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No Eyes On


Flickr Photo by Catherine

During the search for two escapees from a maximum security New York prison, many of us watched competing news media press for information on the status of the pursuit. At one point commentators began quoting a source who admitted that—though law enforcement officials believed they were in “hot pursuit” of the subjects— they  had “no eyes on” the two men.

Conversation about the breaking news then turned to trying to read between the lines as to what it meant to be in “hot pursuit.”

Such straining for information and parsing of words is understandable to those of us who have learned to live by what we can see and know. But the words “no eyes on” may awaken thoughts of wonder in those of us who are trying to live by faith in what we cannot see. The New Testament makes such a generous distinction between that what we know and “have eyes on” and that which we cannot yet see or understand (Rom 11:33-36).

Within a story of loved persons as diverse as Abraham, Samson, Jacob, Rahab, Mary of Magdala, the naked, demon-possessed “man of the tombs”— and Jesus, we are told a bit— and left to wonder and reach for what we do not yet have “eyes on”. Paul describes what is unseen as being exceedingly and abundantly more than we can, as yet, even hope or think (Eph 3:14-21).

Am thinking this morning that for those of us who know we  are called to love everyone in behalf of a God who died for us, such words make the miracle and grace of today—and tomorrow— far more than bearable.

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60 Responses to “No Eyes On”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Good (late) morning. The sun is rising with a blaze of glory this morning and most welcome as its bright shining face hasn’t been seen for a while. With the promise of warming us up from the 44 degree morning.

    The past several wet foggy and rainy days the sun was always there it just wasn’t seen for the rain clouds, yet just because I couldn’t see it, I believed it to be there.

    Using an example from another source I believe that the things I can touch and feel are “real” and as I feel the hard solid surface of a rock, what I see and feel is a solid rock.

    However what we have come to learn is that the rock is not solid at all, but made up of tiny little atoms that are separated by relevant distance between themselves and not solid at all.

    What we see may be deceiving.

    As the man hunt for these two escapees unfolded it was reported by the news service that thousands of “tips” of possible sightings were reported and had hundreds if not a thousand or more police looking hundreds of miles away in the wrong direction.

    As the truth is revealed things will make better sense and many questions answered as many still remain puzzling.

    It all sounds very familiar to our own walks of faith with regards to our Christianity.

    As a chorus of opinions and voices rise and come near to drowning out the truth it sometimes becomes harder and more difficult to stay the course of what we know and listen to that still small voice in our hearts that leads us along our blind walk of faith.

    I have a relevant story concerning the picture of the dandelion puffs I will give at another posting, amusing, but very revealing about preconceived ideas.


  2. poohpity says:

    Wow! To be in pursuit of grace! The thought of even trying to comprehend the fullness of God’s love would stir any heart with tenderhearted mercy just even having a quick sighting of that, would bring monumental results.

  3. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    We are grateful for some cloud cover this morning in the Pacific NW. We are in a dry heat-wave and the mantle overhead may keep us a bit cooler as the day wears on. 64F and forecast to be clear and hot.

    Some Bible-readers wonder at the words Jesus said to His proud, competitive followers when he set a little child before them: “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 18:3)

    Two things about child-likeness make the heart open to the working of God in Christ.

    1) The unfiltered reception of impressions, expressions and information by a child’s mind make for radical openness to the working of God in that young life. No resistance exists.

    2) Complete dependence makes the child willing to obey and learn from those in authority. Thus, God’s will operated unhindered by self-reliance.

    In most cultures, these qualities are considered “charming and endearing,” but completely inappropriate to living well in the world. Only by focusing upon what God is doing and saying, it seems to me, can a faithful child of God follow the Savior Jesus Christ with the heart — having No Eyes On Him.

    Yours in Christ,

  4. oneg2dblu says:

    Good day alll… Yes Mart, and the words “hot pursuit” could be attached to God’s pouring down fire from Heaven’s Armies upon those sinners in Sodom and Gomorrah as well.
    Found in today’s ODB message, is where God clearly put in his word that His Eyes were focused on displaying, for our eyes today, in writing, to help us see for ourselves, God’s hot pursuit of Evil.

    But, that was then, and we all live in the now don’t we?

    Where it seems to us, God has no eyes to see Evil anymore, or does He?

    I guess it all comes down to how each of us sees himself walk before the now, “Unseeing Eyes of God,” and how that plays out in, our particular take, or Our Walk of Faith.


  5. oneg2dblu says:

    Wow, the blind leading the blind, isn’t that also mentioned in God’s Word, and what exactly was it that which resulted?
    Were not both them, the leader and follower, also acting in their own form of blind faith?
    Just thinking…

  6. Mart DeHaan says:

    Do we want to call trust in a God who sacrifices himself— to love and redeem (i.e. to share the still unseen and inexpressible joy of his eternal presence) people like Jacob, Samson, David, and us “blind faith”?

