can see how meanings and interpretations are added by many churches/teachers today, like, doesn’t matter what we do after we are saved because all our sins are forgiven so who cares if we ‘mess up’? Well, it’s sin actually and God cares enough that our redeemer will be looking at how we lived our lives in this coming judgement. God is not mocked, we will reap what we sow.

  76. narrowpathseeker says:

    Amen to Joyce’s “May God have mercy on us ALL”

  77. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pooh, why is it that you insult people daily and when someone points out your offense…we are the “bad guys”? Could it be that you are genuinely blind to the insults you serve on a regular basis?

  78. remarutho says:

    Thanks, Mart, for speaking the ancient blessing over this fellowship:

    “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”

    Peace is rare in our world these days. May our hearts be quiet an attentive to what God is saying, especially in Jesus Christ.

    Peace all day,

  79. poohpity says:

    You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. Roman 2:1 NLT

    For example: Gary is continually saying that most on here are preaching a false doctrine but isn’t what he teaches really a false doctrine. Joyce is continually saying what a phoney-bolony I am or Pearl is continually saying that I insult others or speak down to them. So who is actually blind? On the other hand how much to you guys add to the conversation about the topic we are discussing not much because the focus is on me?

    I have never lead anyone to believe that I am something I am not. I may be blind to the accusation that are thrown my way but I trust in God not only to show me the areas that need work but He will walk alongside me to change them and in the meantime show me gentleness and grace.

    When I admit I am wrong or have acted badly that gets turned around that I am playing the victim. When I have asked for forgiveness that gets portrayed as false humility or something else. There will be nothing I can say or do to change the prejudices formed against me. Because I understand who I am in Christ that gets portrayed as self aggrandizement so no matter what I do or say the worse will be seen. Like I said before do not let me take up that much space in your brains I am not worth it.

    Happy Father’s Day to our Father and to those who have the privilege of being a Dad here.

    Thank you Maru for directing us towards the One who brings peace!!

  80. foreverblessed says:

    God speeks in the night to us, and He whispers sweet words in our ears, How much He loves us, How fond He is of us, He invites us to trust Him more and more.

    Do we react to that, and go to Him more and more?

    The song “Oceans” from Hillsong came to mind

    “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)”

    You call me out upon the waters
    The great unknown where feet may fail
    And there I find You in the mystery
    In oceans deep
    My faith will stand

    And I will call upon Your name
    And keep my eyes above the waves
    When oceans rise
    My soul will rest in Your embrace
    For I am Yours and You are mine

    Your grace abounds in deepest waters
    Your sovereign hand
    Will be my guide
    Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
    You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

    So I will call upon Your name
    And keep my eyes above the waves
    When oceans rise
    My soul will rest in Your embrace
    For I am Yours and You are mine

    Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
    Let me walk upon the waters
    Wherever You would call me
    Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
    And my faith will be made stronger
    In the presence of my Savior

    Oh, Jesus, you’re my God!

    I will call upon Your name
    Keep my eyes above the waves
    My soul will rest in Your embrace
    I am Yours and You are mine

  81. foreverblessed says:

    My soul rests in Your embrace
    I am Yours and You are mine

    In the former topic I posted an analogy of looking for guidance to Jesus, as in formerly looking to the Law,
    as learning step by step to dance, so making steps (living according to the Law) or giving over to the Lead of the great Dancer, and follow His lead in dancing: looking to Jesus for guidance, and yet, still making step by step (so following the Law still, not breaking it, as Gary suggests we do)

    Singing this song this morning in church gave me another analogy:
    we live according to the Law, is like walking on the earth.
    Living according to Jesus, looking to Jesus as your guidance; is like walking on water, totally in faith, it is impossible to walk on water without faith.

    So there is another analogy, and to the One who has captured our hearts and captivated it with His love, like the love of your life in Song of Solomon 2:16

  82. joycemb says:

    Are we as the Body of Christ supposed to just “turn the other cheek” or just look the other way when one member is continually out of line? I think not, that would not be loving one another. Are we to say, well, leave them to God and hopefully He can do the changing. Yes and no. God does the changing, but the Body of Christ is one mode God has chosen to speak to us directly or indirectly. Don’t discount the power behind the Body. It is His will for all to love, care for, and nurture one another in the growing up of our most Holy faith.

    I’ll ask you again, Pooh, why do you push people away? Nobody here as far as I am aware hates you. Do you think you are one of maybe 2-3 REAL Christians in this little community? I am not asking out of anger or sarcasm but out of Love. Because I care.

  83. joycemb says:

    Romans 2:1 is addressed to Jewish moralists and or Gentiles, not fellow believers. It is a good idea for all of us to check our exegesis before throwing scripture out to defend our thoughts and attitudes. You and I both know we can’t trust the thoughts and attitudes of our own hearts.

    May God bless us and be good to us all the day long, Joyce

  84. rokdude5 says:

    Happy Father’s Day Abba Father and fellow Dads…
    Funny, if youre hearing things then I would suggest some medications but in this case, I can imagine some angel repeating those Words to you. How cool and what a blessing is that?

    Now as I wait for those “Happy Father’s Day”
    texts from my “grown men” sons of mine I will keep those Words in my heart.

    (BTW back in the day the biggest day for collect calls was Father’s Day!)

  85. oneg2dblu says:

    forever… you sharing of those words were so wonderful to me, I was singing along, as I well know that song, and I was being blessed by them.
    Blessed right up until you placed me back into your argument, it got darkened again, only because is not about me, never will be about me, it is about giving your own bad advice to not include looking to “All he Word of God” to guide us, but you refuse to acknowledge this point, so you now ramble on as if applying some lengthy well fashioned fig leaves to your past misleading post.
    Even Christ who is certainly, “Our Guide,” yes, but not our “only guide,”for He clearly also uses the Holy Spirit, and very Word of God to still guide us today, and as he says, he did not come to abolish the Law.

    I am regretful that your past life was such a heart ache for you, being raised in a dead church, as you constantly battled with the Law looking for your Salvation/Righteousness, you were falsely taught, and apparently still judge the Law as being your downfall, your capture.

    I have been taught differently about what the Law represents to a Born Again Believer, it is a God given guide that we can use to know how to live right, not as oppressed, downtrodden, failures, who can not get every part conquered by self will, but as lifelong students, Under Grace, but still under conviction to living with, All His Word.

    He Loves Us
    John McMillan

    He Loves us, Oh how He Loves Us,

    And we are His portion and He is our prize,
    Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
    If His Grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.

    He Loves us, Oh how He loves us.

    Be Blessed

  86. street says:

    been thinking of these visits in the night. i remember job’s sorry comforters saying they received counsel in the night and was the basis of their boldness to speak to job. well we know how that turned out. i think it is best to stick to the Word. paul said He has finally spoken through His Son. i believe the Holy Spirit Illuminates what is already there. where before i was in the dark now seeing as through a colored glass or mirror. oh to be holy to see Him as He is. i take up my cross gladly today. i take it up gladly on these good days and i know adversity is ahead. to be like paul and count it all rubbish in light of knowing Him. The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. amen

  87. narrowpathseeker says:

    Happy Father’s Day to Mart, Steve, and all the other Dads that frequent this site. I am not sure of the gender of some here and Gary, I can’t recall if you are a Dad or not….but Happy Father’s Day to you anyway. I hope you all have a Blessed Day.

  88. narrowpathseeker says:

    Rockdude5…Happy Father’s Day to you too…I hope your sons call you soon

  89. oneg2dblu says:

    Joyce… my heart goes out to you as you teach us all a great truth that many today can not accept, but, you know in your heart that remaining silent is not what the Spirit in you, or the witness we find in the word is telling us as Believers.

    You are not a lone wolf, or a voice in the wilderness,
    but a loving, caring Christ Follower, who sees a need to not remain silent, you presses on, only to bring about peace through Obeying the Word.

    Many verses will back up your position, that I am very surprised more voices here do not do likewise.

    I’ll list a few verses if you like, but believe me, they have all been cited here many times in the past, and rarely get any positive recognition, other than to provoke more resistance.

    Be Blessed

  90. oneg2dblu says:

    narrow… Father’s Day is a conundrum for me, for God did bless me with a child, but, I ignored the Divine Guidance given in the words found in one of the Ten Commandments, “Thou Shall Not Kill,” and quite a few others I might add,
    and I supported the loving act of abortion as a worldly solution, because I was not living in step with the Dancer, or the Law, but living well outside it, as I had not yet become a Born Again Believer.

    As life soon taught me, that was to be my only child, and I being a sinner who was not walking with the Lord, chose to take a life, seeing no value in it, but only looking for convenience.

    I suffered one of the tragedies of life, actually many, for my making wrong choices, but, that old man was forever changed!

    So, I am, and yet am not, a Father.


  91. oneg2dblu says:

    PS God used that very bad choice of mine, to break me, and bring me into His Kingdom.
    So, I was both cursed and blessed by Abortion.
    Today, I choose Life.
    Praise God

  92. narrowpathseeker says:

    Gary, I am so sorry to have brought up that painful experience for you. Your honest, humble, remorseful, and heartfelt response was very moving and admirable. For me, honesty and genuine remorse just ignites the fires of love and admiration. Thank you for sharing.

  93. joycemb says:

    Gary you ARE a father and you will see your child one day! I myself had a full term stillborn son I never got to know either, but I look forward to seeing him, as I do my son that died when he was 20. My first son may have had a better chance of living if I had not been a chain smoking, drinking, abusive young mother who didn’t want a child, really. And if truth be known knowing he was a boy I may have killed him with my bare hands, I hated men that much. After I became a Christian I actually thanked God for taking him home and sparing him abuse by my hands and me a lifetime in prison. God has His ways. He saw me from afar off and chased me down until couldn’t run anymore! Praise God.

    To all the fathers and would be fathers The Lord bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you and give you peace this day.


  94. narrowpathseeker says:

    Joyce, you have ignited the fires of love and admiration as well, with your honest, humble, remorseful, and heartfelt response. There is something about honesty coupled with remorse that just seems to ignite the Fruit of the Spirit…I’ve had a couple of people from years past remorsefully confess something they did to me long ago that hurt me terribly as a child and INSTANTLY I forgave and felt much love for them.. On the other hand some very slight offense met with arrogance, denial, lies, and more offense just keeps the merry-go-round of disgust and pity spinning. Anyway, thank you for igniting the good stuff in my.. ;-)

  95. narrowpathseeker says:

    Joyce, your honest, humble, remorseful, and heartfelt response was very moving as well. I don’t know why but honesty and genuine remorse always seem to activate the Fruit of the Spirit in me.. it doesn’t seem to matter what the situation or even if someone has done something seemingly unforgivable…the truth and genuine remorse just bring out the best in me. Thank you and Gary for helping to defeat my uglies today

  96. narrowpathseeker says:

    Joyce, I am writing this for the 3rd time now…for some reason it won’t post. BUT, I will copy and paste this in my files before I try to post it again. THANK YOU for YOUR honest, humble, remorseful, and heartfelt response as well. Again, I just find honesty and genuine remorse so beautiful and admirable.. it doesn’t seem to matter what the offense nor to whom the offense was aimed…just honesty and genuine remorse seemingly brings on instant forgiveness and the Fruit of the Spirit. Thank you and Gary BOTH for helping to defeat my uglies today.

