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Foreshadowing in The Lottery


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In 1948 the New Yorker Magazine published one of the most famous short stories in American literature. Titled “The Lottery”, and written by Shirley Jackson, it’s about a small town that held an annual drawing in which every family picked a slip of paper out of a black box. As town people look at one another and hold their small pieces of paper in their hands, there is growing suspense but no clear sense of danger. When Billy Martin and his friends fill their pockets with the smoothest and roundest rocks they can find, their actions seem harmless. Only at the end does it become apparent that these neighbors have come together not to hand out money but to see who will die in the town’s annual stoning ritual.

The Bible uses a similar technique of foreshadowing. Only in the end does it become apparent that every detail is helping to anticipate a turn of events that becomes clear in the end. Only after God shows up in person like us, to die— in the rage and hands of those he has created, do countless foreshadowing details begin to make sense. Only as Jesus defeats our last and ultimate enemy does it become clear that he suffered a dark and tragic death to bear the guilt of our sin, and to show us how much God loves us.

But— isn’t it just as true that  from the beginning the longest Story ever told makes it evident that our God is a mysteriously generous, infinitely powerful, undeniably personal, purposeful, patient, good, loving, and gentle Spirit who is trusted to our joy, and distrusted to a harm— a revelation designed to show that even the justice of our God tells the story of our Savior and his mercy.

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134 Responses to “Foreshadowing in The Lottery”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Well a few thoughts jumped into my mind as I read this morning’s topic. First I began hearing the song “Our God is an Awesome God” playing over and over in my mind.

    Then I clicked on the picture of the image to see what it may mean and doing so took me on a journey of more images as well as trying to interpret what they meant.

    Also the base idea that in reading the OT from the vantage point of knowing what so much of it was about, because of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, I am led to wonder what is it we don’t understand as clearly from the NT.

    Will it take the same rearward looking view to see as clearly, in a far distant time when we all are there with our Lord and it all comes together?

    I am once again reminded of my dream, whereas what I understand to have been our Lord speaking to me answered all of my why questions and they suddenly became so clear and so perfectly right, but when I turned to share them with Matt I forgot them all but it didn’t matter anymore because I now knew that these why questions have an answer that is perfect and perfected in Christ.


  2. tracey5tgbtg says:

    I remember sitting quietly in class reading “The Lottery.” I had no idea what the story was about other than another reading assignment. I was absolutely blown away by that story. That was when I first came to realize how powerful words can be.

    I had read bits and pieces of the Bible before I had my “being born again moment” and it made no sense to me. But after the moment I had heard God in my heart, telling me He loved me, everything changed. Now reading the Bible, I am amazed at how it “speaks” to me. I am often so moved by what I read. And yes, I see how the Bible gradually informs us of God’s plan of the creation of all things and redemption of the creation that He so loves.

  3. bubbles says:

    I had to read “The Lottery” in 11th grade English class. I was very disturbed by this selection. That was the first time to learn what a lottery was in any sense. It was a horrible story.

  4. street says:

    the lottery
    i did not read the story of the lottery in high school. i got to see the film version with some of my classmates in social studies class. to say it was disturbing would be an understatement. it’s truth rings home with deafening clarity. i think the clarity comes from our own hearts in feeling death every day in a small way. when confronted head on it can be overwhelming. the thought of picking up stones to hurl at some one takes me aback, thinking it will never happen to me! yet we know it is not true and we are guilty. it’s just that there is a false sense right and comfort in numbers. not so true in God’s economy. right is right and forgiveness and grace are far better in a sin stained world. the serpent on a stick is a great picture for what is going on here. looking to the One who is truly Lord of life and death. the One who would die in order to make it possible for me to abide with Him forever. sin and death could not stop His love for us and it should not stand in the way of our love for Him. sin and death are a part of our lives, but there will come a day and you will look for it and you will not find it. we are strange creatures indeed. yet we are greatly loved beyond are imaginations.

  5. poohpity says:

    The lottery of human nature is deceitful, rebellious bent on harming one’s self, others and our relationship with God from the very first being until the end of things as we know them.(Jeremiah 17:9; Mark 7:21-22) That is what God sees and knows about us, all people, every where yet knowing that truth covered us with the blood of the Lamb. We do not deserve His mercy or grace. The more I realize that God knows everything about me, the unabated truth not hidden from Him in anyway yet bestowed us with favor is truly, take your breathe away, amazing. So the woman who wrote this story came from that basic evil intent of all mankind just because hers was more in the open God said it is in the heart of all mankind.

    He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. 12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. 13 They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

    14 So the Word became human[d] and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.

  6. street says:

    thinking about the movie “late great planet earth”. it had a disturbing effect on me too. so too, is the death of cecil the lion. causeing such and up”roar” on social media. i don’t think it is the lion so much as death itself. if you lived next door to lions i would think your tune would change very quickly. there in may “lie” the truth of the matter, being devoid of truth on critical information. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

  7. joycemb says:

    Good morning friends,
    When you think of it, love is a baffling oxymoron for us all- too- humans. When I joined a church in 1978 I was asked “Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died so that your sins are forgiven”. Of course I said yes. I could believe what I thought was good for me. But I didn’t know Jesus until 3 years later when the Holy Spirit revealed Him as a living Person to me and later found out a few born again Christians were praying for those who didn’t know Him. Several of us were Saved during that time. Before this I had no idea there was a light so bright it made everything else but a shadow. I just feel led to post this, although it has nothing I can connect with the topic except that there is no lottery where God is concerned. There is only life and death. And it’s God who draws us into the light.
    Have a blessed day walking in the Light of Christ,

  8. street says:

    the burden of societies and cultures are untenable. sooner or later they will they will be overwhelming. Jesus said, “I have overcome the world.” yep, walking out of that tomb and not dieing again and living in an eternal state gives us much hope. He also gives us what we need to get through this wilderness experience. it’s even better when walked with Him. i remember the Bible talking about walking as strangers in Exodus. Jesus goes so far as calling them friends and implying son-ship. no longer strangers. just strange new ways to us. israel could look back and say, wow! she could look forward and say, ” oh my God!” in the present, ” thank You!”

  9. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    The story The Lottery is a grim little presentation of humanity’s ugly habit of keeping brutal traditions alive through generation after generation. Even when victims of injustice claim, “This isn’t fair,” the old-timer in the story says, “We’d be foolish to give up the lottery. We’ve always done it this way.”

    Jesus has made a way by His own sacrifice so that we can escape destruction.

    Just as Shirley Jackson, the author of The Lottery, gives evidence and details that point to the dark event about to happen — so the writers of Scripture have faithfully told about God’s promise that Messiah will bring freedom and the defeat of the final enemy (which is death), bringing all who trust Him into the light of His presence.

    Thank goodness, we are not doomed to march in lock-step to ruin. Jesus breaks the chains of evil and leads us to deliverance!


  10. street says:

    was reading a blog here earlier. the one contrasting moses joshua and Jesus. thinking how all three did not recieve what was promised in this sin stained world and saw it from afar like abraham. their faith hope and love were in the One who would not disappoint, like the temporal and tangible. to see this One from afar is to win the lottery. yet He is not that far away. He stoops down to look at us and stretches out his hand to us all day long. He pursues us. oh to be caught up in His love.

  11. street says:

    stunning picture mart. One bidding us to come from a world of work to a tree of life freely. the way is narrow that leads to life, but it is available. few there are that find it. what is holding you back? what is hindering your progress? go and sin no more.

    these words are for me and my fellow travelers.
    faith hope and charity are great traveling companions.

  12. street says:

    mart said on sept 1 2013, “In Christ, we learn to laugh with joy. Even though He lived His life in the shadow of a horrific sacrifice, He used the darkness and morbid suffering of His own death to become a real reason for us to believe in life and light and love and hope.”

    He will not disappoint nor will our hope in Him.

  13. poohpity says:

    street said, “He will not disappoint nor will our hope in Him.” Really needed to hear that today. Thank you

  14. street says:

    maru said, “Jesus has made a way by His own sacrifice so that we can escape destruction.”

    been reading Romans 6 about being free from law and enslaved to Christ through the Holy Spirit. joycemb touch on it. thanks. this Spirit is some One we must be in harmony with at all times. i have been blogging about turning from God all the time and wondering why leave Him and the joy of His presents only to turn back. it must be testing to reveal where we are at and how well we are doing. i am glad God finishes what He started. hang in there bothers and sisters He hung in there for us and He did not disappoint. He is well aware of our weakness and He is gracious and merciful. keep coming back and don’t give up, don’t give in to despair. He is able to rescue and redeem. what a Savior! to Him be all glory power dominion and praise for ever and ever.

  15. joycemb says:

    Yes street, good encouragement and reminds me of how God pursued me before I ‘gave in’ to His call. I say ‘gave in’ because HE so overwhelmed me with His love all I could do was weep for joy and relief of sin that bound me being loosed. Loosed because of Jesus being nailed to a cross.