  7. oneg2dblu says:

    Mart…Heavens no! No more than we would think that God is blind to our walk, or our leading.

  8. oneg2dblu says:

    Nor would I trust a smiling enemy more than a frowning friend…

  9. SFDBWV says:

    Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

    Not seen means not seen.

    Though your faith sees it in your heart you have not “seen” it.

    Now read Hebrews 11:1-40 and stop for a moment at Hebrews 11:39 where in my bible it says “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:”

    Though your faith may see whatever it is you “hope” for, until you actually “see” it you have not seen it and are yet unable to see it and so you blindly walk in faith.

    John 20: 26-29 tells the story of doubting Thomas John 20:29 says “Thomas because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are they that have “not seen”, and yet have believed.”

    If you want to pick on grammar or semantics go ahead I can take the hit.

    I will have faith even if I cannot physically see (anyone who cannot physically see is blind) day in day out, hour by hour.


  10. fadingman says:

    This got me thinking about the difference between what is “plainly seen” by the world, i.e. God’s invisible attributes and power (Romans 1:19-20), versus our walking by faith and not sight. It seems to me to imply a difference in what faith is all about.

    Creation displays evidence of the nature of God, i.e. His power, knowledge, etc, but our faith goes further. It focuses on the character of God: trusting in Him when it seems by outward appearances He doesn’t have everything under control or He is ignoring our prayers. Satan always attacks our faith by impuning the character of God. Faith continues to trust in God’s promises.

  11. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon, All
    Haven’t been stopped by to comment in awhile, but I’ve been reading comments on previous blogs, and I’ve been blessed by the your thoughts and God-given wisdom. Off topic here… Thank you to all who’ve been praying for me regarding the transition (divorce) that’s going on in my life right now. God is definitely guiding my way, and I’m so very thankful to him. I had a choice of two rooming/boarding houses to live in [background info: in the 1st court hearing (5-14-15), the Judge awarded me spousal support because I didn’t want the house I was moving out of—with the stipulation that I move out of the house by May 31] and I chose the one closest to my job, church, etc. Well, I’ve been living here for a month tomorrow, and God has helped me live with character, integrity and honesty. My 3rd court hearing is in July, and it’s regarding division of financial community property, so please remember me in prayer regarding that hearing that all will go according to God’s will, plan and purpose for my life. Thank you so much BTA friends for your care and concern for me in the years that I’ve been a part of this blog family.

    94 degrees and partly cloudy in my neck of the woods (North Texas)…

    Love to all,

  12. jeff1 says:

    I do not believe that religions help God’s character for the younger generation see religion as being the cause of war and being brought up in a Country were religion was the reason for war and one side demonised the other to justify killing, I can see why they believe this. Two wrongs don’t make a right but I only see that now so sometimes we have to come through the battle to realize wrong doing. There where people who could see it all along but we are all individuals and some take longer to see the error or their ways. I may think the world is getting more evil but looking back at history tells me that the world has always been at war with evil so trusting God is always the right thing to do for men are fickle but God keeps His promises and God does what He has too because we humans fail to do what we should do. We do a lot of talking about love maybe it would be a start if we try to get along with each other and with prayer the love would follow.

  13. narrowpathseeker says:

    Regina, I am so very glad to hear from you….and learn that you were not harmed in the floods down there. I will be praying that you come out of this divorce financially well off and emotionally and spiritually uplifted. HOld your head up and stand tall Regina…you are a beloved daughter of Almighty God.

  14. oneg2dblu says:

    jeff1… yes there certainly is a lot of dark history everywhere in the word and world, and the fight with evil is longstanding, very true.
    But by faith in the written word, we can also believe that the world is definitely getting darker as we are ever getting closer to the End Times.
    As Paul said, there will come a day when sound doctrine and teaching will no longer be accepted, where itching ears want only to hear what suits them, which to me means, they will only listen to fine sounding false teaching, where they only talk about the promises, and not mention or ever worry about heading any or all the warnings given in the word, feeling they are already fulfilled or forgiven, and any possible trespass which ignoring the warnings can bring are only moot, and really baseless.
    Although much of the sight talk we reference here, is spiritual sight, not our ability or lack of, any physical vision.
    We need to use our God-given, physical eyes, ears, and senses, to understand that the coming of the End of Days as described in the word, can be actually witnessed as being something Physical in Nature as well.
    Be Blessed, Gary

  15. oneg2dblu says:

    And yes, religion has never been the right answer, and never been the true fulfillment of our lack, or what God places in the hearts of all man, “Eternity.”
    Religion is the empty promise, of using ritual, teaching, sacrifice, keeping of days, or any other of man’s interventions, for the salvation of the empty, lonely, guilty, and afraid of death, soul, found in all mankind who do not have that God-given Faith in Jesus Christ, which no religious practice can ever deliver.