  97. oneg2dblu says:

    narrow… that experience is part of my testimony, so God has taken what was evil, and used it for the good.
    What a blessing to have a testimony to share.

    Joyce… yes you are right, I believe all things will be made right in Heaven, and we will see our loved ones, and our offspring.

    When they ask for all fathers to stand and be recognized in church for Fathers Day, I remain seated because I feel that loving and raising a child, is worthy of recognition, and not ever loving or raising one makes it difficult for me to take any credit for my actions.

    This year they asked for fathers and, want to be fathers to stand, because we were expressing the father position as being chosen by God, to be the godly leader, or head of the family.
    Not to take away anything from single Moms who also fill that position when other circumstances play out in their life.

    I’m not hiding, just acting in what I feel in my heart as a proper relationship to my life’s witness, in not ever knowing my child as well.

  98. oneg2dblu says:

    narrow.. God used what was evil in His sight and used it for good, as that experience is part of my testimony.
    What a blessing to have a testimony.

    Joyce… Yes, I believe we will see all our offspring and loved ones. Everything will be made right in Heaven.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  99. oneg2dblu says:

    I just went through the same posting difficulty, and now I see it finally posted.
    So, we double speak.

  100. joycemb says:

    Gary I can certainly understand not wanting to be recognized on Fathers Day. Is it very sad for you? Or do you just try to get through it?

  101. poohpity says:

    Joyce, the Book of Romans was written to believers in Rome and everywhere. In regards to the comment @ 12:36pm. Weren’t all the epistles written to believers?

  102. joycemb says:

    Yes Pooh, but he’s talking to believers about judging non believers. Read the first chapter, then the 2nd makes more sense than standing alone. Glad you asked .

  103. poohpity says:

    Gee, I thought you said, “is addressed to Jewish moralists and or Gentiles, not fellow believers.” My commentary says, “Often the sins we see most clearly in others are the ones that have taken root in us.” Similar to what Jesus said in Matt, ““And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 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?” Scripture interpreting scripture.

  104. poohpity says:

    The question I did ask was, “Weren’t all the epistles written to believers?”

  105. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pooh, the key word in your commentary, ” My commentary says, “Often the sins we see most clearly in others are the ones that have taken root in us.” may be “OFTEN”….notice …it is not “ALWAYS”. My take is that you posted that to generate the notion that all that point out your offenses are more guilty of those offenses than you, rather than examining yourself for that verse. Do you see me pointing out offenses of anyone else on this Christian blog? Do you really think everyone has singled you out to pick on? Why don’t you read your posts for the past couple of months? If you can do that and not see anything offensive…well, I will not finish this thought.

  106. joycemb says:

    Yep, Paul is talking to believers about how to respond to those outside the Christian faith, those Jewish moralizes and Greeks still following law. Did I misstate it? What I think you are saying is that it’s ok to generalize scripture that fit a more personal explanation. You can sure do it, but if you want to stay true to the meaning of scripture, taking scripture out of context is like leaving a blood trail of pain, shame, and agony for the hearer.

    I see now this argument is not useful as you are not open to learning at this time. Maybe another. Blessings, Joyce

  107. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… I am at peace with not receiving accolades for being a father figure, I may have been a participating partner in the spiral of a life snuffed out, but not in being a father figure to my child.
    That relationship will be in another place and time.

  108. joycemb says:

    Pooh, I think I see where you are coming from. I don’t agree with your interpretation. We do think differently as has been brought out before on this blog. Probably not a good idea for us to even discuss scripture together. I forget so please remind me if needed. Thanks and may God bless you.

  109. joycemb says:

    Gary I did not mean receiving accolades I thought you might feel a sadness on this day is all. Just wondering.

  110. oneg2dblu says:

    let me add on the real missing word…
    “I may have been a participating partner in the spiral of life snuffed out, but not in being a (godly) father figure to my child.”

  111. oneg2dblu says:

    It is a bitter sweat thing this life of learning from our mistakes, but, God takes lemons, and He makes lemonade. :)

  112. narrowpathseeker says:

    Gary, I agree wholeheartedly that this life of learning is a bitter sweet thing. In retrospect at 70..i realize that at the beginning of every decade, I think I have arrived at a fairly safe place of learning…like..surely I’ve learned enough that the rest of this path should be relatively easy….then the beginning of another decade …only to find how much more I had to learn in the preceding decade that was suppose to slide through… ;-) You have a wonderful testimony Gary….I have equaled and surpassed most that I know in wrong doing Gary…and believe me ..I have countless regrets…BUT I know that those experiences all worked for good in the long run…so I can relate to bitter sweet.. Have a Blessed evening Gary…good night

  113. oneg2dblu says:

    I think all of life lived outside the Will of God is sadly lacking. So, in that respect. Yes, I have my moments.

    All the greatest sadness however, came in that moment I realized though hearing the words in a song, on this appointed day, the first time I walked into this little Baptist Church.
    The one day of the year they set aside to speak about the the lives killed by Abortion, to give voice to all those voices that can not speak for themselves, go figure.

    It was in that rudely awakening moment, that I realized I never placed any value on that child’s life, but only on my own selfish desires.

    I put all those past events on the back burner and just went on living in sin as if nothing happened for about five years.

    But, God had other plans for me, and on that day He broke me to the core, and my heart of stone was changed forever.
    Praise God!

  114. poohpity says:

    It was not about interpretation just plainly reading what is written. It can say anything one would like when trying to justify a behavior.

  115. joycemb says:

    Gary that’s awesome! That’s what God does, he changes hearts of stone to hearts of flesh! Ezekiel 36:26

  116. joycemb says:

    Good morning all,
    Pooh I just read what you posted last night at 7:41. Let me explain what I know about judging.
    When Jesus said, “Judge not, lest you be judged” the MEANING has to do with being aware that you, the judge, need to be careful and aware that what you see in others you can find in your own heart. I am well aware, well, mostly, that I too am very capable of twisting and applying scripture to meet my need, to expound my viewpoint. That is a danger with just taking words out of context to use to suit my agenda or way of thinking or relating. Many, many of us do this, and were taught to do this. There is a name for this actually, eisegesis(I may have misspelled it). And some preachers preach this way. However, I was re-taught to do careful exegesis, meaning to look for the authors intent, audience, and meaning behind his words.

    Judging is a sticky issue among Christians. But if I hear of something I’m doing wrong once, I take a look at it, maybe, but twice, well, God’s got my attention! If He speaks to me a 3rd time about it, well, I know it’s something I am going to have to work at, because it’s so deeply engrained it’s going to take a while to roto-router it out, if you know what I mean.

    In 2008 God did tell me 3 times to do something, having to do with a change in my way of being in the world. It’s been very hard, and now 7 years later I’m still finding tell-tale remnants of my old life of being busy constantly, worrying about everyone and everything, and being hyper sensitive to everything around me, including sounds and smells. The first time He told me was an almost audible but attention-getting 2 words, Be Simple. I said oh, ok, but, REALLY?. Then He reminded me 2 more times in 3 days through other means, Be Simple.

    I guess if you are not hearing from God in this blog than the only conclusion is that everyone here is wrong, or, is it possible that you are hearing us but are saying like I did. On, ok, but, REALLY?

    Just asking. I love you Pooh, God bless you.

  117. poohpity says:

    Joyce the most important thing for you is whether you are hearing from God! You say you love me but isn’t that phoney-boloney because if that is how you love me, please don’t.

    “The reason we see hypocrisy, deceit, and a lack of genuineness in others is that they are all in our own hearts. The greatest characteristic of a saint is humility, as evidenced by being able to say honestly and humbly, ‘Yes, all those, as well as other evils, would have been exhibited in me if it were not for the grace of God.’ Who of us would dare to stand before God and say, ‘My God, judge me as I have judged others’? If God should judge us in the same way, we would be condemned to hell. Yet God judges us on the basis of the miraculous atonement by the Cross of Christ.” –Oswald Chambers,

  118. poohpity says:

    That is called abuse not love.

  119. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… I’m coming alongside you, for I have weathered this on going battle of picking and choosing one issue after another here for years.
    It does not help to continue to bend and bend for the sake of peace when you alone are bending, and finding only a brick wall, pushing back.
    Find peace in the places God allows and don’t get caught up in this back and forth arguing here with other’s humanity, where nothing ever gets resolved in the flesh.
    Be Blessed, Gary

  120. joycemb says:

    Thanks Gary yes things never get resolved in the flesh. Some flesh is so bruised even loving confrontation feels like abuse. I think we’ve all been there at one time or another. Patience, yes, for our loving God is VERY patient indeed.

  121. oneg2dblu says:

    Joyce… today as most days I’m blessed to find another example of this picking and choosing going on everywhere, even in the now reduced spreading of the word for the masses found in the ODB lesson for today.
    My point is this… where the main body of the lesson is suppose to be built on the fullness of the word, context, or a fullness teaching from God, we may be citing verses in their complete written form, with several parts involved,
    but when man, or the church, or even ODB finishes up with “their take on it,” a huge part is left out, because it does not fit their underlying message.
    Which I will not call out by its proper name here, only for some peace to still exist.
    I will be labeled again as the accuser here for sure, but, my point is as clear as the Words in the Night, which unfortunately many times are just forgotten as in a dream lost.
    God reveals what elements He sees fit to include in His message for successful living, but those things which some might claim as works, or being a part of any conditional type of promise, were not mentioned, and only the promises and the Be Courageous, and Be Strong elements are highlighted.
    But, Praise God, “We will remember, we will remember, we will remember the work of your hands, and we will stop, and give you Praise, for great are your Faithfulness.”

    Oh yeah, now I remember… It seems to me, someone has conveniently left out the one accountability issue, the one that speaks about keeping to the law.

    So Joyce, What I want to leave with you is this:
    “Where temptation to act out in the flesh feels the greatest, God provides a way out.”

    He is Faithful!
    Be Blessed, Gary

  122. oneg2dblu says:

    edit… for Great (is) Your Faithfulness!”

  123. oneg2dblu says:

    If some here can not see anything intentionally left out, I will ask only that you look again at the full context.

    Verse 8, is not included in the lesson take away plan for us,
    only the promises were said to apply to us…

    So, one could take away from this modern thinking transition, changed from God’s original voicing, to where the Lord commands Joshua, saying at the conclusion to verse 8 “Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

    God was making something conditional, that one should look to the law for guidance.