    God used to draw me especially through the words of the hymns I sang, the beauty of nature I love, and when I would feel His presence come near I would stop singing, close the book, or turn away from all beauty. I was thinking, “No Lord, you cannot look at me, I am too sinful”. Really. That’s how I thought of myself, too sinful to be saved. But God persistently chased me until I could not get away from Him. Bless and praise God! Like a hurt, angry, stubborn child God literally wrapped His arms around me and held me till I had to give in. It really was that dramatic for me. God really is that loving and always in pursuit of His creation. Us. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Come just as you are. His arms are never cold or withdrawing, abusive or demeaning, forgetful or chaotic.

  16. jeff1 says:

    Thank you for reminding me of what God’s arms are like, I too often see a God of wrath because He is the God I learned of as a child and though my heart knows otherwise my thoughts come back to haunt me. I try to close my ears to those voices but living in a Country where hiding your identity is part of living I all too often see not the wrath of God but the persecution of those trying to live Godly lives.

  17. SFDBWV says:

    My wife Glenna likes to read e-books on her Kindle and watch Hallmark movies on her TV. She says because they are simple, happily predictable and always end pleasantly.

    They make her feel good.

    Most all of what society considers great literature isn’t about making us feel good, rather they are considered great literature because they make us “think” and force us to “face” issues.

    One has to look deep into the story line that is the theme of the Bible in order to find beneath all of the ugly reality of life, that love is the central point.

    Currently there is a country song by Keith Urban titled “John Cougar, John Deere, and John 3:16”. Almost every time Matt hears it he asks me, “what is John 3:16?” He knows it is from the Bible, he just can’t remember.

    I suppose if one has to sum up or simplify the message of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, it is that God did all He could for the people He created as an act of love, and that kind of love a perfect love.

    I tell Matt all the time that love is a sacrifice we do for those we love. Not because we have to, but because we want to.

    49 degrees under clear skies this morning.


  18. joycemb says:

    Good morning Steve, you make a really good point that love is a sacrifice we give because we want to, not because we have to. Jesus showed Gods great love for us (as difficult as it was) because He was One with the Father and one in purpose. Jesus prayed that we would also be as one with the Father. Loving shows we are one with the Father, who IS love. Can’t separate love from God. In that sense we love because we have to. Your son is blessed to have you. I knew far too many with lesser disabilities who were abandoned for various reasons by their families.

    Peace and strength today in Jesus’ name to you and Christians everywhere

  19. poohpity says:

    Joyce said, “Can’t separate love from God. In that sense we love because we have to.” I could not agree more. That is a command of our Lord.(Matt 5:46; Luke 6:32) Just like Jesus did when we were still His enemies He gave His life for us and to reflect that we show love. I do not think we can do it on our own though we need His help but it sure does show who lives in our hearts, minds and souls.

  20. rokdude5 says:

    Good morning BTA brothers and sisters
    The Lottery story came out just a tad past the end of WWII where there were all sorts of lotteries going on just about everywhere. Lotteries to get drafted, lotteries who will serve where, and even lotteries for suicide missions and who will die first in the gas chambers.

    Recently I feel I became the “winner” of a lottery when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Stormans vs Wiesman) ruled that pharmacists could no longer abstain from filling abortifacient prescriptions unless there is another pharmacist at hand to fill it for you. That ruling ended my career in the retail sector. Hopefully something else will come along elsewhere.

    In the meantime, I will rest in God’s grace knowing that He will always take care of my family and me though things may get tough. Jesus wasnt “drafted” to die for us but He came willingly though things got really brutally tough for Him. Instead of any of us being the “winner” of the lottery of justice, Jesus graciously stepped in for us. Thank you Lord!!

  21. poohpity says:

    rokdude, what do you consider an “abortifacient”? I thought the only one that is actually one is RU-486 which I thought has not been approved by the FDA and therefore can not be sold in stores. Please do not be offended by my inquiry just asking. I read an article in the National Catholic Reporter on “What an abortifacient is — and what it isn’t”. Cause I did not understand. Would it not be the one who writes the prescription who holds the wrong in his/her hands?

    That to me is like those who would not bake a wedding cake or provide flowers for someone they did not agree with their lifestyles. Jesus did not agree with the lifestyles of sinners but yet He dined, drank with them and then died for them.(Matt 9:10-12; Luke 15:2) Paul went on to teach that we are not to hold unbelievers to the standards we chose to live by.

    I so do not believe in abortions yet it seems that some medication or devices considered abortifacient are actually birth control rather than being used to abort a fetus. Don’t you think it would be better if we walked alongside a woman to understand her worth so that they would not end up in the situations they find their selves to seek the medication/devices. In other words standing up for their worth and not our right to refuse.

  22. joycemb says:

    Rokdude prayers for you and your family as you wait for God’s next move in your life. I applaud your faithfulness to your convictions and willingness to suffer loss of income even.

  23. street says:

    thinking of the overwhelming power of sin and death on the human soul.
    wondering about this abundant life Jesus speaks about?
    this life is radically different from what we perceive or think it is. thinking along this verse, “Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh. Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth.

    Jesus said,”My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” i wonder how we get away with loading people down with judgment, self righteousness, self sufficiency, and truth mixed with no love? no wonder people are amazed at His miracles even more amazed at His Authority. Zaccheus was a changed man, and very happy man ……what is holding you back? for me i think it is ignorance, sometimes fear, or old habits. prayer, Bible study, worship can’t save you,but they sure make life more understandable and the do strengthen the soul in Christ Jesus. another day and another cross to bear, please Lord let it be joyful!

  24. jeff1 says:

    I believe that while I can love my children unconditionally the others in my life I expect to reciprocate my love. I believe I am as much in need of feeling God’s love as any other person. I think it is one thing to know God loves you but quite another to experience it. If you have always believed God is a God of wrath like I did then it is unlikely that you feel God’s love as much as those who have seen God as a loving God. There is memories in my head that affect my heart and try as I may I find it difficult to eradicate them. I do not think I can experience the full extent of God’s love in this life but I have found peace in my heart on the knowing that God’s love is complete iñ Christ.

  25. street says:

    dear jeff in reading your post the story of Jesus witnessing the woman who put 2 small coins in the treasury came to mind. i don’t think He will ever forget her or any soul of faith. they are just so precious in His sight. this should give us a humble boldness in Him. He even took care of His mom in His darkest hour. the song we need thee every hour we need thee comes to mind. we were never meant to be alone, but sometimes He puts us there for our good. “saviors” do tend to show up when we are alone. God’s Word and Spirit helps us to distinguish between voices.

  26. remarutho says:

    Good Evening BTA Friends —

    The snake on the cross is the mystery, it seems to me, that the Lord Jesus presented to Nicodemus that night they had their long talk. He was referring to the bronze snake Moses raised up for healing the Israelites. The learned Pharisee, Nicodemus, understood that emblem. Jesus was talking about His own sacrifice.

    Jesus in His suffering is crowned by our Creator God — He also lifts up and gives a garland of joy and praise to those who follow Him in the midst of trials and adversity. Eternal life comes to us by His death and resurrection.

    My thoughts move to the saints (Rev 6:9, 10, 11) who eagerly await Jesus’ return. John of Patmos says more than once that times of tribulation call for wisdom and patience, or “patient perseverance.” Our joy and praise rise up from the foot of the cross of Christ.

    We can trust our God to overcome the dark shadows of blind fate and brutal chance — the lottery of the world’s way of dealing.


  27. jeff1 says:

    God has completed our Salvation at the Cross, we live in a world today where men once again are trying to control the world showing that human nature has not changed. As believers following Christ today it is as challenging as in ancient times. I sometimes do it well and other times I fail miserably but it is the assurance of Christ’s death and resurrection that entails me to keep on going for I believe God loves a trier for in not turning away from my faith in God I am still in the race and while there are those who have already win the race there are many still to finish and I can imagine those in Heaven are today cheering us on to the goal which is to spend eternity with our God where we will never more struggle with our demons but share in the joy that awaits us whenever we get home. Love triumphs over hate that is what I believe in my heart but wisdom has taught me that men’s hearts demand justice and many blind themselves to their ways of getting justice and in doing so create a tit-for-tat conflict which requires the better man to turn the other cheek. Often I find that it is not necessary believers who do this well but those who know what it is to love their neighbour as a lifestyle regardless of colour, class or creed. I would love to say I know God’s ways but the reality is that I am only scratching the surface. If I do not learn from my mistakes then I put the blame on others. Usually my parents would be who I would blame and now my Children blame me for their shortcomings so I am back to reaping what I sowed. Thank goodness I have developed the same patience that my parents had and realize when there is truth in what they say and when it is just them looking for a scapegoat. I all too often use God has a scapegoat for my own inadequacies as my son would tell me take the chip off your shoulder. The one thing I have discovered in my less cynical approach to others and opening up my heart to listen to God is that I am far from the perfect goody too shoes that I thought I was. How deceitful is the heart when we let it.