  16. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Relieved to hear you were not harmed in Texas’ weather crisis, Regina. Prayers going up for the journey through separation from your husband. May the Lord watch over you and provide for you completely.

    Gary, religion is “respect for what is sacred, reverence for God (or the gods); conscientiousness, sense of right, moral obligation; fear of God; divine service, religious observance; a religion, a faith, a mode of worship, cult; sanctity, holiness.” (online etymology) Religious practice grows out of the calling of the Creator God upon human hearts and minds, and brings us to those precious moments of worship.

    The promise is from the Lord and it is full of hope love and provision — Christ’s love for each of His children, and all of creation. The promise is not empty.

    Though I have no thought of you lightening up, some measure of accuracy would be welcome. As you rave, please stay in your lane, friend.


  17. poohpity says:

    Maru, :-) what you wrote is similar to what the bible describes as religion in James 1:26-27; If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. 27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”

  18. remarutho says:

    The James passage is one I memorized when I was young, Pooh.

    Perhaps it has stuck with me all these decades. Those ways of caring for others is the Old Testament standard of godly living, am pretty sure. (Deuteronomy 10:16, 17, 18)

    Caring for orphans and widows and not allowing the world to stain us is what God is looking for. These things are repeated many times in the Law. Then, bridling the tongue is one of James’ main points. Guess I could work on that more.


  19. poohpity says:

    Maru, I hope you realize I was saying nothing to you about bridling your tongue. I believe you have shown much patience and kindness addressing issues but prepare for attacks my sister. :-)

  20. oneg2dblu says:

    Wow, talk about one trying cover up with a fig leaf, or hiding one’s guilt.
    My point which was totally ignored, certainly because I am so inept in getting my point across to others here, who take offensive postures, and have so much to rally against my words, but, somehow, I am sure it is all my fault.

    What Religion that is practiced today, cures anyone’s sin nature, or even holds their tongue?

    Or, satisfies their need for religion to solve their biggest need, their Forgiveness, and their spending Eternity with God?

    Neither does quoting scripture to show that others where they are wrong, and we the messenger, are right.

  21. jeff1 says:

    Just as it was God’s intention that Jesus had to go the way of the cross it is God’s intention that one nation shall lead the rest in the end times so what is happening is part of God’s plan and Jesus said only the Father knows so while we may understand that present day trials are meant to be we are still trusting God for our deliverance like the rest of the world, for we do not have the power until God so gives it, and in doing so then the earth will get rid of evil in God’s way which will be the fulfillment of God’s word which is what we all long for in the end.

  22. street says:

    gary said,” And yes, religion has never been the right answer, and never been the true fulfillment of our lack, or what God places in the hearts of all man, “Eternity.”
    Religion is the empty promise, of using ritual, teaching, sacrifice, keeping of days, or any other of man’s interventions, for the salvation of the empty, lonely, guilty, and afraid of death, soul, found in all mankind who do not have that God-given Faith in Jesus Christ, which no religious practice can ever deliver.”

    garg was the Mosaic law made up by man or God? i think you know the answer to this which leads me to the next question. why did He set it up?

  23. oneg2dblu says:

    Moses was given the ten commandments by God, but as foreverblessed has already explained they were useless to change mankind, and they only could let man see his failure to comply and his need for a Savior.
    But, those ten were not a religion, they were a law given to God’s Chosen People.
    But, I may be wrong, so why don’t we all look that answer up for ourselves.
    Oh yeah, while were thumbing through our bibles, or checking the Word of God, we should check this out verse, “All have fallen short of the Glory of God, (except the religious, for they are pure in heart, they are good people, and they get a free pass).
    Or something like that.
    But, don’t quote me, quote the Word of God instead.

  24. oneg2dblu says:

    PS let’s not forget this one, “All a man’s religion seems right to him, but in the end, lead to death,” or something like that.

    Religion is not the answer, Relationship with Jesus Christ is the answer, and the Only Way, to get to God, according to the Word of God.
    But, I may be wrong, so check that out as well.

  25. oneg2dblu says:

    I never said that religious practice could not teach us some very useful things, habits, morals and the like, I said, it can not answer the need for fulfilling Eternity which is placed in the hearts of man, and religion can not save you from your empty lonely, guilty, feelings, or forgive your sins.

    Only God can forgive sins, not religion, but don’t quote me, look it up for yourself.

  26. oneg2dblu says:

    Man’s greatest need is the Forgiveness of Sins, not religion, for only “forgiven people,” get to go to Heaven.

    No man is ever good enough on his own, no matter how religious they may be, to be guaranteed entrance, into the Kingdom of God.