    It seems to me, that our modern teachers of certain followings do not like any conditions that would include looking to the law for guidance.

    Does this, Ring a Bell, for anyone listening?

  124. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pooh…I had 6 children…when they did something wrong I pointed it out and/or punished them depending on the offense and the number of times I had to point at the same offense. You have no trouble pointing out what you think are other people’s offenses…is that love or abuse.

  125. cbrown says:

    Wow, Gary you need to go back and read your last 10 post and think about your comment “my take on this”. You are not the Helper that gives each of us discernment.

  126. poohpity says:

    narrow, how did you twist this around to it being me who pointed out offenses. It was Gary, you and Joyce pointing out trouble with my behavior, calling names, shouting out false teaching. What a goof!!! Maybe you need to go back reread what you wrote and own it. What I was saying was each of you are guilty of the very things you were accusing.

    The whole purpose of this site has been trashed.

  127. joycemb says:

    Phillip Yancey
    “How privileged we are to understand so well
    the divine paradox that
    strength rises from weakness,
    that humiliation goes before resurrection:
    that pain is not only the price
    but the very touchstone of spiritual rebirth.”

    ~ Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous,
    as quoted in ‘Reaching for the Invisible God’

  128. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pooh, you are to be pitied. Lord have mercy on us all.

  129. narrowpathseeker says:

    If anyone has trashed the purpose of this site, you haven’t got far to look for that person, Pooh.

  130. poohpity says:

    Pearl, if you can without looking at the welcome to this site part, what in your words is the purpose of this site?

    Hey I am not in anyway saying that I have not had a hand in this worthless bickering back and forth. It would have been nice if I had never replied to the insults and name calling or even the misunderstandings of what the topics are about. I am so guilty of that and kick myself in the butt for doing it. Like I have said before I am totally aware of all my failures, faults and shortcomings and if there is any chance I have of forgetting them I have you to remind me. :-)

    But just for the heck of it tell me what you think this site is for?

  131. poohpity says:

    Ya know the part I need to be pitied for is that I like you, Gary and Joyce because I understand what each of you is struggling with because of my work in the mental health field. I have never considered any of you with hate, bitterness or as an enemy but I do have to say I get hurt which turns to anger but that is not anyone’s fault but mine.

  132. jeff1 says:


    The End Of The Road Is But A Bend In The Road

    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 crossroads
    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.”
    Abd 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.”

  133. remarutho says:

    Good Afternoon BTA Friends –

    Mart, I am holding onto your revelation that the “Words in the Night” to you sound out God’s blessing upon God’s people:

    “…as if something deep inside me is trying to reach and grasp something that seems too good to be true, suspended teasingly just beyond my will and control.”

    In my limited understanding of who God is, it seems to me that we who are created in God’s image, stand at that amazing knife-edge where the heavens meet the earth. That vital coming together of the divine and the human was invaded by Jesus, God’s Messiah. It is just at that point where salvation, deliverance, healing, wholeness, restoration and peace are brought into a fallen world.

    Clinging to God in Christ by the working of the Holy Spirit is the hope of the hopeless. And we make much of the nine different fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). It has done me good today to review the passage that comes just before the list of such good things as the fruit of the Spirit.
    I quote the Apostle Paul:

    “My friends, you were chosen to be free. So don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do anything you want. Use it as an opportunity to serve each other with love. All that the Law says can be summed up in the command to love others as much as you love yourself. But if you keep attacking each other like wild animals…you will destroy yourselves.

    If you are guided by the Spirit, you won’t obey your selfish desires. The Spirit and your desires are enemies of each other. They are always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should. But if you obey the Spirit, the Law of Moses has no control over you.

    People’s desires make them give in to immoral ways, filthy thoughts, and shameful deeds…
    I told you before, and I am telling you again: No one who does these things will share in the blessings of God’s kingdom.” (Gal 5:13-21 – portion)

    Scripture teaches us by both positive and negative examples!


  134. joycemb says:

    Nice one Pooh, mental health? Clever.

  135. bubbles says:

    This blessing from Numbers is beautiful. How thankful I am for a Heavenly Father who loves, forgives, and has mercy on me. It’s comforting to know that when we wake in the night we can talk with Him and He’s there, listening, even though there can be untold numbers of others praying to Him at that exact same moment. I’m thankful for Christians who will pray for and uplift each other when needed. I’m thankful for His protection, how many times has He prevented something from happening that we know nothing about? The Lord is so good to us and loves us in spite of our sin. He gives us so many good things that we don’t think about such as our eye sight, coffee, clean air to breathe, a country of peace, rain, cool breezes, sunsets, grass, trees, and rainbows with a promise!

  136. oneg2dblu says:

    bubbles… I believe you should have put coffee first…
    just saying. :0

  137. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… only your hairdresser knows for sure, oops, I meant to say, only your mental health counselor knows for sure.

    But, I would get a second opinion if I were like you, and apparently I am, according to the labels being thrown around by some we fit the same name calling.
    I thought that label was just reserved for me, so at least we are not alone. :)

    You know what the word says, When two or more are gathered together…

    One thing I know for sure, you and I, the ones who need the help of a good mental counselor, will not find any peace here, especially when dealing with the flesh ridden findings of others, who judge us, but call it mental counseling.

    But, enough of my take…
    How’s your day been?

  138. oneg2dblu says:

    Gee folks, are we holding each other up in love yet?

    Or, do we each need to vent our flesh a little longer?

    Can’t remember if I shared this or not…

    “This is certain, that a man that studieth revenge keeps his wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well.”
    Francis Bacon

  139. joycemb says:

    Gary take your meds, I’ll take mine and we’ll all get a good nights sleep and let The Lord take over, it’s His battle.

    Bubbles I love what you wrote tonite! Thank you.

  140. remarutho says:

    Amen Bubbles —

    Prayers going up for this fellowship this evening! We don’t always know what each one is struggling with here. I have such a case of laryngitis I hardly have a voice, just a squeak. Hope to be in good shape for day two of VBS tomorrow…

    Blessings and God’s Peace on each one at day’s end.


  141. street says:

    gary said,”God was making something conditional, that one should look to the law for guidance.”

    keep looking gary! don’t stop!

    i would like to ad some thoughts to this as i was meditating the “law” today. when Jesus was baptized and transfigured people were present and heard God’s audible voice. also at mt when the “law” was given. Jesus prayed to God and i believe He spoke to Him. even at the cross he asked why He had forsaken Him? God speaks audible and in the Spirit. Jesus said His sheep recognized His voice and followed Him. the “law” is the only way a person can get to know Jesus or His Father unless One of them comes and meets them like paul and abraham. what i am trying to say is that the Bible is clear that God speaks. after reading what i wrote i would have to say He calls and meets each of His sheep and calls them and give them His Spirit. He said take my yoke it is easy and light. the problem most face is giving up old habits or getting tangled in new ones. earlier i mention the woman at the well who was looking for the Messiah, “well” He did show up! He gave a well to drink from, we don’t need to go anywhere else. Thanks Dad!

  142. street says:

    poo i think the site is a mirror for looking at ourselves, but if we are really blessed we can see some one else.

  143. cbrown says:

    Gary,I did some research on Francis Bacon and there is ample evidence that he took the bribes.

  144. poohpity says:

    street, it truly is a blessing to understand and see others.

  145. poohpity says:

    By the way I did not say that anyone needed mental health care. If it were to have been read properly I was saying that the mental health field which is my field of study allowed me to learn to understand people and what makes them tick. Maybe that is what causes so many issues on here is the inability to critically read which may stop so many misunderstandings.

  146. foreverblessed says:

    Mart is talking about a relation between His Maker, an intimate one.

    Your best Friend, your Counsellor, your Lover, that is Him… Jesus

    And if we are getting tired here, frustrated in talking to each other, and your words are being twisted, and you explain and keep explaining, and it is not understood.

    Where do we go with our frustration?

    Yes, to our best Friend, our Lover, our Provider, our Savior: Jesus!

    At the foot of the Cross, all our burdens we can lay down, and stay there till our hearts are filled with His Love, Peace, Patience.

    It is an exchange at the Cross, and that is how God has ordained it, it is great what God has commanded.
    Go to the Cross, and exchange there, and be filled with the Life of Jesus Christ Himself, the Risen One!

    And then we can sing songs of Praise for Him who rescued us from our frustration and irritations Psalm 107:1-3

  147. foreverblessed says:

    God bless you all!
    And keep blessing each other (you are doing a great job in that Joyce, keep it up do not stop blessing), it is the best antidote for evil things in our heart, let God work the blessing out, that in our own hearts, that we really mean it, and in the other one.
    It is commanded by Jesus Himself:
    bless the one who curses you.
    Listen and obey to what Jesus says.

    And it works wonderwel! You even get a love inside for the one bringing trouble to you.

  148. SFDBWV says:

    “The Lord bless and keep you; The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”

    Yes this is yet another word picture of our Lord Jesus of Nazareth. As is the blessing that we have Him.

    I read a few weeks ago on the internet about dreaming, it said that as the night went along most of our nightmares occur late in the sleep.

    The same could be said of our time together here.

    Concerning the message Jesus gave about the splinter and the beam in the eye, I can’t help but consider that both are an irritant and both have to be attended to. Yet even Paul’s thorns had to left as a reminder that we don’t always get what we want.

    The weather here has been hot and humid (for us), I hate to even mention it seeing how most of you would welcome what I consider to be hot. We have had lots of rain also, but once again nothing like Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and other states have had to endure.

    This morning’s sky is a mixture of soft pink clouds strewn about with the gray and spots of pale blue as the dawn awakens all of nature.

    Easy to see why babies are wrapped in both colors.

    I have repeated the blessing Mart showcased, and offer it to you all, as I see it offering the Messiah who is the only one who can give real peace.

    Tell someone today that you love them, then show it.


  149. jeff1 says:

    I too, have mental health issues and find that only those who have had them too understand where you are coming from. There is a stigma attached to mental health which will not go away. It is the happenings in this world that drove me mad and my bad choices which led me into them. I was however oblivious to this at the time so I see now that this is what drive me to God’s care for people say a lot by their silence and looks and it was a case of they did not understand it nor did they want to. People will empathise with those whom they see have physical disabilities but no one sees what is in a person’s mind so while I am not taking away from how difficult it is to live with physical disabilities, it is less likely that a person will add insult to injury when speaking to that person. If we look to people there will always be those who will condemn and say you brought it on yourself for they have to find someone to blame. Its what humans do they always have to find someone to blame but God says even you were partially to blame for your mistakes I do not hold them against you so today is a new day and a new start in God’s eyes for today is always today for tomorrow never comes in reality.

  150. poohpity says:

    All humanity is broken and need’s the touch of the Master. His heart for us is beyond our human understanding and more so when we really look at what He has to work with. It is totally amazing.