  28. poohpity says:

    It seems filling one’s pocket with what may look at first glance as something beautiful by describing it like, “When Billy Martin and his friends fill their pockets with the smoothest and roundest rocks they can find, their actions seem harmless. Comparing with the self righteous person who feels that the rocks of condemnation and judgement are something beautiful to help another when in reality it causes the destruction of the others very human essence and soul. Like a recent statement I read, “Satan calls a person by sin but God calls a person by their name”. So those beautiful roundest, smoothest rocks are still just rocks that bring to death the person they are being thrown at.

    Then we have the very One who knows every detail of our lives, every motive, every negative thought, every preconceived notion, how broken we are and has done everything in His power to show how much He cares for us without trying to control. Love allows the freedom to chose to love Him back in our less than perfect way until we can grasp the extent of exactly how (words can not even explain) how vast that love actually is.

    He tried to show us by what He did on the Cross but I do not think sometimes we understand the fullness of that.

  29. SFDBWV says:

    One of the questions Jesus ask of the Pharisees and Sadducees was “You can discern the face of the sky; but can you not discern the signs of the times?”

    Though it was given during a rebuke, it had and still has credibility throughout the times, including today.

    When we have gaps in our understanding of things spiritual, filling them in is left to our imagination, which can produce many inaccuracies.

    In reference to the story line in the OT we have all the information needed to see the intent of God and some did as evidenced in Scripture in the stories of Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:25-38). I want to believe that there may have been others, but it also seems that God doesn’t reveal things very often to people in mass for His purposes.

    We have had the testimony of Jesus of Nazareth now for over two thousand years with the added accompaniment of The Holy Spirit, but has every person who has heard the story understood the full intent? I think not. Has every person received the full view of the end of the story? I think not.

    I found a nice little quote this morning I will share with you all, it is from Anthony Powell and goes as follows; “One of the worst things about life is not how the nasty people are…it is how nasty nice people can be.”

    We owe it to God and certainly to Jesus of Nazareth to be on our best behavior towards others in every circumstance, to show the face of God and not the world.

    I looked in on ODB comments this morning and was disappointed at what I read from its contributors.

    I will try to do better.


  30. street says:

    thinking again….fleeing the city of destruction and a world of vain work and rule. man was destine to rule the earth it’s just we failed in that, because we try to do it without God or in obedience to Him. thinking the work of God in creation was based in love not work. work apart from love is vain just like law apart from love. we start off young by playing then “adult” work somewhere in there we tripped up in the transition. play and work are difficult to navigate because of the rules seen and unseen. love can really make people do some strange things in the eyes of others. i am reminded love will always be vindicated by it’s actions. we have a very strong Champion in leading us in this love. it is a very narrow path.

  31. poohpity says:

    Steve, I think if you will go back now and look all the off topic comments have been deleted on ODB.

    I wish that would have happened here when it first started happening in 2009. I do not think we would have lost so many contributors. :-(

  32. jeff1 says:

    That is so true Pooh we cannot really understand the depth of God’s love because we cannot love like He does. The nearest we get to knowing what God’s love is like is when we become parents. We have a saying here in Northern Ireland that God could not do all Himself so He made mothers. Perhaps it is mothers who understand God’s love best because of our maternal make-up. It is such a blessing to have some concept of what it will be like to be with people consumed by God’s love and where hatred will no longer be able to touch us.

  33. remarutho says:

    Dear BTA —

    Pooh! You have struck upon a keynote in the public participation in any Jesus-centered blog: 2 Peter 1:19, 20, 21

    In my humble opinion, we are most helpful when we hold closely to the topic Mart has opened up for everyone. God does not speak to hearts off in a corner one-on-one. The Word of God speaks to the assembled saints — about 32% of the world’s population now alive. In addition, there are millions of saints who are resting in the Lord until the trumpet announces the end of time.

    The Gospel is not a personal matter. As Mart wrote:

    “Only after God shows up in person like us, to die — in the rage and hands of those he has created, do countless foreshadowing details begin to make sense. Only as Jesus defeats our last and ultimate enemy does it become clear that he suffered a dark and tragic death to bear the guilt of our sin, and to show us how much God loves us.”


  34. joycemb says:

    Agree Street love IS a very narrow path but one that can be followed if we keep our eyes focused on the Prize. And it’s a Big One.

  35. street says:

    steve said,”We owe it to God and certainly to Jesus of Nazareth to be on our best behavior towards others in every circumstance, to show the face of God and not the world.”

    we owe? sounds like you are still in debt to me if you can catch my drift. sorta like the older son thinking he could earn His fathers favor. we don’t owe, we are owned lock stock and barrel to a God that is fabulously in love with us! not only that He took on flesh and blood so we could always relate to Him. we can never say He doesn’t understand us. it’s more fun to understand Him. i am really being to inquire of what this relationship is like between to younger son and the Father now after he comes home. still a pursuit of faith. maybe more of a rest like waiting on a train as the landscape goes by waiting for our destination. i with you on being nice to the passengers on the train. there’s a good argument that Jesus requires us to love them.

  36. SFDBWV says:

    I learned a new usage for an old word yesterday. I am certain it has been around quite some time now, but I am not all that “web” savvy

    “A troublemaker in chat rooms, blogs, and web comment sights and so forth.”

    I laughed because I got the mental picture of a troll and how they behave and immediately seen why it was chosen to represent such responders.

    As for the comments directed at my comments yesterday, it is and was my purpose to state that today’s events and especially the attitude of many Christians today seem to represent much of what is “foreshadowed” within the pages of the Bible in both the old and new testaments.

    Quite appropriate as to my comments concerning what I discovered reading the comments on ODB, I will let today’s ODB speak for itself and for my observation.


  37. oneg2dblu says:

    Sounds like you may be trolling for comments.
    Here’s mine…
    “A fisher of men who does not put out the net first may not catch many men without first doing his part.”

    “Well done My good and faithful servant.”

  38. oneg2dblu says:

    Let us see, like, mine, does, many, part,
    are all four letter words…
    Just Thinking

  39. joycemb says:

    Steve the Bible does agree with what you said about “owing” love is an action which takes more than just feeling like you love someone and I know you practice your faith every day.

    8 Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor [who practices loving others] has fulfilled the Law [relating to one’s fellowmen, meeting all its requirements]. Amplified version.

    Blessings, Joyce

  40. oneg2dblu says:

    Wow! What a thought…to gather together as a community to see, who will die in today’s stoning?
    When they all know, Premeditated Murder is on the menu for all those attend the banquet in that community, accept for the ones who lose, they are the only ones blessed to end their partaking in this tragic display of continued wrong choices.
    Makes one wonder if all always show up, or and if not, what then happens to those who are lost or not attending?

  41. joycemb says:

    Highly recommend reading ODB.org today as it talks about Godly web etiquette.

  42. street says:

    gary interesting perspective on the story. makes me think of a small town and how difficult it could be to live in one as a sinner. the woman at the well comes to mind or zaccheus. if you think about it, all Christians are dreadful sinners called out from the self righteous. in our sin and admission of the truth begins our New Life. we will never be looked on again in the same way by our peers or God.

  43. street says:

    thinking of banquet….the one in heaven and the one on earth. if i remember right the invites were sent out twice. please come to the wedding feast. clothing/ covering will be provided. just come. it like waiting for Christmas all over again and we are required to prepare.

  44. poohpity says:

    Steve, did you find any life application for yourself or were you just applying it to others when thinking of “Trolls” or the day before concerning the problems of “off topic” comments? I know for myself I saw me.

    Mart said, “that even the justice of our God tells the story of our Savior and his mercy.” When I really consider God’s justice if served would look more like the flood when all except the few(8) that were saved and they did not seem to be saved but for one reason “He walked in close fellowship with God”. Thinking that if God really did serve out His justice without having a Savior or mercy, I would be toast.

  45. joycemb says:

    Mart, I am amazed at how something can be heard, such as on the ODB today, then it goes right out the other ear of some who blog here also. But, the Lord says, “vengeance is mine, I will repay”. And we do know how loving and compassionate He is and so patient with His prodigals. So then I remember that silence is the best even though my heart says, go get em! I leave the problem or troll to God now as He gives me wisdom to listen to Him. His ways are best.

    Thank you Mart for being so compassionate with your blog. You really do believe that love wins out, don’t you. Though I wish you had moderated like ODB is doing, (just my humble opinion)it is not my blog to police or criticize for that matter.

    God bless you and yours today. Joyce

  46. joycemb says:

    Revenge was taken care of on the cross.

  47. poohpity says:

    Joyce, If you had learned then why did you say anything just now rather than remaining silent? So did it go out the other ear for you as well? Show me how to do it Joyce so I can learn.

  48. joycemb says:

    In His tender mercies God has an incredible capacity to love the unlovely. R C Sproul

  49. poohpity says:

    I did not say I was able to do what it talked about but that I struggle with it as you see. I applied it to me.