    If so, then Christ who died for the sins all mankind, all mankind who, will accept him, as their Savior, died for nothing, if there is another way…

    Now, how does any religion stack up to those odds?

  27. street says:

    in Romans it is recorded that the law was given so that sin could increase not decrease. Romans 5:20

    i think it was increased so there would be no possibility of missing sin in all it’s forms. man being a moral agent could not say he was not aware of it or he missed it. the religious systems you speak of, all fall short. the mosaic system condemn Jesus unjustly by unjust men. i think the law and religious systems can not save you. if they could you could work your way there. the problem of the law and religious systems is Holy Justice. they can not make justice or restore injustice. looking for justice leads you to one of two possible places. condemnation or forgiveness. we know forgiveness can be motivated by love which is found in Jesus. it is important to forgive because the measure you use will be applied to yourself. i admit it is tough to do and stay focused on. His grace which mart alluded too is what makes living more than bearable.

  28. remarutho says:

    Have to agree, Street —

    The Law came so that the full power of sin could be seen.

    Th Apostle Paul writes to the church in Rome: “Everyone was going to be punished because Adam sinned. But because of the good thing that Christ has done, God accepts us and gives us the gift of life. Adam disobeyed God and caused many others to be sinners. But Jesus obeyed him and will make many people acceptable to God.

    The Law came, so that the full power of sin could be seen. Yet where sin was powerful, God’s kindness was even more powerful. Sin ruled by means of death. But God’s kindness now rules, and God has accepted us because of Jesus Christ our Lord. This means that we will have eternal life.”

    A life shaped by worship of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit plus prayer, Scripture reading and fellowship with other Jesus-followers may or may not be a religious life. But, it is the life of a disciple who has never had eyes on Jesus — yet, knows He lives.


    PS My Scripture reference is Romans 5:18, 19, 20, 21.

  29. foreverblessed says:

    Maru, it is all a matter of definition, I think that you mean the same thing as Street and Gary mean to say.
    I was having a problem when I read your comment:
    ” it seems to me, can a faithful child of God follow the Savior Jesus Christ with the heart — having No Eyes On Him.” June 29, 8.05 am
    It puzzled me for a time, till I realized that the theme was, having no eyes on him.
    Meaning that we do not see Jesus visually, but in Spirit we do look up to Him as soon as we open our eyes in the morning:
    Look to Me and be saved
    is what Jesus said.
    The whole plan of God is giving Redemption.
    God did not step in when Adam took the forbidden fruit. He let it go.
    He did not prevent anything. He already had a better plan: a Plan of Redemption through Jesus.
    I still have problems in letting go, but when I go to the Cross, with all my worries, being upsetties, burdens of things going wrong, then I see that it is all that God has planned right from the start.
    Christ the Redeemer
    as the ODB of yesterday was about.

  30. lovely says:

    Well Christ came to fulfill the law. Sin doesn’t begin with our action but it is Adam’s nature in us that causes sin , therefore to resolve sin doesn’t begin with changing our action but changing our hearts which can only be possible through Christ.
    To understand this verse James 1:26,27 when comes to religion , need to understand the verse before that James 1:22,25. “Be not hearer of the word but doers of it” To me if we treat Christianity like a religion then nothing will change sin still remain. No one can keep oneself from unspotted from the world without Christ , because only the blood of the lamb can cleanse sin. I agree that Christianity is not a religion but a relationship with Christ.
    The question still remain why then did God gave the law during Moses time? Because that’s the principle of life He has created for us to live by. All of us has some sort of principle and rules we live by, but here is our God calling us to live by His word that we may live ( All of us is dead spiritually before Christ come into our hearts)1 John 5:12
    Deuteronomy 32:46-47. Only when we live & do His word out continuously can we truly be blessed James 1:25 . If we study the 10 commandments, all these commandments is actually leading us back to His love. If we want to experience His love, do His word first. Like What Steve have mention earlier Hebrews 11:1, Faith is believing what we don’t see put it simply. The world has taught us to only believe when we see. Therefore when walking with God, we do His word first, then we’ll see. So if He asked us to believe, then we believe, asked us to forgive, we forgive. (like a little child we just do what the Father asked no question ask because we trust Him)
    May we continue to experience His love daily as we do His word

  31. SFDBWV says:

    Yesterday I read a story about a 24 year old woman in Belgium who was given permission by its authorities to have assisted suicide, because of her depression.

    I am certain that same government and attitude would look down upon capital punishment as barbaric.

    This subject of Mart’s has an interesting duality in that we open with two convicts who make a run for freedom then segue into having faith to believe something we don’t see.

    The entire story and ensuing drama of watching the news service follow every step as law enforcement agents franticly searched under every leaf and behind every tree for two men they portrayed as dangerous.