  151. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… my meds are given to me daily and nightly by the Great Physician, and I praise him that I do not require any additional meds to regulate me other than the Word of God, which comes to us all threw many guides God uses, or places in our path, even the painful one’s, if you get my point.
    They are all to be mixed well, with the will to do our best in keeping them, writing them on my heart, meditating on them, and teaching them to his children, even if they do not want to hear them from us.
    But, in using godly-discernment we will find they are not from another man’s making mental notes about how they perceive how we choose to find God’s Ten Commandments as some of the best guidance we will ever receive in writing.
    For they are the best prescription for right living, if they are applied often and properly, and they are written from the very Finger of God.
    I have known and loved and still love, many who have chemical imbalances that require them to take those other God-given meds for chemical imbalance.
    So, thank you for that loving reminder, it is the best prescription one can give, its given out of love.
    Be Blessed, Gary

  152. refump says:

    Galatians 5:19-21 says, “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear … quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy…. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God” (NLT).

  153. oneg2dblu says:

    So, through, not threw, many guides, even in my re-reading, as one here as lovingly prescribed I do.
    We can find our mistakes, typos, and things we wished had not come out of us, every one gets a turn.
    Let me rephrase that, every one gets a turn or two.
    But, I wonder, if it is only the flesh looking back at the flesh,then even the mirror can be so deceptive.
    Steve, you hit the nail on the head, with your speck and blank analogy, this is using much discernment my brother.
    Well done.

  154. oneg2dblu says:

    speck and plank, okay that’s my two, for twoday. :)

  155. oneg2dblu says:

    To All, Have a Blessed Day.

  156. oneg2dblu says:

    refrump… I believe that verse. I wish that verse were taken to heart by the church at large, but, many are taught today, that how they live will not change their eternal destiny, if they believe in a certain docrtine that says otherwise.

    So, we again pick and choose which one we will believe.

    To conundrum of self-desire mixed with all the best intentions, even finds conflict in Christ, because Christ said, He came to divide, and Christ is none other than, the Word.
    John 1:1

  157. SFDBWV says:

    In part of my prayers, I often ask for God to bless our little community here and ask that people come here and receive healing, that our little town be a place of healing.

    I have lived long enough and observed human nature long enough to understand that all of us are a little off center when it comes to mental health. Some of course are way worse and need medical help as well as, the most difficult to receive, understanding from the community at large.

    Living with Matthew’s brain injury these past 16 years has really been a learning experience for me and not surprising one of enormous awareness of my own attitude.

    Almost step by step I have had to learn to adapt to Matt’s needs and find that in doing so it is changing me.

    My 96 year old mother in law sees people at night and hears them come and go, even one who likes to whistle a pretty tune as he walks down her ally. She often gets up at night to see where that little girl that was in bed with her went and one night last week seen her late husband and God.

    Do I condemn them for their confusion or try to correct their every mistake? Certainly not, I keep them safe from harm and give them peace where I am able. I love them and care for them however I can.

    I could detail out what goes on here in my home, but then would spend way too much time doing so as Matthew needs me to be attentive to him and that is more important.

    I will leave you all though with this one little story I find very sad. There is a fellow who moved here (remember my prayer) that seemed to be a good prospective citizen. He told us he used to work in a mental hospital as a counselor, then over time it was as a maintenance worker, then contractor.
    As his story changed so did his demeanor and actions. He went from embracing the community to hating it. Not because the community was offensive to him, but rather because of his own actions and mistakes. For him once again everyone became the enemy and all of his mistakes their fault not his.

    I am certain that he never worked in a mental hospital, but rather was a resident of one.

    He has withdrawn to keeping to himself and has alienated all who befriended him. In spite of efforts to reconcile the matter he gets what he wants for now, to be alone.

    Matt and I will be out and about today, so please keep us in your prayers.


  158. joycemb says:

    poohpity says:
    June 22, 2015 at 4:27 pm
    Ya know the part I need to be pitied for is that I like you, Gary and Joyce because I understand what each of you is struggling with because of my work in the mental health field.

    You need to be PITIED because you like us? Because you UNDERSTAND what we are struggling with because of your work in mental Heath?

    Wasn’t it “the least of these” that Jesus was drawn to? Was He to be pitied? Did He look for glory or attention for His work in mental, physical, and spiritual health?

    Understanding how people think is a blessing indeed when it is used to humbly teach and not think you are above them. Understanding that “there but for the grace of God go I” should be written on your forehead, not look at me, look what difficult work God has given me, poor me.

  159. cbrown says:

    Good morning all!I had a difficult nights sleep last night. As I get older I never know when they are going to happen. Steve, I was probably falling to sleep about the time you were getting up but it was a “blessing” to wake up and read the comments on the blog this AM. “Have a blessed day”

  160. oneg2dblu says:

    chris… may the Lord bless you with a greater rest, a resting in His Peace, throughout this day, and through the coming night.
    Be Blessed

  161. joycemb says:

    Steve I appreciated your comments this morning as well as the rest. Your story about the fellow in your town who has pushed everyone away makes me sad, yet, only God has His ways of being with people who can’t change due to various reasons and get along in society. Knowing when to quit trying is not up to us, but to the person who prefers to battle his demons alone. When they make that choice all we can do is pray God will bless and be merciful to them on their solitary journey.

    Some homeless choose to remain homeless in this world so refuse help. A smile, a sandwich or a cup of coffee seems to be all they need, or want. God bless all the homeless by choice this beautiful day that The Lord has made! And may He be with you also as you go about your business. God bless Matt and Glenda also for all they do and loving you also.

    Love, Joyce

  162. oneg2dblu says:

    What a true blessing and a much restorative pleasure comes to us when we can take a good nap. May you find that place in your day today.
    Power naps are great for the mind, body, and spirit.
    In reality, on those nights we feel we haven’t had a wink, tossing and turning all night long, we still are off our feet, and probably have rested more than we think we have.
    We are generally not in a much of a deficit as we think.
    But, then again, we are what we think we are, so, there is always the battle of the mind.
    The only peace we really have, is to rest in Him, who the rest of the world does not know.
    Be blessed,

    Coffee, coffee, coffee… It may not be perfect prescription for the sleep we need, but it can be that shot in the arm that keeps us alert and moving.

    Now, I think I’ll grab a nap, as I’ve already had my coffee.

  163. narrowpathseeker says:

    I felt very weak today and avoided coming here for fear I would lose another battle with my flesh. Thankfully, a friend told me that Steve had posted a very uplifting message and I came to see. Not only was Steve’s message encouraging and insightful but the rest of the comments were uplifting too, with a touch of humor and some helpful tips.
    Thank you ALL for your prayers and Blessings and counseling today.. I am feeling stronger and hoping to make a little progress in the struggle to rise above myself..Thank you again. Sweet dreams

  164. joycemb says:

    Hi Pearl, yes the battle with the flesh is on-going, isn’t it? I’ve been thinking about what Jesus said about taking up one’s cross. In my reading I found it has nothing to do with illness, or injury or disability, or a grouchy spouse, but it has to do with not doing things the way the world does them. Oh now I have a kitty around my neck as I’m trying to type, kissing my neck, I can barely see the keyboard.—- Oh, well, it’s a lot to think about anyway, and I believe that the more we can trust the blessing of the Lord the easier it is to take up our crosses. Just thinking. G’nite all.

  165. jeff1 says:

    I do not see Joyce how we do not do things the way the world does them. We are not Government so we have to abide my the laws of the land otherwise we would become vigilanties making our own laws. We know there is wrong doing by Governments as well as criminals and that is why the world will always be a battle ground. We cannot trust our leaders to do what is correct in God’s sight but likewise do I trust myself. It is trusting God in our blindness is what is difficult but that is what faith amounts to not being sure of what tomorrow holds but having the strength to do it. When I am unwell I do not do this very well for that is where the battle always is in the mind. My children see this world very different to what I see it and I am thankful for that for I have an unbalanced view of the world because of my experiences. My children are my hope for the future for I do not have faith in myself any longer. That is just a fact of life as they say every dog has its day and I have messed up enought times to be contented to leave it to a younger generation whom I believe to be much brighter than I ever was. Science and technology have greatly changed the world and a lot of it for the better so God’s hand is in it even if I do not always see it. It is I who struggle to keep up with God while there is times I think I run ahead of Him but God’s reality is very diffferent to mine and that is what I need to keep reminding myself of, that God is leading and I am following. It is in my tendency to rush for I have been watching the clock all my life and I am not getting any younger but it is God who knows eternity and my place in it.

  166. SFDBWV says:

    In my youth I was working a construction job on Massachusetts Ave just above Georgetown in Washington DC. Working in such an environment is a great place to meet all kinds of people and one such guy working there was called “Fig”.

    He presented himself as a hippie type complete with long hair, a beard and the odd behavior of eating only dried fruit and “figs”, hence his nickname.

    He lived in the city and so rode his bicycle to work. He was very verbal about his desire to not let possessions possess him and so one day declared that he was getting rid of all of his things except his bike and the clothes on his back and heading off to some commune in New Mexico in order to “do” peyote mushrooms and experience visions.

    So prior to his leaving he got rid of everything he owned and fasted for a week.

    Now on construction jobs, especially in the city there is always food trucks that come around 10 am and at 12pm and again around 2pm for breaks. They have all the food stuffs that you would imagine hungry men would want and we were no exception. We enjoyed the donuts and coffee and cheeseburgers and sandwiches along with the cakes and chips they provided; that is with the exception of our friend Fig who only would eat his dried fruit and figs.

    If you had to give Fig a religious tag it would have been a mixture of or unorthodox version of Zen Buddhism or Hinduism or just youthful experimentation. I always talked of Christianity and was labeled “one of those”, but respectfully and still called Steve.

    On Fig’s last day at work and at the end of his fast he decided as a reward for his successful fast that he would treat himself to ‘forbidden” culinary delights and so when the food truck showed up he feasted on a banquet of junk food complete with donuts, cakes and all the things he normally would deny himself and warn us against.

    I laughed to myself and thoroughly enjoyed his fall from his discipline as he gobbled down his reward.

    Yesterday Matt and I went to the DMV in Romney WV about an hour from here in order to get our vehicle tags renewed. We could have mailed in the matter, but right beside the DMV is a Burger King and since Matt has denied himself of eating there for quite a time we made the trip and rewarded Matt with a Burger King menu to his liking.

    Again I thoroughly enjoyed Matt enjoying his reward for his discipline.

    We got home and in the house just before a thunderstorm and so missed getting wet, getting from the car into the house in his wheelchair.

    It was a good day I felt blessed and thank any of you who may have prayed for us to have a good day. The storm brought much cooler weather and so continue to feel blessed.

    I have told you all this story to show you that the prayer Mart offered us works and I do hope that for you all today you experience Jesus and His blessings.


  167. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Have to agree, Steve, that “prayer works.” The entire planet, perhaps the entire solar system, is sustained by the faithful prayers of the peoples who believe in the Creator God.