  50. joycemb says:

    He who learns must suffer
    And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget
    Falls drop by drop upon the heart,
    And in our own despair, against our will,
    Comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.
    Agamemnon, Aeschylus

  51. poohpity says:

    The grace of God is awful? Really? Well I guess coming from someone(Aeschylus) who suggests a Greek tragedy may be more appropriate in seeking wisdom than from the true source as Paul warned against, “Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.” Col 2:8 NLT

  52. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pooh, in regard to your comment on August 4, 2015 at 11:35 am to Steve,”——–when thinking of “Trolls” or the day before concerning the problems of “off topic” comments? I know for myself I saw me.” Well, we are finally on the same page Pooh, because I saw you too and if that is a GENUINE admission of guilt, then good for you!! But, before that you had to insult Steve, so I guess it wasn’t.. Then you went for Joyce.. do you REALLY want to learn how to get along with people or is that just another set of sheep’s clothing? I believe that nearly everyone here would give you a hand up if you sincerely wanted to get along.

  53. joycemb says:

    Just to clarify for any who are not familiar with ancient prose,

    Awful: inspiring reverential wonder or fear.
    synonyms: awe-inspiring, awesome, impressive

  54. SFDBWV says:

    Several years ago Glenna and I seen the movie “Bridge to Tarabithia” advertised and we thought that it might be enjoyable and so when able we bought the DVD.

    We have since warned any of the young parents we know not to buy the movie as it was beyond disappointing and we both were sorry we seen it.

    While we often talk about the Bible being a story with layered and enveloping stories all the while having an underlying theme, the Bible is more than that.

    The stories contained within the pages of Scripture at face value are heart breaking and sad, triumphant at times but with a very heavy cost to someone.

    If you are like us we are always looking for the happy ending and when you look at the story line of the Bible the happy ending is far off and at the cost of the cross.

    Mysteriously though while we suffer still all the unhappy, unpleasant, sadness life will produce our ultimate happy ending is seen not here, not now, but in Jesus who went ahead to prepare a place for us in an existence where there are no more tears.

    And we want this so badly that nothing else matters. Up to our necks in quicksand we still believe in the happy ending, because we believe Jesus and so believe God for it.

    This becomes the testimony of Christians; that they believe Him, trust Him, rely on Him, depend on Him, and all hope placed in Him.

    He offers us a shield against all the ugliness of the world and rest from them.

    The author and finisher of our faith.


  55. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    In light of the rebus Mart has posted (the serpent on the lifted cross), I believe we are confronted with cruel adversity in the world — we do not escape it. Yet, as you say, Jesus has overcome the world and has received the crown of life.

    Would just nudge the perspective you have offered this morning a little bit. This whole universe, though fallen through the pride and sinfulness of humanity, was breathed into being by God. It was His idea — and He made it good.

    The Lord is the ground of reality at the beginning. Our wretchedness (quicksand as you say) has been brought about after the fall. It seems to me that the perfect will of the Almighty brings all things back into alignment with the principles of His kingdom. It may be that our deliverance and salvation are the transformation of our soul, mind and spirit to see and believe in God’s goodness in Christ.

    Not disagreeing, just saying the grace and mercy of God came first — and the revelation of this brings us into His peace and protection — Romans 1:16, 17

    Joy all day,

  56. joycemb says:

    The grace and mercy revealed seems to be many layered, getting glimpses here and there to battle the hard reality of our existence. But what hope we have because of it! And how God uses all the ugliness of life to make good is beyond our ordinary senses. This a Godly perspective triumphant!
    Thanking God for a new day filled with new mercies.

  57. SFDBWV says:

    Just popped in for a quick look and a half cup of coffee before getting Matt up to his bike.

    Maru I know you aren’t disagreeing, rather I see your thoughts as expounding upon mine and that is how I see this blog as it should be used.

    I don’t have the time right now to further the idea that grace and mercy were at the forefront of creation, but that is also how I see it and *hidden* in plain view for us to discover.

    Joyce equally I always enjoy your insights as well.

    Off to continue my busy day. Presently it is 71 under partly cloudy skies.


  58. oneg2dblu says:

    To expound on joycemb’s post, a new day filled with mercies.
    “Thank You Lord!”
    This new day is my last day of summer vacation as I am scheduled for an eight hour nutritional class tomorrow to kick off my getting back to working into this school year.

    But today, I had a glorious row with flat water and light breezes with many others who also row, and took full advantage as well.

    The local High School Team that launches in the same Park that I launch from was out in full force with five or more boats and with their coaches in power boats.

    In another section of the river, I saw at least five other multi-rower boats from an Oars and Paddles Park that houses these very long sleek and expensive crafts in their boathouse out training.
    Saw the usual amount of wildlife everywhere, always a blessing!

    Also saw my hard at work pigeon friend under the lower bridge area on her nest busy attending to another little new life.

    So, the sun was warm, the breeze pleasantly cooling, and the water delightfully still, even had a larger triple decked cruiser go by and move the whole river into a gentle one foot high roller coaster ride, just for an additional fun factor.

    Now, I’m off to cut the lawn, take in the trash container, and catch back up to the real world.

    All that before lunch…

    88 degrees on the Space Coast of Florida

  59. jeff1 says:

    Joyce 4 Aug 12.49 PM
    In His tender mercies God has an incredible capacity to love the unlovely and how often am I the unlovely as well as the lovely. I believe Paul understood that most of all that it is for God to judge who is righteous in His sight.

  60. joycemb says:

    Viv I wholeheartedly agree with you, Paul, and Dr. Sproul that God has the capacity to love the unlovely better than a mother who goes on loving an unlovely child. And I am probably the unloveliest of them all sometimes. (I have to preface that with the fact that though I was not an unlovely, difficult child my mother did not love me, but God’s love made up for it!)

  61. joycemb says:

    as far as righteousness Paul said in Philippians 3:8-9 “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ.[a] For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith”.

    Paul says he “knows” Christ. And that is how we who “know” Christ judge–as does God–whether someone is righteous or not. If we don’t judge whether someone “knows” Christ or not why do we share our faith with them? We share because Christ told us to. And how do we dare allow the lost to remain that way when we know the Way? 2000 plus years of a faithful remnant remains, that tells me and the world something important happened here. Then we have the fellowship of the Holy Spirit to guide, comfort, correct etc. within all of us Christ followers. We have a changed spirit that wants to share and comfort, confront, and encourage fellow believers on the Right Path, the one that Jesus made for us.

    Paul was way ahead of me and most I know in that he wished he could be cursed for the sake of his fellow Jews who he knew were lost. That’s love and I only hope to attain to that some day.

    These are my thoughts and what I believe and they are stated with gentleness, caring and love. Print doesn’t often do justice to what the heart/actual words are saying as we all know.
    Blessings, Joyce

  62. jeff1 says:

    I think of the times I spoke words of hatred towards my enemies for I had closed my mind to what is wrong in order to agree with my judgement. My father being a much wiser man warned me of my volley but how deceitful is the heart when it is hardened. How can I now knowing my sin hold it against others whose hearts are still hardened when I understand all too well how deceitful my heart was and still can be if I do not examine it with the intention of aligning it with God’s truth and not my own. Living out the true gospel is a life long journey and not a quick fix and too often I have just wanted a quick fix but I am learning that God knows me best and so too He knows His other children so let Him do His redemptive work in each of us and be kind to each others weaknesses for we are all works in progress when all is said and done.

  63. oneg2dblu says:

    jeff1… great post.
    Do you think God sees only a “hardened heart,” when He sees one of His Children use their God-given Discernment only to correct, rebuke, warn, teach or plainly show another in the family of Christ, about their being a possible misleading?

  64. SFDBWV says:

    During one of the Christian Bible studies I have been involved with, the subject of the Zodiac was discussed.

    The usual and immediate response from most is a wall that goes up to close off any discussion concerning the Zodiac as being Biblical, because of its modern fortune telling association.

    However after reading and listening to the study I was reminded that the Creator placed the stars in the heavens “for signs and seasons and days and years:” (Genesis 1:14)

    It was further explained that the entire plan of salvation was spelled out in the stars.

    It is thought that the Zodiac as originally given was corrupted in its interpretation during the reign of Nimrod (Genesis 10:9,10).

    For those who don’t know, Babel is in what is today known as Iraq and there is still to this day a monument to its ancient history.
    As a side note an English geologist upon reading and believing the Word of God determined that where there is pitch there is oil and by exploration discovered the vast oil fields of the Mid East.

    The ancient Persians made a religion of studying the zodiac and it was by the combination of that knowledge and the information given in the Hebrew writings that had become a part of their intellectual culture as a result of the 70 year captivity of the Hebrew people, that the 3 “Kings” or the Magi came to know when the birth of Jesus would occur and where. And the “star” that led them to Him.

    I have often given the generations of Adam to Noah and the interpretation of the names that spell out the plan of salvation as well.

    It appears clearly that even before creation began God’s plan was to show His grace and mercy to His creation.

    I also believe that there is plenty to “discover” within the pages of the Bible for those who earnestly look for them, led by the Holy Spirit…the key being led by the Holy Spirit.


  65. SFDBWV says:

    Another observation I have come to *see* is that only when empowered by God by the anointing is any person in a position to do any work for God and His purpose.