    Since every subject we discuss ends up being a debate of law versus grace I wonder how this subject of escapees and “walking in faith” without visual conformation relates.

    In the Garden at the beginning the only rule was not to eat of the tree that would enable Adam and Eve to know the difference between good and evil because as soon as they did they would die.

    Both of these men had committed murder, Matt had killed a former boss and then cut him up with a hacksaw we are told, while Sweat had killed a deputy sheriff shooting him 22 times.

    God’s Law of the OT required that both men pay for their crimes with their lives. What does the “law” of the NT require of them? Of us?

    What missing part of the puzzle that we can’t clearly “see” shows us how to proceed in an organized, safe and orderly society?

    The law clearly said that for such a crime that both men should have been put to death.

    Grace says we should forgive them, but does it say we lock them away to slowly rot away their lives in a lifelong sentence that death their only release?

    Matt was shot in the head three times, Sweat in the back twice as he ran for freedom.

    What is it we see here and what is it we don’t?


  32. remarutho says:

    This topic does come in on a small side door, it seems to me also, Steve. Three weeks of scouring the upstate NY countryside for these two prison escapees cannot really be a model for the life of faith in Jesus, it seems to me.

    Still, the one feature of the authorities’ determined search that speaks here is the firm belief that the two men were still out there, and could be found. That “faith” paid off — though the end-game was bloody and disturbing.

    Jesus is not a fugitive, though the Scripture does tell us that when He appears the second time it will be as a thief in the night. (1 Thessalonians 5:1, 2, 3) We will have no inkling that He is on His way until He appears.

    Joy all day,

    63F here. Forecast is for 105F.

  33. poohpity says:

    “In the beginning the Word already existed.
    The Word was with God,
    and the Word was God.
    He existed in the beginning with God.
    God created everything through him,
    and nothing was created except through him.
    The Word gave life to everything that was created,
    and his life brought light to everyone.John 1:1-4 NLT

    In James the Works that show our faith are good deeds not obedience to the law because the law no longer had power over us, we were free from it(Romans 8:1-3 NLT). So it is not about being good it seems more about doing good, of course having the Holy Spirit our desires change from our old sin nature to a new nature. So even though we can not see Jesus visibly the good we do for others bears witness to who we believe in.

    “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

    17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

    18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” James 2:14-18 NLT

  34. oneg2dblu says:

    foreverblessed… thank you for seeing with your physical eyes and your spiritual eyes, that I was left out of the picture even though street and I are in spiritual agreement.

    We constantly have this division of sight, being in one dimension or the other, but, the blind leading the blind, is a teaching which covers both dimensions.

    That is why false teaching is so dangerous.

    Maru… you left out a few other words as well, “But God’s kindness now rules, and God has accepted us because of, some must have conditions, our accepting of, and holding on to, this God-given gift of faith in) Jesus Christ our Lord. This means that we will have eternal life.”

    A persistent, ongoing, until the end, Faith, in Jesus Christ must exist, according to the Word of God, for us to have Eternal Life (.)

    Which is not only one-time but soon forgotten, or a walking away, or a turning from, or a shipwrecking of faith, and now dead and useless faith, but, a living, growing, attached to the vine, two sided communion, a relationship with Jesus Christ.

    One that bears fruit, which apparently must be visible, or it gets cut off by the Gardener himself, and then it withers and dies, and is thrown into the fire to be destroyed.

    But don’t take my word on that.

    You see, and I see, that we can agree on much more than we think we do, but only if we think we do, do we see it.

    Open Our Eyes Lord, that we may all see Jesus Christ in us, who is working in us as one body, and building up the entire house.

    Each doing its part.


  35. SFDBWV says:

    Maru it is 62 here under cloudy skies. It always amazes me how it can be 62 and cool one time and 62 and uncomfortably humid the next.

    In the concept of believing in (faith) Christ while not actually seeing Him I am reminded that Paul didn’t believe in Jesus as Messiah until he was blinded by the “light” and Jesus talked directly to him.

    That Jesus walked around for many to see after His crucifixion and resurrection, that at first the Disciples didn’t believe Mary until they seen the evidence as well as Him Himself.

    In the historical arguments concerning the Exodus and accuracy of the OT the undeniable evidence is the people Israel or the Jew.

    People may have never witnessed the drama and miracles given in the Torah, but then here are a people who are a people because of their “faith”.

    The same could be said about Christians; though no one living has seen Jesus or witnessed the events of the Bible, here we are a people who are a people because of Christ.

    Yes I suppose the same could be said of any religion, but we are a people connected to the same people and events that brought us the Bible and all its glory.

    We will not see much above 70 today and then only if the sun comes out. I am pleased to be a weather observer and not a predictor.