    It seems to me the world can be changed by praying the priestly prayer. It is pure and has no hidden agenda. It is a genuine blessing — perhaps the most ancient blessing in the long saga of God and His people.

    This blessing achieves much more than comforting us in the wee hours of the morning!

    Blessings all day,

  168. foreverblessed says:

    (This is going to be a long post, skip it if you are at peace and at Rest in Christ. But I will tell my own story here)
    Yesterday morning Jeff posted a song, where the words said:
    Let go and let God

    And Joyce was saying about taking up one’s cross this morning.

    Let go……. so difficult to do.
    But… this is the message of the Cross: we bring everything that hinders to the Cross, our own sin, when we are hurt by someone else, when we get irritated.
    Among christians there can be a lot of hurt, irritations, frustrations. I have my share of it.
    But…. the only way is the Cross, Jesus has carried all our sins (burdens depressions etc) on the Cross. It is already taken care of. He carried it, and threw it in the Ocean, or as far as east is from the west, that’s where they went.

    This message of Jesus and Him crucified, that is what I wanted to know. 1 Cor 2:2
    I am telling now my own story. A good christian, brought up in a christian home, living according to the Law of God, the 10, and being a proper citizen. Anyway, these verses stared me in the face, when I was young, also this one:
    That you may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18
    That one was also a puzzle to me. We had sermons on how great the Law is, the 10, that it covered all we needed to know to live a good life.

    So that was my history, I looked to the Law for guidance. The Law only showed to me what was wrong, but it did not help me to do what God asked. Years and years of following the Law, and I pot depressed, a deep depression entered my being. And I was lost. I cried out to God: Help me, I am at a loss.

    There it was, where God started to talk to me, And quietly comforted my soul. And gave me preachers who understood the Grace of the Gospel. Living in faith, following Jesus. That is what God asks, that we surrender to Him, and say:
    Lord, Jesus You are the King of my heart, I resign.
    I have tried, with the Law in hand, asking the Holy Spirit to guide me keeping the Law, and I failed.
    Here am I, doing your will.
    That’s what I have done.
    (Now I see that the Law had done it’s work in me, it has led me to Christ!)
    And I must say, that God is very slow and very thorough in working it out in me. Things that I thought I should have done, or be doing: He would say, stay with me, Come to rest.
    Hebrews 4:11
    God wants us to come to rest in Him.

    If we are not at rest, He cannot work out His life in us. So no effect that last eternity.

    If we get unsettled by another person’s words or behavior, we are not at Rest.
    Go to the Cross, with your burden, and stay there till the Peace of God flows in you, And if it is not done in a night, stay there the next day. It is vital we come into that Rest.

    Taking up your cross, is the cross, where we put our old self on, as soon as it appears. And thoroughly is killed.
    Our old man is killed, crucified with Christ, but if it comes up, crucify it, Rom 7:4

    Whatever I said, it is said to those who have crucified the flesh, and want to live in Newness of Life in Christ, His risen Life.
    Gal 4:19

  169. foreverblessed says:

    I was so comforted by Bubbles remark, it was full of blessing, may God keep you and strengthen you. Look to Him!
    And thanks Chris for you pointing us to the ODb, about Hebrews 4.
    That Chapter I have studied so much, when I was looking for that Rest, but that one verse seemed the odd one out, but it isn’t, it fits even better then I could have imagined. The truth of the Bible is deeper, much deeper then I thought it was.
    How unfathomable His Goodness..
    How great is our God Psalm 107:31-32

    this was my way: Psalm 107:23-30 they were at their wits’end, meaning their own wisdom fell short,
    but God’s wisdom is good, and full of mercy.
    Are you still shouting how Great God is?
    I pray for you, and all here, may God bless you

    Maru Psalm 109:4b
    But I am a man of prayer

  170. joycemb says:

    Taking up his cross. From reformedperspectives dot org.

    Matthew 10:16-42 Only the one who willingly “takes up his cross” to follow
    Jesus (v. 38), is “worthy” of him (vv. 32-33). Thus “taking up one’s cross” means
    a willingness to go the full distance in demonstrating loyalty to Jesus – i.e. a
    willingness to die for him (cf. the preceding vv. of the ch.), as Peter and Paul (to
    name but two) were to do. But more fundamentally v. 38 speaks of a willingness
    to lose one’s life (NB v. 39, immediately following), in the sense of abandoning
    oneself utterly to Christ’s Lordship, and with him (God’s Suffering Servant) to take
    the path of lowliness (one like the road to crucifixion), one which excludes pride,
    and from which position one is able to follow Jesus’ example and fulfill the task of
    the slave and servant (cf. 20:26-28; Phil 2:1-11). Jesus speaks chiefly of a living
    sacrifice; cf. Lk 9:23, “take up his cross daily”; also Rom 12:1-2.

  171. joycemb says:

    Yes Steve I prayed for you and Matt and Glenda yesterday. Not knowing what to pray I just prayed God would protect and make your day easy and a blessing. So great your day went well. When we think of all the things that can go wrong like flat tires, medical emergency, storms etc we sure are blessed daily in just the little, seemingly ordinary daily tasks of life. That’s when we really experience the blessings of God in our lives. We never deserve His blessings, yet He surrounds us with them all the time. He even fed the birds yesterday! What a gracious, loving God we are surrounded and cared by.

  172. SFDBWV says:

    A very stressful day for the Mayor. So I thought I would take a moment, settle down and see what may be up on BTA with a cup of coffee.

    One of my catchphrases is “super-excellent”, which is what I say to people when they ask how I am.

    The catchphrase is a segue into a little sermon I follow up with. I explain that God created everything that exists by what He *said*, not by what He thought or wanted, but rather by what He said. So in that we are created in His likeness we also can create by what we say. So I am super excellent.

    A lot of times we forget that our moods our health and certainly our demeanor is affected by the things we say, so we need to think about the things we say about ourselves or as a weapon against others. Because I believe these words have creative power. In fact it is written we are to be held accountable for every spoken word.

    So when we say the prayer that Mart has given say it with the authority Jesus has given us, and mean it. In truth when we pray, pray as though you are creating from you words and you will experience the power behind prayer.

    Thanks for the little break.


  173. narrowpathseeker says:

    AMEN!! Steve, ForeverBlessed, Joyce, Jeff1, Maru, and anyone I may have missed. What Blessings in messages I found here this morning..commented and lost it, but had to get busy with chores, so came back to find yet another Blessing from Steve.

    I started out re-reading Marts post and my foremost thought was of one who has ears but doesn’t hear. I have read it at least twice before this and didn’t “hear” what I heard this morning! It was like a peace came over me and then I read this morning’s comments and each of them just strengthened me a little more as I read and gave me this feeling of power and confidence of some upcoming victory…haven’t felt this strong in quite awhile… so YES, words are powerful…prayer works, we need to rest in Jesus, and we need to take up our cross. All of the comments this morning were almost like they were orchestrated for me…I hope others benefitted from them also. Thank you all and God Bless… PS…Has anyone heard anything about Regina in recent weeks? May we all pray for her.

  174. joycemb says:

    Pearl I know what you mean, I too feel such an overwhelming peace here today on the blog. So thankful for the blessings of God as He shares His love and wisdom with us all.

    Enjoying another PERFECT day here, 77 F and a slight breeze under a canopy of trees over my front yard. much to be thankful for.

    Regina I have been thinking of you also and hope you are ok and your transition is now peaceful.

    blessings, Joyce

  175. SFDBWV says:

    I am ashamed to say it, but I am setting in front of a fan trying to cool off after coming in from mowing the grass; it is 71 degrees under blue skies with puffy white clouds meandering slowly across the sky.

    .02 two hundreds of an inch off of 6 inches of rain this month and the first day in several it hasn’t rained. So the mowing had to get done today as there is more thunderstorms predicted for the rest of the week.

    Saturday and Sunday are supposed to be in the 60’s for highs, that’s the weather I like the best.

    On a more somber note I too am always mindful of the many people we have not heard from for a while. I have nearly three full sized sheets of paper with their names on them. Obviously I am not going to try and recite them all, but Regina and Cheryl are two that I think of along with many more.

    I once wired up a house for a man who was building a new home near here and as we talked about things he told me because he had always moved around a lot as a kid the only way he could think about people he knew passing away was that they had just moved away and he thought of them as being fine and just living somewhere else.

    A lot of truth in that statement as I see it.

    Motorcycle minister and Chris if you ever listen to country music you have to listen to “Amen” by Nick Sturm, I think your friends you minister to would relate and you would enjoy the sound.

    I hope to see all of you tomorrow morning.


  176. jeff1 says:

    I was reading ‘Our daily journey’ on how silence is sometimes so much better than words when dealing with another’s sorrow. I have found this to be so true for her in Northern Ireland we attend a ‘wake’ which is held for two nights for friends and neighbours to visit the family and see the corpse. I often find people there trying to say what they consider to be the right words and many times I see them making the family more upset so I often say little and sit quietly and reflect on the life of the deceased which is often what the person wants to remember the memories they have of their loved one and be reminded that those memories are with them for comfort when missing that person. It is so true that we are always looking for the right words when actions speak louder, the fact that we are there with them and that we silently respect THEIR grief is more of a support to them than words that may or may not be what they need to hear. When in grief I find people can take words the wrong way for hurting people are not in a rational mood and what might seem appropriate words to the giver of them will not necessary be right for the receiver.

  177. jeff1 says:

    Also thinking how I tend to make assumptions based on my own experience of grief while the other person may deal with grief very differently and their relationship to the deceased may have been different to my relationship to my family member. If in doubt of what to say I say little I used to hear the saying ‘the least said, soonest mended’ so it sounds like good advice.

  178. SFDBWV says:

    Viv we have pretty much the same custom here concerning funerals, I would imagine because we are just the same people in a different place.

    I agree that well-meaning people too often say the wrong things to people. I also have to say most people understand that and receive the fumble as good intentions.

    I have had to deal with the matter for many years having the responsibility of taking care of our local cemetery.

    One thing is for certain death is never welcome and no matter how well prepared we think we are it still is painful and heart breaking. A good heart felt touch or hug though is always welcome as we share in another’s grief.

    In every funeral parlor I have ever been in though there is always laughter as some like to tell about the good times and enjoyments they shared in life with the deceased.

    All part of saying good bye.


  179. jeff1 says:

    Just a thought about words or the lack of them. I went to take a car for valeting which had been booked in prior to this. When I was talking to the young man he seemed to me as if he was not all that interested by his lack of enthusisum I was having second thought as to whether my son had chosen the correct valeting service. I left it at 09.30 in the morning and it was 8 O’clock before he rang to say it was ready. Never judge the book by the cover comes to mind for the car was done to perfection so his lack of words did not mean lack of providing a good service. Actions in this case were certainly how I judged this young lad and when I am talking to others looking for this service that is what I will remember. My first impressions are not always right though it does not stop me from jumping to conclusions and often the wrong ones. It is in learning this that I have learned that nothing is as it seems because it is simply my perception and not necessary the truth. How many times do I make assumptions and come to the wrong conclusions and in doing so treat somone unfairly or unjustly. My answer to this makes me realise how I am very much a work in progress with much work still to be done.