    Which includes instructing others either by enlightenment or rebuke.

    It can only be successful when done under the anointing from God.

    When we step ahead of God, trouble follows.


  66. joycemb says:

    Good morning all you God seeking friends!

    Steve speaking of the Bible would appreciate prayers for a neighbor who was once an ordained pastor in the 4 square church but married a spiritist/therapist and is now single, alcoholic and elderly and far from God. His high intellect got him in trouble mostly seeking knowledge he probably should not have searched for. Yesterday I gave him a brand new devotional Bible (Sarah Young) and he was very grateful. Praying he will return to the flock before he has another stroke.

    Yes Viv, agree kindness toward those trapped in sin is essential also. You are a very very kind person here.

  67. joycemb says:

    Steve thanks for the lesson on the Zodiac. I once saw one in stained glass in a Catholic Church and was confused about it as I had been taught it was evil. Now I think it’s beautiful and nothing to fear.

  68. phpatato says:

    Good morning All

    Steve I agree with you when you said, “only when empowered by God by the anointing is any person in a position to do any work for God and His purpose. Which includes instructing others either by enlightenment or rebuke.

    It can only be successful when done under the anointing from God.

    When we step ahead of God, trouble follows.”

    There are Christians who believe that just because God laid upon their heart to speak to someone about something – either to enlighten or to rebuke – that it means that they have been given the green light to speak to everybody to enlighten or rebuke. It is much like someone being asked to takeover the duty of being a boss one day because the boss will be out of the office and that someone thinks it is a permanent promotion and carries on day after day with the attitude of being the new boss. I can appreciate Pastors and Ministers who have schooling and are trained and ordained to become a “boss”, but usually when a God lays something on the heart of someone to say something, I believe that that someone is to say something but then stand down afterwards to let God handle it again. If God wants full time involvement, over and above prayers, He’ll make it known. Sometimes we tend to take over the reins and gallop into the sunset yelling yeehaw so loudly that we can’t hear anything but our own voice.

  69. phpatato says:

    Sorry the word “a” should not be in front of “God lays something”….there is only one God, although to people there tends to be many gods.


    On your other point….I think there was trouble when people started studying the zodiac as a religion. The stars and the heavens became what people “listened” to; their focus became the stars and not on the One who made the stars. Although I can appreciate the magi finding Christ, too many today allow the zodiac to rule their lives. I know people who check their horoscope every day and if it says that the stars aren’t lined up, they worry themselves sick all day and expect something terrible to happen. This zodiac thing is like what was written in ODB…get too close to the edge and you’ll fall in. Being tied securely to our Lifeline is our only protection of not falling in.

    Have a great day! It is like a September day here today. There is a hint of red in the leaves of some of the early maples already. Ugh! Where did summer go.

    Pat xo

  70. poohpity says:

    I have not yet met a Pastor or Minister that thinks they are the boss most answer the call to serve and are under God and an elder board. Jesus did not even come to be the boss but a servant to lay down His life for the good of all mankind.(Matt 20:27-28 NLT; Luke 22:26-27 NLT) Even God who is all powerful, every place and knows everything does not boss. I wonder if anyone can have a relationship with anyone who wants to be a boss because everyone who is around them would be subservient, oppressed and controlled in some manner or another.

  71. phpatato says:


    There is a reason I put boss in italics….it was because at the time of writing I lacked a better word.

    Thanks anyway.

  72. jeff1 says:

    I think I have to let God lead, I learned this from my earthly father whom I believe now had a heart for God for he never let class, creed or colour get in the way of what was right in God’s sight. My father was a very righteous man yet never judgemental. He knew when to speak and when to remain silent, when it would make matters worse and when it would be helpful. My father kept instep with God while I wandered off on my own. It is not always helpful to point out another’s weakness for often we have to work with people in their weakness as they have to work with us warts and all. I shall tell you this story of my clergyman who wanted his parishioners to know they were being misled as regards to Halloween celebrations. He spoke when he should not have and many of his elderly parishioners got very upset and had to be comforted by a lay preacher. They not having the knowledge he had became frightened and his effort in trying to enlighten them resulted in him having to make apologies to both the lay preacher who had to take him aside and tell him he was doing more harm than good and parishoners who did not understand what he was trying to say to them. Good intentions are all very well but my life time friend has always told me wait for a second witness when both listening for God’s word and discerning when to speak it. Also there is the spirit in which it is given, have I any other motive towards that person than for their good. I must also think about my relationship with the person and if I believe they might believe I have other motives for if they do then likely that message will fall on deaf ears. I have noticed myself that it is not necessary the message but the tone of voice used and the attitude behind it that renders whether it is taken meaningful or not.

  73. poohpity says:

    Ya know Viv that has always been such a problem for me cause I do not know how to relay my voice(heart) in type written words and often find that my heart often does not come through. Those who know me, know that my heart is bent not on what I say but on what the Lord says about us. I really want others to know how much He alone cares for us and in my own messy, broken way I want to share that and yes it does get misunderstood but I know God knows. I do not want people to look at me or what I say but to go to the source to find out what He has to say about it all.

  74. joycemb says:

    Pooh my pastor back in the 80’s was the ‘boss’ and told us so, and that he never sinned! He had an elder board who basically agreed with his decisions and everyone was ‘happy’. I disagreed with him once in a Bible study and he slammed his Bible down on the table and when asked what was wrong he blamed his spousal problems for his temper outburst. Anyway, he was trained at seminary that pastors and their wives should not have relationships with the flock and he told me himself how they had to fellowship with people outside the church. I think that training has probably gone by the wayside since then. So glad. Must have been very lonely.

  75. joycemb says:

    Thinking further there is a big difference between ‘boss’ and ‘leader’. There are Godly leaders and ungodly leaders also. A Godly leader does not have to boss, as was said because they understand that leadership involves humility and being a servant, just as Christ was.

  76. street says:

    jeff said,”How can I now knowing my sin hold it against others whose hearts are still hardened when I understand all too well how deceitful my heart was and still can be if I do not examine it with the intention of aligning it with God’s truth and not my own.”

    “examine it with the intention of aligning it”….sorry i can’t buy into this. Jesus said you can not be His disciple unless you deny yourself and take up your cross daily. i wish it was a one time event, but it is not. i think it is interesting that we are to leave the tares alone living next door to us, yet we are told if your hand cause you to sin it would be better to cut it off. i don’t think the hand is evil, but the presents of evil in the human heart must be dealt with or the whole will perish. Jesus was very clear that evil comes out of the heart. david could pray frequently create in me a new heart, daily, because he was taking up his cross daily. God is a faithful Father in that He is patient and loving and provides all His children’s needs so that they will grow into the fulness and glory of the Father. this glory is best seen in His Son Jesus. God bless you in the journey before you.

  77. street says:

    boss, leader, and Lord. Jesus mentioned how people like to lord it over others. not so in the Kingdom. thinking a little further, the best bosses, leaders, bothers, fathers, moms, are the ones who love much.

    And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

    in this we are taught His ways, not our way. our ways need to pass away, just as john said,” He must increase i must decrease.” all this is hiding in plain sight to the world.

  78. poohpity says:

    street, it seems you totally took what Viv said out of the rest of her sentence there is nothing at all wrong with examining our intentions and aliening them with God’s, actually that is what we are taught to do.

  79. street says:

    dear poo, yes we are taught. the more i c in me the less i like what i c. the more i c in Christ the more i love. the question is who is the doing? is “I” doing and making, changing, refining, teaching, rebuking, admonishing, or is it a work of God. the more i c Him the more i am on board with obeying. God leaves nothing to chance. the interesting part is He does it in keeping my free will intact. Awesome God!

  80. street says:

    dear poo another though comes to mind of cain’s encounter with God, oh so long ago. God told cain that sin was crouching at the door and he must master it. i always wondered how we are to master sin in our hearts with this weak, leaky, and drafty door? i came on this verse today,” But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. thinking along the lines Jesus must master out hearts, because anything else leads to disaster. in the movie star wars, darth vader served his master not so well, in the end he found him not to be worthy of following. we even witness the blind ambition of his heart in usurping his masters position wanting luke to joining him against the emperor. the conflict continues. 1000 years plus a few more and the conflict will be over. oh, Jesus wins! He still lives and He will reign! be still my heart and obey your Master. you know He loves you.

  81. joycemb says:

    Just thinking it would be good for me to step back a bit and take a look at the big picture, as Mart brought up by the Lottery. I’m thinking I can learn something about the way I perceive events in our rich history as Saints of God. And hopefully apply it to how I live my life today.

  82. jeff1 says:

    Street, to clarify what I meant about examining my heart and aligning it with God’s truth and not my own. I had been allowing hatred to consume my heart by believing that my enemies deserved what they got. This is not in align with Christ’s teaching for I am to love my enemies but I was taking from the Bible what suited my beliefs which was ‘an eye for an eye’ and deciding that vengeance is mine. The truth is ‘vengeance is mine saith the lord’ so I was deceiving myself for it is God who knows all hearts including my enemies so I was setting myself up as their judge until God convicted me and I now examine my own heart so that I am not deceiving myself and so align with God’s truth. I am not sure what you mean when you say you don’t buy into it!