  36. oneg2dblu says:

    Yes, like a thief in the night for sure, but that would be only a problem for those who are without God’s gift of Spiritual Sight.

    We who have been given this gift have this other side of the story, given in Matthew 24:10,11,12,13,14.

    But, there is the rest of the story, Matthew 24:29,30,31

    Revelation 1:7 is also quite reveling.

    Be Blessed, Gary

  37. phpatato says:

    Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians that might stop by here.

  38. narrowpathseeker says:

    Happy Canada Day Pat… :-)

  39. phpatato says:

    Thank you Pearl! We are celebrating 148 years young this year. It has poured here all day but is beginning to clear as I type. The fireworks display on Parliament Hill may go on after all, although the wind may play havoc and put a damper on it in the end anyway. I used to go down to the Hill quite faithfully for quite a few years but I find that I am just content to stay home now. Yup, I think I’m getting old. hahaha And you know, that’s ok with me!!!

    I am listening to a Celine Dion cd so maybe that will give me a star for being partriotic??? :-)

  40. narrowpathseeker says:

    LOL…Yes Pat…I used to travel and be stuck in traffic for hours trying to get to and from the fireworks displays. In recent years some of my neighbors would get together and set off quite a display for over an hour…all I had to do was go out to the front yard and set up a lawn chair…instead I stayed in the house irritated by the noise!! Old it is!! lol I LOVE the photo shopped and audio complex combined duet with Celine Dion and Frank Sinatra…I think it was …When Somebody Loves You…not sure but it was beautiful…Enjoy your evening at home.

  41. jeff1 says:

    Your post Gary June 30 7.27 pm
    Man’s greatest need is the Forgiveness of Sins, not religion, for only “forgiven people,” get to go to Heaven.
    I do not believe it is that cut and dried for people have been wrongly taught and I do not believe, God as a just God, will condemn people for having believed false teachers, I would imagine it would be the false teachers who are accountable. Man’s greatest need in the world today is to know of God’s Forgiveness of Sins. I think people who have been taught correctly underestimate how many people have been wrongly taught or because of false teaching handed down to them. I never left my own Church and in my heart I knew that my Church’s stand was the right one but I had my reasons for following a false teacher and at the time I justified them to myself. Being able to see that now because I learned the hard way that hatred was wrong but no one could have changed my mind when I was under the influence of a false teacher. It is up to God to judge as He is all seeing, we only see in part so our judgement is limited to our limited knowledge and where I do not know a man’s reasons then I must give him the benefit of the doubt as I do not see his full intentions or reasoning. Religion is how I got to know about God Gary, if I had not been born into a Religion then I may never have become a believer. We get to know about God through religion but we get to know God through our trials, struggles and submission or lack of submission and I can argue with God and as a stubborn woman I have done my share but in my heart I know God is right. I did not find it easy to agree with God because I had fallen away from the Church that had properly taught me but it was falling away that in the end made me realize that God had the answers and I was relying on my own understanding not His. In my search to prove myself right I found a forgiving God who pointed how the hatred in my heart was as harmful to myself as it was to those I hated. I found God was as much looking out for me as He was telling me to stop being critical and judgemental about matters that were well known to Him, and I was overwhelmed and I still get overwhelmed when I realize how God knew me so well. So much more that I knew myself and this is the true mystery of God that He knows us all personally and yet even with my hidden sin He forgave me Gary and this is not a God who will condemn people for their ignorance for I cannot even claim ignorance so I am an example of how forgiving God will be.

  42. poohpity says:

    Almost a year ago I asked God to help me to understand His grace more deeply. I do not believe it was a coincidence that I ran into a woman in Walmart I have never meant before who also happen to follow Jesus and told her about my prayer she not only recommended but sent me a book that because of her being Lutheran did not really like it. It was called, “Right Believing” by Joseph Prince. Well if anyone knows me I have a hard time with any book other than the Bible. Well I have to say my eyes were opened to more learning.

    It was one thing when I first started following the Lord coming from the background I was leaving but after being around the “Christian” culture I became very confused by it all. It was all so foreign to what was actually taught by Jesus to me and frankly I did not accept it very well, I did not want to be like that but that was exactly what I started to act like(i.e. moral police; if people did not believe as I did my nose went straight up in the air; holier than thou attitude).

    The Lord promised when we seek we will find like looking for those escapees, going on the morsels of information that we do have. So it really touched my heart this morning rereading that Ephesians passage again. It says that we may have the power to understand(it will never be fully) and experience this mysterious love God has for mankind. To think it is exceedingly more than I could ever hope for, just makes my search more desperate.