  180. SFDBWV says:

    Viv of course you are correct in that jumping to a conclusion is most always a mistake, as are assumptions.

    First impressions though are very important and also very revealing.

    There is an aura that surrounds a person and when we allow it the Holy Spirit can reveal that aura to our own spirit. We get a feeling about the person without much else being said.

    The Holy Spirit is 100% right every time. We may try and interfere with the message by preconceived notions, but as time goes by the message from the Holy Spirit is going to reveal its truth.

    The outward appearance can be very deceiving, but the aura a person carries exposes the true nature of their being. As you said one cannot judge a book by its cover.

    The words of Jesus comes to mind concerning a wolf in sheep’s clothing in the matter.

    I do hope you are having a good day.


  181. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Morning All……I haven’t much time…off to an appointment….but I just wanted to say that I truly hope that the prayer Mart posted…The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)…….has brought as much peace to you all as it has to me. May EACH of you have a Blessed Day

  182. oneg2dblu says:

    foreverblessed… thanks for sharing your testimony, about how looking for guidance in the Ten Commandments, though expressed as impossibly painful to you, actually ended up being part of the road to finding Christ as your Ultimate Guide.

    I am blessed to see, in your own words, how God worked in your life.

    Apparently, there are many guiding ways found in God’s Word that can have a positive lasting impact on the experiences or Walk of the Believer, even in using the more painful parts, the finding of our failures, and in those depressing valleys, having warts and all displayed, we see His Guiding Hand.

    I believe we are all at some point in our walk, walking on one of the many guiding paths that God provides to help us to turn back from our wicked ways, or guide us to living a more godly, righteous, prosperous, and successful life, through the very following of His Commands.

  183. bubbles says:

    This morning is a blessing because it’s peaceful. The birds have been singing. It’s quiet. The coffee is hot and the humidity is low. The sun is shining and the sky is blue. I’m thankful for the blessing of senses: eyesight to see the sun shine, hearing to hear the birds sing and the distant hum of a lawn mower, smelling to smell the clean morning air and grass! The simple and ordinary is a blessing from God.

  184. jeff1 says:

    Weather not very nice today very wet but warm though.
    I do understand what you say Steve about people you warm to though you know nothing about them that is what you know to be the Holy Spirit which is not something I understand very well so that is very enlightening to me.
    I wondered why I found people so easy to get on with when I knew little of or where they came from. No one has every told me how the Holy Spirit works so it never occured to me that way. You mentioned when we allow it so does that mean that we can put up a barrier?
    If for instance there is someone whom I have taken a dislike to but cannot see why I have taken a dislike!
    Don’t make a habit of taking dislikes by the way but it does happen on occasions!

    I am having a good day but very busy this week for my neighbour’s father is very poorly and she has had to stay at the hospital which is a distance away so I am looking after her son who finishes school this week for the Summer holidays.

    Likewise I hope that all is well with you and your family.

  185. oneg2dblu says:

    jeff1… I do not feel that I should answer a question you have directed at Steve,without giving Steve first dips.
    But, it would make for a great discussion here for others here to give testimony to how “they see” the HS spirit Working in their lives.
    Maybe if we just take the word for what is says, that the Holy Spirit is given to us as a Helper to guide us into all truth.
    Be Blessed, Gary

  186. oneg2dblu says:

    I personally would not use the word “aura” when relating to the Holy Spirit, because it is used so often in the forbidden physic world of psalmists, voodoo, card readers and all that dark spiritual world, for defining what “they see” as manifestations, the future, or existing spirits they can empower, talk to and promote in their deceptions, which to me, are not truth.
    So, that is how it can also appear to those unsaved individuals, who do not yet know the Lord as their Personal Savior, but have no problem seeing everyone’s aura.

    I have a work of art given to me from a very well meaning individual who took the time to draw and color my Aura which she says she could see around me. It’s lovely, well done, and even has a cross in the middle, and the colors are radiating out of it.

    Is it a presentation of the actual Holy Spirit’s working, or just another well meaning artistic persons feelings for me, or their need to express themselves?

    I received it graciously, but also with a guarded discernment, not allowing myself to get caught up in the sometimes misleading aura cast off by of the eye’s of the world.

  187. oneg2dblu says:

    We do know from the word, that even Satan can show himself as light.
    However, one who has the guiding spirit of the Helper, the Holy Spirit living in them, and listens to that still small voice, or that inner prompting, which says, “Beware!”
    Finds through godly discernment, a protection, just so we would not be caught up in all the shades of light radiating from others as a perceived aura.
    Better to identify a tree by its fruit, than the light you think you may see coming from it.
    That’s my two cents, and don’t ask me for any change. :)
    Be Blessed, Gary

  188. joycemb says:

    I was reading the end of the OT and when I got Matthew 1:18-25 I noticed how the angel came to Joseph in his dreams and told him what to do. What if he had not listened and separated from Mary as he’d planned to do?

    So many events happened that has effected us still today as fortold by the prophet Isaiah long, long before. Blessings that came through an imperfect package, just like us, imperfect packages.

    And as Mart said He still speaks today, sometimes in our sleep, crying out a blessing on all mankind to whoever will listen.

  189. jeff1 says:

    Like yourself Gary I am very wary of the spirit world. I do believe that dabbling in something we do not understand can be dangerous. Some people find it comforting when they find feathers after a loved one dies and I do not see much harm in that but I keep my mind away from anything that is outside my realm. I did go to a fortune teller when I was young and later in life what he seen in my hand did come true. I did not like this, it just seemed wrong to me and so I have been wary ever since. My mother used to say however that ghosts did you know harm and that it was the living you had to watch out for.

  190. oneg2dblu says:

    jeff1… yes wary of what we do not understand, and cognizant that spiritual world is very real, so real in fact, we are warned in the Word of God to not get caught up in dabbling with it.
    I’ve said this before, godly discernment is knowing the difference between right and almost right.

    The best counterfeit, and the best deception, and the best false teaching, is the one that looks almost right.

    The word says,
    “All a man’s ways seem right to him, but in the end lead to death.”

    “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

    Be Blessed, Gary

  191. SFDBWV says:

    Just looked in as I was shutting down the computer and seen your concern Gary of my use of the word “aura”.

    No time tonight to get into the matter, but will only say that in art all the way back to the beginning of Christianity, Saint’s, Angels and Saintly people are shown with a halo around their heads.

    This is the artist attempt to show the individuals “aura” or energy or spirit or whatever other word that may make you feel more comfortable.

    It exists and is sensed by everyone especially the Holy Spirit who gives us sensory perception beyond our normal senses as in discernment.

    I am disappointed in you Gary in forcing me to have to explain a simple word and wish now I had just shut off the computer and not looked in on BTA.

    Good night to all.


  192. cbrown says:

    Steve, thank you for the explanation and Gary thank you for you posts. I just got home after a long ride and they were refreshing.

  193. poohpity says:

    Viv, when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, your thoughts, desires and all of you will be focused on God. Like a craving to spend time talking with Him, learning about Him and the feeling of an indescribable warmth of everything will be alright and your soul will be at peace.

  194. jeff1 says:

    How do I stop myself from focusing on what God is like and focus on God himself? I have always known I could trust God but I don’t know why I have always known this. Even as a child when others would talk of the wrath of God I did not understand their understanding of God being an angry God. When the Spirit works in me I have this peace that you speak of Pooh but my difficulty is that many I know and love are still talking of the wrath of God. It seems there is part of me that also understands that God has to judge me/us for our transgressions. It is God’s reason that I see differently. Some people seem to relish in the idea that their enemies will get what they deserve. I on the other hand have always wished my enemies would see the error of their ways and turn away from wrong thinking/doing. It saddens me when they don’t and while I do not want to have to live with such people I do not wish them to be tortured for evermore and I do not understand that there are still beleivers who think it is christian to talk in this way. I also think that these believers are turning people away from God for they believe what kind of God would want to punish anyone for eternity. God has chosen His own people to lead for good reasons and that is because there is such division in christians way of thinking that He had to predestine a people for His purpose. As someone who has heard and still hears false teachers in action I get very upset and even angry with them. I once visited a Roman Catholic woman during my charity work and she said to me how the Priests could curse you if you did not do what they say. She was an edlerly lady and she really did believe this and I could not believe that she could not see how wrong of thinking this was.
    It seems to me that down the years Religions have twisted God’s word to suit their teachings and as a result the word of God is only truly known by God’s chosen and I long for the day when they lead the people away from wrong thinking/doing for many are lost today as a result of such teachings.

  195. SFDBWV says:

    I went outside this morning to feed the critters and have my solitary time with God and was greeted with those comforting pastel colors of pink and blue with a fiery yellow streak where the sun would rise later.

    Soon though the darker gray clouds began to take over and the beauty that was experienced faded from view.

    Either a reflection of life in general or an omen of things to come.

    Viv you spoke of “knowing”, even as a child, about God. Then over time others tried to change what was contrary to what you “Knew” in your heart to be true.

    That “knowing” is the supernatural awareness of the Holy Spirit in you.

    Our Lord and Creator is known as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Triune Being of God.

    When we read the Psalms or such a prayer as Mart provided for our pleasure that immediate acceptance and comfort we all experienced is as a result of the Holy Spirit’s presence in us.

    He (the Holy Spirit) bears witness of Himself.

    It is because of His presence in us that we can be sure of many things and know without explanation, because we know because we know.

    I have learned that miracles and answers often come in praise, so when or if confused, praise God and enter into His rest.


  196. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Can confirm your experience, Viv and Steve. When my heart sinks on account of the darkness around and even within me — in the morning, or noon, or in the night — praise is the pathway to God’s presence.

    Would only add that it is God’s very character that makes this possible. While God is Judge, He is first of all merciful. God is Almighty, but also gentle and forgiving. And in Jesus God gives each one unlimited grace and cleansing from all sins. It is good to praise God for who He is, in my experience. May peace flow to you, Viv.

    Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

    69F here and forecast to get to 98F. That’s quite warm for us coastal fog-eaters.

    Blessings all day,

  197. jeff1 says:

    Thank you Steve and Maru you have put it correctly there are times I don’t know why I know but I just do no that God is still at work in this world. A conversation I had with my son the other day. He is reading a book and he told me it was about Adam 1 and Adam 2, Adam 1 wanted everything in abundance while Adam 2 was more into how he lived his life and nature. I asked him whom he thought he was more like and he said Adam 1 and I asked him did he ever see himself being like Adam 2. He answered me with, Mum, an Adam 2 would not survive in this hard world. He added it was about getting a balance between the two and he hoped he would achieve this. I see God at work here again for although my son does not see it I see it for when I look back on my life God turned what could have been much worse for me into good and even when I so often failed to see it and thank Him he is always faithful. I do not agree that God only helps those who are faithful for He has helped me when I was unfaithful, I do not believe that God ever gives up on us and that in fact our early existence is part of our eternity while I tend to seperate them I do not think God does.