  83. poohpity says:

    I do not think street understood what you meant and rather than ask for clarification seemed to make the choice to comment anyway.

    In speaking about if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out, I believe was how Jesus was speaking to people that lead little children or those weak in faith to sin. Also Jesus seemed to confront those with the true condition of the human heart(righteous truth) and the need for the what lied ahead in the Cross. The real need for mercy in every human being because none of us will ever measure up to God’s standards but for our Jesus.

  84. oneg2dblu says:

    I think we are tripping over the negative implications of the word “boss,” making correction or instruction by a intermediate representative figure, bossy, or to be changed into an oppressor, or an overbearing issuance of some unfair judgement upon us, instead of seeing that we all at times need direction, and order, even prodding if you will, to stay the course, and why couldn’t God use any one of us to step in and help?
    Even stir things up, muddy the water, cause us to be provoked into changing our complacency, or our, “It’s always been done that way,” attitude.
    Remember the turning over of tables, making trouble, or the
    reeking havoc over the status quo?
    It may not have turned out well for the misled that morning, but, God used even that seemingly unruly, and bossy process to teach us all a good lesson.

  85. poohpity says:

    So Gary are you saying that a bossy human being is to act in the same manner that Jesus did when He turned over the tables because they were making God’s temple a den for thieves? I bet Jesus’ motives were pure but someone else putting their self in that position has an awfully inflated false sense of who they really are.

  86. street says:

    dear gary, Jesus clearing the temple a second time was indeed a great miracle. it would be like a man walking into a large shopping mall and kicking out all the workers, make money off the temple, cashiers, and people not shopping. not only this the police department could not stop this event. this lasted until thursday. the elders truly wondered by what authority He could do this. they could not and would not believe He was from God if they did, the church age would have never happen. Isaiah and the prophets, foreshadowed, much of what took place. we are living in a very blessed time of grace for gentiles. i do know it can end at any time. stay alert.

  87. street says:

    poo said,”In speaking about if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out, I believe was how Jesus was speaking to people that lead little children or those weak in faith to sin.”

    so christian should dismember others who sin? sounds like a real mess in the making. now i have to admit peter did cut off an ear but, Jesus picked up the pieces and healed the servant that was going to help crucify Him? i don’t buy what you said either poo.

  88. street says:

    poo said,”The real need for mercy in every human being because none of us will ever measure up to God’s standards but for our Jesus.”

    ok i can agree, we all need mercy, but what happens when we get mercy all the time no matter what we do? does that make a lawlessness all it’s own? what happen to fear of doing wrong? there is no fear when there is no enforcement. ananias and sapphira lived in no fear and they died lying to the Holy Spirit. the church did receive a fear after this event. in the future we are warned church members will be put to death, not for doing wrong, but for doing right. people will think they are doing God a favor in killing and dismembering them. the human heart is desperately wicked who can know it? Jesus knew and He died for it. come to Him and He will give you rest.

  89. joycemb says:

    Street I was thinking of Ananias and Sapphira last night as far as lying to the HS. It is an episode in the early church that still causes me fear when I read about it. God is not mocked. We do reap what we sow or else why include the story in the first place? The early church fathers believed it was important to be included in the canon of scripture as led by the HS. Sin is a very serious business and thank God we have today to confess. And maybe again tomorrow if God allows us another tomorrow. To God be the glory!

  90. joycemb says:

    I think that the more we believe and understand the story of our beginning and our redemption the more we will not only repent but run to the cross daily for relief. The lottery of life has a huge payoff. I’m hanging on Christ for a good ending.

  91. street says:

    you know joycemb i have been going through the cycle in Exodus and Judges of sin repent, sin repent, for a long time. i know i am a dreadful sinner and i need to master sin at the door. the only way i can see any success is for something or some one greater than my sin being there. in other words Jesus answering the door when sin knocks. Jesus talks about binding a strong man first before you plunder his house. sin and death are bound up and removed by Christ. no fear in sin and death but fear in disappointing the One who loves much.

  92. joycemb says:

    When sin knocks…that is our temptation to struggle with, isn’t it. Do we say, come in, or out of our own knowledge of being weak do we say, Lord Jesus will you get that for me? Paul said “when I am weak, then am I strong”. Some sins I cannot overcome no matter how much I try. God knew this would be the case when He instituted the TEN. If Ananias and wife had been honest and said yes, we sinned, the outcome would have been different. Adam also gave in and blamed his wife for his indiscretion instead of honestly confronting it. Some say if Judas had humbly faced and confessed his sin he would not have had to die.

    I think that’s why Jesus says come just as you are. You don’t have to try and clean up or look good just come and I will give you a new heart, and a clean record. I like the image of a sea filled with forgiven and forgotten sin. The sea is certainly big enough to handle more.
    ok I’m rambling time for bed. blessings all.

  93. SFDBWV says:

    I don’t know how many of you have ever been used by God for an instruction or rebuke before, but it does not come from your own intellect, it comes from the Holy Spirit and exits your mouth not by your own action but by the unstoppable force of God’s will.

    The anointing is the empowerment from God to exact His will…His will, His time, His purpose.

    It is then received because it is God’s will not because of your utterance, but rather the utterance of the Holy Spirit working through you.

    When you read the Books of the Prophets they all say “The Spirit of the Lord came upon me…” it is then that the message is given.

    Through the acceptance of Jesus as Lord, all believers have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit because God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are “One”.

    It is because of that indwelling that we have eternal life, will be resurrected or raptured, are safe from spiritual destruction and are co-heirs with Christ.

    However that does not mean that every word we say or every idea we have is from The Holy Spirit. Some things are from us and it is there that mistakes are made when we don’t listen to the *tug* of the Holy Spirit before we act.

    I am always comforted by Psalm 51:11 in that after all David did the Holy Spirit was still with him.

    I am saying all of this because if any of us think it is our responsibility to rebuke another in an accusatory tone, unless it is under the anointing of God, it is in error and will only cause problems.

    Paul says that if any of us are behaving outside of the precepts of a good Christian lifestyle we are to *gently* broach the matter with them.

    Even so before talking to a brother or sister about their wayward behavior, the matter should be brought before the Lord in prayer and then follow the unction of God on either acting or stepping aside and allowing His will to attend to the matter.

    59 degrees under foggy skies…fall isn’t far from arriving.


  94. oneg2dblu says:

    That all sounds great, and it also sounds like any rebuke can be challenged, rightly motivated or not, if we think the other person does not qualify to teach us, correct us, or rebuke us.
    Holding a, “Who are they,” mentality and saying to yourself they probably didn’t even go before the Lord before speaking out, in my way of thinking, or opinion, they should have remained silent.
    I would say, do you also always go before the Lord before making your judgments on others remarks?

    Does even the Supreme Court, always go before the Lord before any of their judging, and how could we ever know, other than to see the fruit they bear?

    Just Thinking,

  95. foreverblessed says:

    Just thinking, that it is always necessary to check with Jesus, what would Jesus say to me, when being rebuked by a human being.

    I remember one specific time I had to warn a person. That person had started the raw food diet, and told me that it was honoring Jesus Christ in her body.
    She also started to say things I did not understand anymore, about colors, birds, and on and on.
    I wanted to write a nice letter to her, and then a Proverb got my attention, and it grabbed me:
    Proverbs 24:11

    It was not well received, and I lost my friend, but I had already lost her, because of the diet deceiver

  96. foreverblessed says:

    God is Love, it is all about love, if we want to warn another, Love is the basis of all

    In the God at eventide I read on Aug 7

    “Balm for All Ills

    Love and care and pray. Never feel helpless to aid those you love. I am their help. As you obey Me and follow My teaching in your daily life, you will bring that help into operation.

    So, if you desire to be used to save another, turn to your own life. As far as you can, make it all that it should be.

    Let your influence for Me extend ever further and further. Let Love be your balm for all ills, the Power in which you will break down all barriers.

    It stands, too, for the Name of the God you love and serve. So with His banner floating o’er you, go on in glad confidence to victory. Your task to help, to strengthen, raise, heal. Only as you love will you do this.”

    Only as I love another will the help be made helpful through the Holy Spirit, who gives it Power

  97. foreverblessed says:

    Joyce, I wanted to thank you for your testimony, about how much God loves you. Aug 1 9.33 pm
    It made a huge impression on me.