  43. remarutho says:

    Agreeing with you. Pooh —

    Paul’s prayer from Ephesians is such a blessing and comfort. The attitude that “we” have all insight and spiritual knowledge and gifts is a pity. What Jesus-seeker will want to sit down and chat with somebody who continually belches up judgment and condemnation? Nobody wants to be put down that way! Sure hope Christians get over those hurtful attitudes.

    65F here & still under heat advisory.


  44. jeff1 says:

    This is so true Maru but until I was ready to hear the truth I had become, in my heart, one of those judgemental and critical believers so I understand how easy it is to deceive oneself. When you are hurting you are not in a good place and only through wrestling with God did I get to know my sin. There are many still like I was, who need to see this, but it takes time and patience with people and sometimes we may find that many have not the insight or spiritual knowledge but that does not mean we should judge or condemn them.

  45. remarutho says:

    Hi Viv —

    To wish and pray that brothers and sisters in Christ will cease offering up a serving of judgment and accusation to any and everybody is not to condemn them. Rather, wouldn’t it be a kinder world if we accepted non-believers, those who do not read the Bible and those who refuse to step inside the door of a church?

    The church will either step out of its ivory tower onto the pavement to meet the world, or it will fail in its mission, in my view.

    Paul says, “If you belong to Christ Jesus, you won’t be punished. The Holy Spirit will give you life that comes from Christ Jesus and will set you free from sin and death. The Law of Moses cannot do this, because our selfish desires make the Law weak. But God set you free when he sent his own Son to be like us sinners and to be a sacrifice for our sin. God used Christ’s body to condemn sin. He did this, so that we would do what the Law commands by obeying the Spirit instead of our own desires.”

    It seems to me even the most spiritual person does not know what is going on between the heart of another and the unseen Holy Spirit. Perhaps some condemning believers can admit that it ain’t broke — so there’s no need to fix it!

    Happy and Safe Independence Day to All!

  46. poohpity says:

    Isn’t it odd that once one becomes a believer it seems they think it is their job to convict people of sin? Jesus plainly said, “But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. 9 The world’s SIN IS THAT IT REFUSES TO BELIEVE IN ME.

    When I gave my life to Jesus I came so broken and in need but it was the Holy Spirit that brought me to that place. So if we truly trust in God to work within the lives of others like He did with those Mart listed and me, just right in there too, then I can say with all confidence that He can and will work in the life of others. I have to say there are many times when I think it is my job but God is very quick to let me know it aint my job.

    It seems like a lot of broken vessels telling other broken vessels how broken they are and there is only one solution to that brokenness and we are not it. It is Jesus plus nothing = everything.

  47. street says:

    steve said,”This subject of Mart’s has an interesting duality in that we open with two convicts who make a run for freedom then segue into having faith to believe something we don’t see.”

    surrender dorthy! thinking of these two guys escaping from maximum security prison. remembering an article in the paper about so many convicted murders living in communities where i live. they say the time of parole is about 7 years, back then. these 2 escapees had other ideas on how to get back into the community. there are minimum and medium security prisons for a reason. people change! some do not accept grace for what it is and venture out on there own wrecking havoc where ever they go. law enforcement is a real problem for the lawless, when it becomes a real problem for the righteous you are truly blessed. i shake my head as i write this, but God says it is true.

    this brings me to the subject of religion mentioned earlier. to me religion is mans way of working out what he believes to be true in a practical every day life. sometimes we drift way from what we believed or change our beliefs based on new revelation. either way our practice can be hollow/empty or be redefined. when you meet a person of grace and truth it is a good thing even better when you find them in adversity. and i suspect we will find our share of adversity and the grace to pass through it.

  48. jeff1 says:

    I do think that it might be a kinder world without religion for I have seen what wrong beliefs can do and the suffering they can cause. The younger generation in Northern Ireland may not be as religious as my generation but that may not be a bad thing for they seem to be much more aware of right and wrong and how to treat another human being. Religion when used like it was in Northern Ireland caused division, confusion and hatred but if a younger generation can learn from our mistakes and not let history repeat itself then we can rejoice in a future that we all can share regardless of colour, culture or creed and that sounds like what God would want us to do for it was never about any nation ruling another in my mind anyway.

  49. SFDBWV says:

    I just stopped in to say Happy 4th of July to all Americans.

    It is raining and 60 (cool) degrees. I hope all of you wherever you may be have a very happy and blessed day.


  50. Rocky says:

    Hello Mart,

    I had a tough time finding this page from the RBC & ODB home page, after doing a long and in depth search I was able to find it, is this page tied to any home page? if so which home page?


  51. bubbles says:

    Sometimes I can’t find ODB page either. A message will show saying “Bad Gateway.” Then later things will be back to normal again.

  52. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Rocky and Bubbles, I am finding fewer bad gateway messages when I access Been Thinking About through its Facebook page. Just a suggestion.