  198. poohpity says:

    The heart of mankind is evil, bent on rebellion. God already judged that, that is why Jesus came. One can feed into that or can turn to the Lord acknowledging the evil within and He gave us the power to turn from it and do what is good, just, merciful and kind. The remedy for evil is doing good. But evil lies within the heart of every person. Just as one trusts God to work in their own heart, God can be trusted to work in the heart’s of others.

  199. poohpity says:

    One evening, an elderly
    Cherokee brave told his
    grandson about a battle that
    goes on inside people.

    he said “my son, the battle is
    between two ‘wolves’ inside us all.
    one is evil. it is anger,
    envy, jealousy, sorrow,
    regret, greed, arrogance,
    self-pity, guilt, resentment,
    inferiority, lies, false pride,
    superiority, and ego.

    the other is good.
    it is joy, peace love, hope serenity,
    humility, kindness, benevolence,
    empathy, generosity,
    truth, compassion and faith.”

    the grandson thought about
    it for a minute and then asked
    his grandfather:

    “which wolf wins?…”

    the old Cherokee simply replied,
    “the one that you feed”

  200. joycemb says:

    Good morning all!

    I asked for wisdom concerning whether I should post this morning, then I read Oswald Chambers June 26 and am delighted to post that I have learned something more about Gods grace and am so thankful that He is still teaching and I am still learning. And I’m not sleeping but wide awake! Blessings abound!

    Have a grace filled day,

  201. joycemb says:

    “I love The Lord because He hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!”

    Psalm 116:1,2. NLT

  202. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… I choose forgive you even though you say you are disappointed in me, for causing you to defend a word you used.
    Sorry, you allowed yourself to get stressed out.

    I was only expressing what other connotations come up in me, with using that word. It was not ever meant as an attack on you.

    I did very much enjoy your “follow up thoughts” given to Viv on the Holy Spirit, which I thought I would hold off my answer before you had a chance to reply, because Viv specifically asked you.

    Now that you and others have answered her, I would say. the best instruction for further understanding the Holy Spirit, probably won’t come from another believer per se’, but through your own desire to search out, or within, for yourself.
    Maybe a word search in biblegateway.com or some other biblical only answer site, would be helpful also, but to me, to actually ask the Holy Spirit, and allow the Holy Spirit to answer, and to do His work in and through you. That is the best way to understand Him.

    To me, as others here have expressed, but of course using my words, the Presence of the Holy Spirit is my most valued possession, it is found in the constancy of knowing that you known you know, He is always with you, always helping, always guiding, always teaching, always protecting, and always, in all ways, present in every believer.

    But, don’t take my word on that, take His.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  203. oneg2dblu says:

    Or, you can hear about the Holy Spirit in this song written by
    Eddie James, it is one we swing in our church, and I love it!

    The Same Spirit by Eddie James

    Be Blessed, Gary

  204. oneg2dblu says:

    I meant sing, but swing works as well. :)

  205. joycemb says:

    Good evening,

    I wanted to share that I just finished reading a Discovery Series pamphlet called “How To Recognize a Dangerous Religious Group” from RBC ministries. I found it very, very helpful. Thank you, Mart.

  206. cbrown says:

    Joyce thanks for the comment. I read the “pamphlet on line”. It will be helpful. Headed to our annual family retreat/ reunion in the mountains. It is funny how people in the mountains go to the ocean and people near the ocean go to the mountains.Steve do you live near the Shenandoah Valley? Breath taking countryside.

  207. SFDBWV says:

    Chris yes we live close to the Shenandoah Valley, Matthew and I used to work for a while in Winchester Virginia.

    We are a little over an hour farther west and another 12 or 15 hundred feet in elevation above it. Our lowest point is 2500 feet and just above town comes in at about 35 hundred feet. Though there is a point on our horizon here that is called “Snowy Point” and is 4200 + feet. Spruce knob isn’t all that far from here and is the highest point in the state just under 5,000 feet (4,863).

    A beautiful place to live.


  208. SFDBWV says:

    Thinking a bit this morning about the Aaronic prayer (Numbers 6:24-26) and its being the Lord’s Prayer of the OT. Then of course what we all consider the “Lord’s prayer” (Matthew 6:9-13) of the NT. Oddly some confuse Psalms 23:1-6 as being the Lord’s Prayer, whereas it is David’s testimony of the Lord’s care.

    However I am reminded of what is actually the Lord’s Prayer given in John 17:1-26 as a request to the Father for us “all”. There are some wonderful promises recorded there. “None are lost”, we are sanctified, we are “one” with God and the Son, we are where Jesus is, given to Jesus before the foundation of the world, the love that the Father loved Jesus is also in us and so is our Lord Jesus in us.

    Be filled.

    1.22 inches of rain overnight and more to come today.


  209. phpatato says:

    Good Morning

    Thank you Steve for those prayer verses. I meditated on John 17 to let the healing balm of Christ’s words fill my spirit.

    It is sad that your country has now slipped on a point of law to where Canada has been for awhile now. Gay marriage is now legal anywhere one goes in both countries. Facebook has feature now where one can transpose the “rainbow” flag onto a picture of one’s choice showing support and in celebration for the gay community.

    Jesus, in John 17, speaks of how we are in the world but not of the world. It is becoming increasingly clear to me that I must be from a distant planet somewhere because I am certainly not comfortable being in this world. I am swimming upstream against the flow more and more everyday it seems. I see less and less these days that there is anything that I can show my support to and be in celebration of. One of my friends on facebook and I said goodnight to each other last night with this understanding – that we will have to agree to disagree with this new legal ruling. I went to bed kinda sad realizing how my own little world is becoming smaller and smaller because I just can’t seem to stay standing on the band wagon that everyone else is on. I whispered to myself that I want the world to stop so that I can jump off.

    Steve, your post this morning with John 17 has encouraged me and somehow I just don’t feel so lonely anymore.

    Thank you

    Weather forecasters are calling for a “A taste of wet fall weather for most of Southern Ontario with an unseasonably cool wind-driven rain” for late tonight and tomorrow. Rain amounts will be between 1-2 inches. So far in my opinion, summer hasn’t started yet.

    Blessings to you all today.

  210. oneg2dblu says:

    pat… Oh how closely do the thoughts in your spirit resonate equally with mine.
    Thank God that this planet is not our home, and we are just passing through.
    Now that you beat me to the punch, I thought I saw an aura yesterday, it was in the form of the rainbow flag flying over the White House, which further testifies to that ever present curse of words of its current occupant, “We are no longer a Christian Nation.”

    I shear I think the man is almost prophetic…

    God Help Us to See the Error of Our Ways.

    Taking Prayer out of Schools,
    Taking Down the Ten Commandments,
    Even Removing Crosses,

    And now removing any trace of the weight of God’s Word,
    in the decision making process of the courts of man,
    which now give “rights” to what God clearly calls wrong.

    We no longer as a Nation, Serve a Supreme Being,
    we now serve only a lower standard, found in the use of words
    in the findings of the Supreme Court.

    How do we serve the Law of the Land and the Law of God equally, without first taking the word of God down a notch or two, or ignoring it completely, just to protect the desires of man, that want to be served equally as well?

    Now I remember, we must first decide to embrace that we are no longer a Christian Nation, and then we are truly free to decide only what we want, that is how.

    What a huge work has been set before the Church today, as we raise a future generation who have to make a choice between the Law of the Land, and the Law of God, which can never be equally be voiced or served in a ever darkening non Christian Nation.

    I would say that the voice of man was heard, well above the Voice of God, when man makes his desires, his law, and his legacy.

    Now, we have been given the right according to the Law of the Land, to be dead wrong according to the Word of God.

    As our great and powerful worldly leader says, We are no longer a Christian Nation!

    Come Jesus!

  211. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pat, Gary, I am in the same boat with you guys this morning. Every time I watch the news I am bewildered, but sometimes like with this same sex marriage business, I am totally dumbfounded. I don’t understand how so many people can think they are being kind to them by accepting/supporting this. Lot did so much to try to deter homosexuals from their act by offering them his virgin daughter rather than defile the holy men of God that they were after. That says a lot to me about how wrong it is.
    Several years ago, a friend and co worker who decided to divorce her husband and live as a lesbian, was dying of Cancer. When I first became aware of her lesbian status we had several heated arguments about it.( I was still young and had a lot to learn..even more than now!!!) When I found out she was dying I went to see her. I was trying to pray with her as her lesbian partner lay on the bed next to her stroking her hair..I had to leave….anyway the last thing I said to her was…PLEASE….when you stand before the Lord , PLEASE do not tell HIM that there is nothing wrong with it….don’t argue with HIM…PLEASE just ask for mercy. The night she died I smelled wild roses so strong inside and outside…it was Winter…I took that as the possibility that she asked and possibly received. I can only hope. I just don’t understand how it is so widely accepted as NORMAL and how so many people can be happy for them!! BUT once again, I just resort to praying for them…just like the corrupt of both parties that run this country….the world.

  212. joycemb says:

    Now we can know, and “see” for ourselves… it wasn’t just for them, but for us, and for all— that the High Priest of God would, on the way to his prayers and sacrifice for us, look up from the ground and into the eyes of a condemned woman to say, “where are your accusers now?”… neither do I condemn you…

    It’s so easy to accuse and condemn when we KNOW what the 10 says yet Jesus seemed to bypass the 10 when He refused to condemn her, in fact, her accusers walked out when He walked in. We need more Jesus’ people and fewer judges I think. I need to look more at Him and not the world around me, as much as there are things about it that I very much like. I’m learning, still…

  213. narrowpathseeker says:

    Hi Joyce, I’m not sure to what you are referring in your post at 2:43pm, but if it was to do with same sex marriage, then I think I see this a little differently than you. To the best of my recollection I don’t think the woman caught in adultery denied that she did anything wrong. I have friends as well as relatives that are homosexual and one is married. I do not discuss this with them ..some of them know where I stand on it and that is…I don ‘t understand it and I prefer not to hear about it because you will never convince me that this is ok …thus I asked my friend before she died to please ask for mercy instead of telling God that she did nothing wrong. I examine myself frequently and ask for mercy several times daily…I am well aware of most of my sins and I am not proud of them. I do not think I try to change the laws to justify my sins. There are times I am guilty of judging, but I don’t think this is one of those times. However, as always, I could be wrong about that. I hope I haven’t upset you with my views on this. Let me know ….in an email if you like.. :-)

  214. joycemb says:

    Hi Pearl, no not upset at all!!! I was referring to Marts post, I should have written it as a quote, sorry about that. On my Facebook I too have relatives that are gay and so I have been thinking about how Jesus would talk with them today, it’s been a challenge but I don’t want to lose an opportunity to witness to them about the love and grace of God thru Christ Jesus. My thinking on this is “I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see”.