    How awesome His love is!
    We owe it to His love that we love one another,
    as He has loved us
    John 13:34

    His love is higher then the highest of mountains
    Psalm 36:5-9

  98. foreverblessed says:

    There was a discussion last evening about capturing sin,
    You must master sin…. Street Aug 6, 4.23 pm
    It is done in Christ
    Yes! In Christ, it is the message of the Cross,

    Someone gave Col 2:8, and I read all of Col 2 on my smart phone, and this time the message hit me:
    that it is in Christ that sin is dealt with
    When I read it now, the message is not so clear anymore, it was a yesterday!
    When we are in Christ, and stay focussed on Him, the sin issue is dealt with, it is a done deal
    We must increase our faith in the accomplished work of the Cross,
    How do we overcome?
    By faith!
    1 John 5:4-5

    Stay in Jesus, He is the one that conquered sin.
    The only thing we have to do is not feeding wrong things that enter our minds, we should get rid of it immediately, give it to Jesus. Stop it, and start singing songs of Praise, Hymns, Psalms, fill our minds with Praising God.

    and loving one another, 1 John 4:21, 1 John 5:1-2
    Obey Gods commands,
    love one another

    The whole book of 1 John is about love
    read 1 John 4:16-21

    Having read the story of Joyce, how much God loves her, I was thinking about God’s love, how great it is.
    But is my mind filled with that notion, or do I look to things around me, things going wrong, things not good, and my focus is not on His love.
    It is a discipline for me, to make my mind dwell on His love, and
    1 John 4:16
    And so we rely on the love God has for us.

  99. remarutho says:

    Hello All —

    This discussion is a constant theme at BTA. Thanks for your quote, Foreverblessed:

    “So, if you desire to be used to save another, turn to your own life. As far as you can, make it all that it should be.” — God at Eventide

    Please take a look at Dave McCasland’s riff “Faultfinders Anonymous” at ODB for today, Friday, August 7th, 2015, if you have not already gone there.

    Based on Phil 1:1-11, McCasland’s theme is:

    “Rather than cultivating a critical spirit and pretending we don’t notice or don’t care, our understanding should nourish empathy. Criticism is replaced by compassion.”

    Paul prays that we can “approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ…”

    Are we servants of the Most High really the ones who wield the Sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17) — isn’t it God who wields it?


  100. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Foreverblessed – Amen, amen, amen! Love those verses. We cannot go wrong by focusing on loving God and acknowledging His love for us. I always appreciate how you include the verses you have been thinking about, because God’s Word is so powerful.

    I wanted to make a comment on Mart’s original post. Why it resonated with me is because I could see what he was saying about foreshadowing. If you don’t know the end to the Lottery, the story starts out simply enough. But once you do know the end,if you go back and read it again, every detail is horrific, and is filled with meaning and leading up to the end.

    Not that the Bible is horrific, but that once you know the culmination of the story, every detail that before seemed simple becomes filled with meaning and leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

    Mart’s opening comment just gave so much to think about.

  101. joycemb says:

    Good morning all or evening as the case may be,

    My Utmost today talks about the importance of abiding in God all day every day. It would, I think save us a world of hurt and anguish if we put this into practice. It takes self-discipline to do this. Lord draw me back to you when I wander.

    All be blessed in your walk today,

  102. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Maru –
    Just read today’s ODB. So true! I am very guilty of being critical. It is very easy to fall into faultfinding because if I see others make mistakes, then I don’t have to feel so bad about my own.

    What I like about the phrase you quoted, “Rather than cultivating a critical spirit and pretending we don’t notice or don’t care, our understanding should nourish empathy. Criticism is replaced by compassion,” is that it reminds me that allowing my heart to be filled with compassion instead of criticism just feels so much better!

  103. remarutho says:

    Tracey —

    It seems to me I always notice the misspelled word on the page or the hole in someone else’s sock! Perhaps as we grow in grace, there are check-valves along the pipeline of our spirits that allow the flow (as in water or jet fuel or kool-ade) to go only in the direction of self-examination — not spewing out on the dear soul standing before us just being who they are.

    For one thing, it seems to me change comes to hearts — any- and everybody’s heart — through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit. He knows how to convict without making us feel bad.


  104. poohpity says:

    I get convicted and I do feel bad so it seems like Jesus does not crush us with guilt or shame but to bring us back to Himself in the sense of restoration. Matt 12:20 NLT

    Your words forever, tracy, refump and Maru are truly blessings meant for reflection and restoration.

  105. joycemb says:

    Thank you Pooh for not mentioning me in your post of 10:34. I felt hurt BUT I needed that conviction today as it’s so easy for me to become prideful of myself. Thanks and have a blessed day. Joyce

  106. Dinakar says:

    The Lottery seems to be a thought provoking story. Although I have never read the book, the story revealed here reminds me of a game played at a Church youth fellowship in the 70’s when I was a teenager. The name of the game was ‘ODD MAN OUT’ where the entire group was split into groups of 5 and the object of the game was for fellow group members to all agree about a particular person as to not belonging to the group based on characteristics ( like long hair,age,sex… etc.) This continued till there were only 2 left who were judged winners.

    This game always brought out thoughts about others which we would never voice out openly. It also exposed the tendency of human group-ism in any group for that matter. The evening generally consisted of a preacher extorting the group to avoid such tendencies in life.

    Just like the ‘Lottery story’ if not to kill we could be mean to others and play the ‘odd man out’ in many of life’s situations, either at work or Church. Conformity is a human compulsion a lot of us expect from others.

    My prayer is that God would make me a person who transcends these tendencies.


  107. poohpity says:

    Joyce forgive me for being the cause of your hurt it was not in anyway done intentionally, what those 4 said caused me to reflect on my behavior. Nothing personal against you, towards you or for you, it was not about you in anyway. I told myself to not comment on here anymore because of all the problems I cause and this just confirms my thoughts.

  108. joycemb says:

    Dinakar yes being the odd man out is no fun. I was always the ‘odd’ one growing up and later when I became a Christian it didn’t take long before I found I was the ‘odd man out’ when a then serious mental illness was disclosed to the entire congregation by a deacon. People moved when I tried to sit near them. I eventually left that church when I was healed and God used my experiences attend college and then He led me to become a mental health rehab worker where I was the one that reached out to those marginalized by society. I loved my work, and now being retired I find many of my neighbors also struggle with MI, abuse, and God still uses me to love and encourage them. No matter our circumstances in life God can make something good out of them.
    Praying that God would help me transcend the tendency to compare and judge others; one never knows when it will sneak up on them.

  109. marma says:

    Wonderful post, Mart! I agree wholeheartedly. The more I read, contemplate, and understand the Old Testament, the more I see God’ grace, love, forgiveness even in and maybe especially in His justice. I’m amazed and humbled by it. Thanks for sharing that perspective.

  110. SFDBWV says:

    Feeling a lot melancholy this morning…we have buried far too many people this year in our town’s cemetery and said goodbye to far too many friends and acquaintances not to be.

    Yesterday morning another mother, wife, friend and loved one did not wake up. Her family and I made that long trek to the cemetery to choose a place for her amongst her family.

    As I stood talking with her husband and daughter at the cemetery, I reminded him that the last time we were there only a couple months ago to bury her brother that she mentioned she needed to make arrangements for where to bury her as well; they didn’t follow through until yesterday.

    Her daughter said she guessed that her mother had been hinting at this and trying to prepare her, but she just ignored the clues.

    The Bible provides an epic saga of God and man and while life is played out in the course of living, there is much foreshadowing of a future, many hints as to what lay ahead.

    There is much we ignore which we don’t want to face, all the while looking past life here for that perfect place of peace and rest promised to us.

    But told to me long ago, is the cold hard truth that we have to walk through this life with all its obstacles and pain before we reach that goal.

    Sometimes heeding sometimes not, always complaining, sometimes thanking, sometimes not, but always under the watchful eye of our heavenly Father.

    In the end of all things we do the best we can and trust the rest to our Lord and Savior.

    54 degrees and foggy…see you all tomorrow.


  111. street says:

    thanks steve for the post. this morning these words are on my heart and mind, ” lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

    And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” Jesus

  112. phpatato says:


    I am sorry to hear that you have lost another friend. May God’s comfort surround you and the family in the coming days.



  113. joycemb says:

    Steve sorry to hear of the loss of another friend. God strengthen and bless you through another burial and all that entails. Joyce

  114. joycemb says:

    Hi Joyce (marma) so nice to see you here again. Looking forward to seeing you more often maybe? blessings, Joyce

  115. joycemb says:

    Steve thank you for reminding that though our life here is filled with pain, sorrow, anguish, loss, grief, and even moments of happiness it does end. To me the grave looks like a very nice final bed for my weary mind ,body, and soul. Yet we know our renewed spirits will live on in bliss forever! What a joy and a hope and a friend we have in Jesus!

  116. jeff1 says:

    My father loved to listen to Jim Reeves and I can remember this as one of his favourites.

    This world is not my home I’m just a-passin’through
    My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
    The angels beckon me from from heaven’s open door
    And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore

    Oh Lord, You know I have no friend like you
    If heaven’s not my home then Lord what will I do?
    The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door
    And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore

    I have a loving mother just over in glory land
    And I don’t expect to stop until I shake her hand
    She’s waiting now for me in heaven’s open door
    And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore

    Oh Lord, You know I have no friend like you
    If heaven’s not my home then Lord what would I do?
    The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door
    And I don’t feel at home in this world anymore

    Just over in glory land we’ll live eternally
    The saints on every hand are shouting victory
    Their songs of sweetest praise drift back from heaven’s shore
    And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore

    Oh Lord, You know I have no friend like you
    If heaven’s not my home then Lord what would I do?
    The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door
    And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore

  117. remarutho says:

    Good Evening All —

    Have to agree, Steve, there are shadows in this life — but even so we do rest easy in the Lord, because He has overcome the world.