  53. street says:

    been thinking some more….about religion and the negative part people have been having an aversion too. remember the woman at the well…..about worshiping what and who you know? ideas and ideals just don’t make the grade. to push the envelope even further Spirit and truth come into play. then the envelope get pushed even further. 1 Corinthians 13. this love and highest ideal, religion, truth is found in a Person. i can see why i and the world is disappointed so many times. become a teacher and you will learn more than your students, become a priest and you draw closer to the One who you inter-seed for. it is quite dangerous to be near God, israel found this out, but if you are dead you will live. taking up my cross daily is not fun, but i become what i wish to be not what i think i am when i refuse to. He really does turn things upside down. His love is incurable.

  54. joycemb says:

    Thanks Street, was having a poor-me day and you made me laugh! Yes his love is incurable!

  55. joycemb says:

    Made me laugh at myself, that is.

  56. foreverblessed says:

    Have been busy lately, so no time to read the new theme,
    Joyce, you are back again? Having had “simple” time?
    Been thinking much about making my life simple last few days.
    Looking up to Jesus as Psalm 123 says, just asking Him, what do you want me to do next? Is an interesting business.

  57. joycemb says:

    Hi forever, It’s been so good to take a vacation, so to speak. It’s funny but I now have a dog and a cat. I’ve always had cats but not dogs, especially an indoor dog that thankfully seems to understand human language but sadly is so scared of men and clings to me a lot of the time. It’s interesting because I knew God brought this dog into my life and supplied the funds to buy him. Everything fell into place, even the landlord offered to let me make payments till I paid off the pet deposit. Then two different neighbors told me they ‘liked’ to hear his deep bark! Uncanny, isn’t it? I could not have arranged all this if I’d tried, yet God did it, arranged all of it, and all is well. So much simpler to stand back and let God go before instead of trying to make things happen. So much simpler, but not so easy. Letting go is hard for me to do.

    I’m learning a lot from my dog Charlie. I’m learning it’s the simple things; food/water, a nice walk if it’s not too hot, a hug and a few kind words is mostly all he needs from me. Last night he awoke me with a sharp bark. I knew he didn’t need to go outside so just petted and told him to lie down on the foot of my bed. He quieted down and slept the rest of the night. Isn’t it grand that God hears US in the middle of the night also and invites us to lay down at His feet and sleep in peace? Simple things are enough I’m finding out.
    God bless you also as you ‘wait’ for the next thing He has for you to do. Joyce

  58. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Joyce, all though I have a few chores to do, music for church on Sunday, music for Church tomorrow, looking up the music Chords, practicing,
    but all these things can be done in prayer mode, always my eyes on Jesus.

    Thanks for the blessing, the dog is also a good example of Psalm 123:1-2 a servant looking up to his Boss.

    God is always looking at us, He watches over us.
    I would like to share what happened to me yesterday!
    I had been pondering about the thought that God wants us to involve Him in the big things in life, but evenmore in the small things in life even more!
    The drudgery days, the drudgery things!
    On Sunday morning, very early, I woke up and my finger was hurting badly. Got to sleep again, but later we got up, it was warm anyway, no good to stay in bed. We went outside, for good light. My husband helping me with a magnifying glass, it was hopeless. Just a very little splinter. The tweezer could not get a grip.
    And suddenly I thought, God wants met to involve Him in the little things as well! And started praying about it.
    God, can you push up the splinter a little bit so that I can get it out? (I had my own plan of action that I offered God)
    I was also talking with God, I cannot go to church in this way, it must be solved!
    Then I went into the house to get something, I got back, and started to get the splinter in view again, behind the magnifying glass, searching and searching, and I could not find it. A little red spot was left.
    I was saying, where is it? And I pushed on the fingertip, which did hurt immensely when the splinter was there, and now nothing happened.

    God did not push up the splinter, He took it away completely.
    This was such a miracle, and on such a small thing, the splinter was tiny, yet deep.
    And it was gone!
    I still cannot grasp it yet. God helped me with this,

    How great is Our God, He is always there, He is always with us!

    And if things are not resolved at once, like my headaches, there must be a good reason why they aren’t. I have to trust God more in these things,

    love you,
    God bless you all, especially in the very little things!

  59. joycemb says:

    Forever thank you for sharing about the greatness of our God even and especially in the smallest of things like a splinter. He does renew our strength, doesn’t He! While we are waiting as the scriptures say. Isaiah 40:31. He is soooo faithful. Seeking God and the blessing He is, even and especially through the pain. I believe it is through our pain He speaks loudest.

    If any who read this are in pain of any kind today REJOICE! God is very near.

  60. joycemb says:

    God Calling, July 7 am, further explains what I was just sharing with you. God uses everything and whoever is being shaped for ministry to the hurting. I can’t remember which day you are in now. Joyce

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