    I don’t mean to tell you or anyone here how to think about this issue, just thinking out loud as I reread Marts post.
    Love ya, Joyce

  215. SFDBWV says:

    I was noticing this morning how alike my morning prayers and the Aaronic Prayer is.

    As a result I pondered for the moment to make the prayer sound something like this.

    “Lord I ask you to bless us and keep us save from harm and the evil one. To look upon us and love us with your grace and mercy. To fill us with your Holy Spirit and bless us with a peace that can only come from you.”

    Each morning I need to go to the well of living water and be filled, because there are many distractions and challenges that will present themselves as the day wears on.

    I pray that each of you be guarded against the day’s troubles, but be empowered to overcome them and trust the day to God.

    55 degrees, gray and windy.


  216. jeff1 says:

    I think there are times when we see loved ones and enemies on the wrong path and while it may seem right to us to speak out because we ourselves are trying to live the life God chose for us, we need to see where that person is coming from and sometimes accept that we are outside our depth in dealing with it, then we leave it to God. Many are listening to false teaching but this is not new to God for since the beginning of time people including myself have been listening to false teaching. My friend told me this story of how she decided to intervene on God’s behalf to deal with an alcoholic and it did not end well. She was the one asking God for forgiveness for interfering on His behalf and making a bad situation worse. Remember that person is on a journey with God as we are on a journey and I know myself that I can trip up at times and have reassess my thinking and my heart before I continue. When I was listening to false teaching I can tell you not even my Father whom I loved so dearly could turn me from listening to this Preacher and until the time was right for me then God showed me the error of my ways.
    If that person truly believes they are doing no wrong then God will judge them accordingly and my non critical approach may be more what they need right now than me shouting the odds. I am not saying not to let them know how you feel about what you belief but I do not belief God wants us to try and force people from their wrong doing for He has a far better way as I was to discover and when God showed me I got it because it was His spirit working in me. We need to allow God to work in them too, for He will when the time is right, or if not He will judge them with compassion for He is as I know from my own experience a God of mercy. Caring is helping a person in need and as God’s servants that is what we are here to do. When we let our caring start interfering then we get in over our head as my friend found out. Let God do His work in another as He has done in ourselves for it is much better for the person to learn from God personally then anything we can say that they are not ready to hear on their journey. The Lord will watch over you coming and going both now and forevermore. Thanks be to God.

  217. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Today’s ODB feels like a piece of the same fabric as the priestly benediction at Numbers 6:24-26. The meditation is “A Voice in the Night” based on Psalm 134:1-2.

    Perhaps we begin our prayer by blessing and praising God — then we name and number all the blessings and graces God pours out upon us — most especially the great gift of our Messiah, Jesus Christ. At last, after confessing our own sins and short-comings, we ask God for what we need, and for the needs of others.

    67F and cloudy here. Forecast to be a bit cooler than the record 100F we had yesterday.


  218. joycemb says:

    Good morning all,

    I’ve been asking “what would Jesus do”. He used miracles and conversation to affect the lives of others. He ate with sinners, and then hung out with them where THEY were at both physically and spiritually. That’s the answer I believe. Hang out until they refuse to hear the Truth then continue on with the work of the Kingdom wherever The Lord leads next. Speak the Truth in love, then move on, let go, let God have His way as we know God always knows what’s always going on. And we know He is faithful to search for his lost sheep. We don’t save people, Jesus saves people. We are only the messengers. How blessed to be in His service!

    Pearl I know how heartbreaking it is to love someone so much and watch them refuse God. That’s Gods love in us, I know because before I was a Christian I didn’t care about anybody but myself, or cared for what people could do for me. I’m rambling… But I’ve worked in Hospice with unbelievers and it’s heartbreaking if they have chosen to refuse Gods gift of grace. But you can still pray for unsaved family members as we all do.

    Have a blessed day all

  219. jeff1 says:

    For to my way of thinking that is what faith looks like trusting God and it is in the valley we learn to trust God. For it is in the valley where we learn hopelessness and in that hopelessnes we depend on God.
    Everyone believes they have the answer to anothers demons yet we all battle with our own weaknesses and can only support each other on our journey but it is God who saves us from Satan, this world and very often ourselves for I have been my own worst enemy more times than I can think of and it is in knowing this that I know God is faithful. Religions today have done the opposite to what they should have by driving people away from God and not to Him. They claim all to speak the truth but no religion has the whole truth, it has become more important to them to prove their religion is right than to prove God right. Religion today is probably why most wars are and it is because one religion wants to rule another and God is left out of the equation. God hasn’t changed but the world’s perspective on God has changed due to religions and that is not good for the future of Christianity. I was brought up in a Church which focused on Jesus and I am thankful for that for it is when we take our focus of Jesus that we question and their are questions that will not be answered this side of eternity and it is why God tells us to focus on Christ so that we will not burden ourselves with questions for He requires us to be faithful to Him as He is faithful to us. God be with you always.

  220. oneg2dblu says:

    Good day all… Yes, we should support others, especially those who are in the Body of Believers, according to the word.
    Yes, we should be around those in the world, even the worst of sinners, but, we are also warned to be careful that we do not get trapped ourselves, and if that could not ever happen, then why would we be warned?

    As far as Christ not looking to the Law to condemn someone caught in adultery, He also even expanded on the same Law saying, in Matthew 5:27-28

    Matthew 5:18,19 another expansion.

    Then, in Matthew 5:21,22 another example of His expanding them even further.

    We must all search ourselves, and search the word, and search the world around us, to find what is right, and what is almost right or wrong, and then, we can know the real truth which is found in the word, truth that is is both clearly written and eternal.

    May God continue to Bless even this Corrupted Nation, even for just a Remnant who will see the truth and Pray to a God that hears them, and trust that we can still change our wicked ways and return to Him.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  221. narrowpathseeker says:

    Joyce, I think most of us or at least many of us(I know I am in the number)were self absorbed early on in life…We may have cared about other people but we were No 1!!! in our lives, right?…I’ve always suspected that selfishness is the original sin and that our mission on earth is to rise above ourselves…I’ve risen a little but have a long way to go. The Power of prayer may be our greatest weapon. Thanks for the reminder…Pearl

  222. narrowpathseeker says:

    BUBBLES, I read your post a few days ago about being thankful for our senses and I was instantly reminded to be grateful for the simple things we take for granted…I meant to thank you then, but got caught up in something else. So, a belated THANK YOU….we are sooooooo Blessed in so many ways and need to thank the Lord for His many many wonderful provisions that we don’t ever think about. Again…thanks for the reminder. Pearl

  223. bubbles says:

    I had reread Mart’s post while I was getting ready for the day. There is a little bird I haven’t seen but he sits in a tree near my window and sings a lovely song every morning. The coffee was hot and the sun was shining. It was quiet and the air smelled of summertime. My heart flowed over with thanks to God for the blessings of that morning.

  224. joycemb says:

    Good evening all,

    I’ve decided to simplify my life and get off the internet and read some books for a change! I’m thinking C.S. Lewis, it’s been a while.

    Have enjoyed the topics, discussions (mostly) and the new friends I’ve made here!
    Blessings, Joyce

  225. street says:

    narrow said, “I’ve always suspected that selfishness is the original sin and that our mission on earth is to rise above ourselves…I’ve risen a little but have a long way to go.”

    in the parable of the prodigal son, the younger son, is said to have come to his senses. in other words, to come to the realization of what and who he is. remember in James a man looking in a mirror and walking away and forgetting what he looked like. well to continue with the thought the Father would have none of this and did something about it. the fathers heart is a raging torrent of mercy and grace for His children and equally true a raging torrent of wrath to those who reject Him. remember the least of these? this heart of God is in keeping with His Holiness, Righteousness, and Justice, as opposed to disorder that job had trouble with. if the Son makes you free you are free indeed, and He has give you the right to become the children of God. Dad and Big Brother are something else!

    narrow also suspected our mission on earth is to rise above ourselves. was listening to radio today and the preacher said it is not. our mission in life is to provoke Israel to jealousy. in other words to redeem Israel. his text is Deuteronomy 32 Romans 9 & 10. i think this jealousy is provoked by shalom in all circumstances and not stuff. in other words abiding in God’s presents. the greatest fear they faced in Exodus was God not going with them. they understood the consequences of that. this made it easy to enter the covenant, but the terms were impossible to keep in the flesh. i can see why faith in a God of promises is our only hope. hope this can help. been a graceful weekend.

  226. street says:

    gary said,”We must all search ourselves, and search the word, and search the world around us, to find what is right, and what is almost right or wrong, and then, we can know the real truth which is found in the word, truth that is is both clearly written and eternal.”

    this is how the supreme court comes to making decisions. as some would agree this is insanity. the only way to find the truth is to come to God and nowhere else. God said the pillar and up holder of truth is the church. the church is made up of His redeemed Children. not all that go to church are His children.

    Exodus 34:5-7
    Matthew 9:13
    Matthew 12:7

    the three proceeding verses refer to compassion and not law. something to grasp. compassion uses the law as an instrument to achieve the desires of His heart. don’t fall in love with the law, fall in love with the judge!
    God bless you and let His face shine upon you.

  227. street says:

    God loves questions! especially from His children. most of the times we can find the answer in the question like job. God spoke to job in questions and job found the answers in the questions! God did not answer the way he expected, but He did answer and job did get what he was looking for on all accounts! paul questioned and asked for help and was denied because of his high position. God did not abandon him but gave him grace to continue. like Exodus and our own lives. God never changes. His love and promises are forever! we need to know this love above all things. it is the underlying reason for creation and it will bring God great joy.

  228. oneg2dblu says:

    street…after reading your take on what I said, I do not think that the decision made by the Supreme Court, was found because they had each for themselves searched out the word of God.
    If they had then in the opinions given there would have been references to the Word of God made, and I did not see them.
    Did you?
    If they had truly searched the world around them as well, then they may have actually made their ruling, a ruling for the “whole voice” of the nation, and not just to appease the favored political LEFT leanings of this particular court.
    A small point perhaps, but it comes with huge impact upon this nation and the rest of the world who is watching. every move we make.
    May God Have Mercy on us All…

  229. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… May the Peace of God Reign in Your Heart, as you take repose from this demanding need to post here, for others to hear, what you know you must say by the leading of the Spirit that thrives in you.
    Your voice will be missed, enjoy the break, you deserve it, and return refreshed, enlightened, empowered anew.
    Be Blessed, Gary

  230. jeff1 says:

    Will miss your posts Joyce but wish you the best and will look forward to your return.

    God be with you in your reading.

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