    Sorry you are going through a season of sadness. Saying good-bye is not easy. For those who believe in Jesus and his wonderful gift of eternal life it truly is “so long,” not good bye forever.

    I am praying for and spending time with my neighbor who is living with stage four cancer now. The dear Holy Spirit gives consolations and the joy of the Lord even as we grieve. May the morning bring you refreshing and hope.


  118. jeff1 says:

    Love to many is very different things but to me it is commitment, someone who will go the distance. When I am burdened with life I remind myself that Christ has went the distance for all. Having lived a life of bad choices and listening to others when I should have listened to God I realize that I am least deserving of His sacrifice. How does that make me feel today as opposed to a righteous person, it makes me feel sad but what makes me ever sadder is that there are false teachers telling others today that Jesus did not die for people like me. I seem to be back where I started for I was taught that Christ died for my sins and while I have burned my bridges with man, Christ is my hope in ages past and in years to come for I no longer seek the company of men but intimacy with God for it is that intimacy that will bring me eternal life which is what I was created for, to know God is to love God. So be it.

  119. joycemb says:

    Isaiah 40:31 comes to mind as I reread Marts post. Waiting is the hard part yet knowing we have a better outcome than those in the story is worth waiting for.

    A few days ago The Lord told me to stop debasing myself so I have been consciously practicing that. Yet of course the sadness and disappointments with my life still remain. There will always be funerals and tough goodbyes that wear us down mentally and physically. Oh what joy though to know the God we serve offers us hope, joy, and peace. And an amazing Hearafter which we can only imagine.

    God bless all my fellow burden-bearers today,

  120. joycemb says:

    Correction: The Lord did not “tell” me to stop debasing myself, He just pointed out to me that’s what I do to myself. He’s so gentle always and never overrides free will. But I am trying to stop with His blessing.

  121. SFDBWV says:

    I would like to thank everyone for your concerns and heartfelt sympathies for me. Thank you all very much.

    I have come to realize that compassion comes with a price. I don’t know very many who can totally distance themselves from the pain of another, when we truly are concerned for their wellbeing.

    Something I am sure all of you have experienced and especially Maru you in the ministerial work you are in.

    There are also many victories we can share with others and joy to spread around, as for every shadow there is a light behind it.

    Thank you all for giving me a smile and a hand up.


  122. street says:

    foreshadow and lottery.
    thinking about the death of my sister, my only sister, last year. i am thankful my 4 brothers are still alive. i wonder why her, the second to the youngest?
    this leads me back to her funeral as i thought of Who is really in charge of our circumstances. as brutal as death is, God is good and righteous and blameless. His love and wrath are eternal. He will do right by my sister and all those who have gone before us. i know He told us 10,000 will fall at our right hand, meaning closeness, and we will only be allowed to look on. david said he could not come to me but i can go to him, referring to his son who died. david also said who do i have in heaven but you Lord? hoping in His Son. there is no separation for those in Christ. He said i will never leave you nor forsake you.

  123. jeff1 says:

    God is in charge of our eternal circumstances but we have the freewill to make choices which affect our existence. It is in doing so that many have fallen from grace. We have inherited the Kingdom through God’s grace but bad choices in life coupled with a changing world which as we grow older seems more alien to us can make the world difficult to navigate through depending on how mature spiritually we have grown. I am tired of making foolish choices which affect myself and others whom I love but I trust God with my Salvation regardless of what any man tells me for it is God’s promise to all, not just me, for many have fallen away and await God’s redemptive power to deliver them from their wayward ways. God is good, righteous and blameless as you say Street, and always has been and it is humanity who changes God through ignorance and through our own deliberate fault. Religions and denominations have all gone their own way and many young people are so confused about God they look to Science to answer their questions as our modern world has alienated God from it. As I see it what unites believers is Christ but doctrine and theology divides so we need to focus on Christ and not on the others for united we stand divided we fall and we have enough enemies in this world without fighting with each other.
    If this world has forgotten God then we can hardly blame non believers so its time we agreed with God that none are blameless.

  124. street says:

    dear jeff, i think the thing that unites Christians is the Holy Spirit. to be honest there is very few heart to heart kinship’s, for me in the Church, but they are there. it could be my own myopic few or handicap. but sometimes i suspect other reasons i don’t understand. God is full of surprises! i think charles spurgon had the same problem. it is not new. it’s quite difficult to love everybody! and remember their names.

  125. jeff1 says:

    My children tell me I have a selective memory and I tend to remember their bad points rather than their good points. I find that is often my downfall for when I examine myself there is much work to be done. I look at others the same way as I see myself there are areas need work. I need to recognise other’s weakness as I do my own or my expectations will not be realistic and I will make demands that cannot be met but it is my own weakness that I need to work on and it is recognising this that I grow spiritually. I am not a lone runner on this journey there are others to be considered and I often lack the patience with others that causes great distress to myself and to those I have lost patience with. Then I bring it to Christ and He reminds me that to be patient with another is to love them. I sometimes think that I do not recognise love for I have lived with so much hatred that it is what I expect. When you live in a community where hatred is the driving force it is easy to miss love when it is staring you in the face! Here it does nothing but rain I think it is God’s tears for us, while I find it so easy to give up on myself and others God’s love never changes.

  126. foreverblessed says:

    What went wrong and think that over an over again, it is what I did, after a bad church life.
    It took me a while to get rid of it!
    Maybe it is called: healing!
    Now I is done, the past is over, and gone.
    And good memories come back.
    And as soon as something that goes bad comes into my mind, I try to look to Jesus as soon as possible. Because I know that thinking over and over will make me sick.
    Sing praises, and Psalms and spiritual hymns!
    God bless you

  127. joycemb says:

    Hello all,

    Thinking of bad church experiences and memories Two Listeners Aug 10 was very encouraging. The conclusion I too have come to Foreverblessed is that looking to Jesus is the only answer and waiting on Him for healing as I too like Viv are haunted by past church experiences. There is always hope and to know we are not alone is comforting yet “the battle is the Lords” as the song goes and He does bring healing and help in His good time. Even bad blog experiences I believe can be healed; look at the overall ministry here. It’s Gods blog so just trust in Him and in the faithful leadership here to allow Gods purposes to reign. Messy as the battle always is.

    Waiting on God,

  128. street says:

    jeff said,”My children tell me I have a selective memory and I tend to remember their bad points rather than their good points.”

    for me i have learned more from my failures than my success. who remembers success? they are in the past and they where not for us but for others. now adversity is for our good because God loves us. as for grace….how can you fall from grace that is “always” increasing? unless of of coarse you never believed in the first place.
    christians do know what sin is and they will struggle with it till there Father says enough. some how there is something in me that says enough too.

    we are told to do good works and we are also told there was no quality in us worth redeeming. if a good work is done it is by permission and not of ourselves it is a gift from God.

  129. joycemb says:

    Thank you street for the last 2 sentences in your post. I needed this reminder today. I am blessed.

  130. foreverblessed says:

    In the bible there are many hints as to what was going to happen: Jesus being made human, and saving mankind.
    It is all Love, out of love Jesus came to earth, out of love He went that day on the Cross Rom 5:8

    If we do not feel His Love, today, we can think on that fact: out of love He died for me, to save me.

    Anyway, the topic is still on, I was going to look if it had moved on, but it hasn’t.
    There is so much to say about love.
    I was going to write, that even in our own lives there are many many hints that God loves us. I need to open my eyes to them. May God help you to open your eyes to all the good He has done, good that you know, and maybe even more many things that you never know of being kept save from.

  131. jeff1 says:

    Perhaps I should explain Street that when I say fallen from grace I believe that in my mind for having been brought up with you reap what you sow and having wandered from the faith I see the adversity in my life as my bad choices and not God’s will for me. Anything good in my life has been a gift from God for I did not have a heart for God yet I know He was at work for my good and not to punish me but the voices in my head still come back to haunt me and tell me it is punishment I deserve. It is then I believe I have fallen from grace for my waywardness. The battle is always in my mind, I trust God in my heart but the struggle is in my mind. I do not expect that unless you have had mental illness you will understand that thoughts are reality for they consume your beliefs and how I counteract them is to focus on God and His word but lately I am focusing on what is good in my life and not what is not good. I am learning to appreciate God’s goodness and realize that the doubts I have are fed by the negativity in believing that I do not deserve forgiveness and also the negativity of my mental illness because stress and people affect my moods and I can go from very high, to normal to very low. These moods play hovoc with my thoughts and in turn my beliefs. The most difficult person I have to live with is myself and of course my family suffer when I go off the rails. It is the realization that God is my helper and not my accuser that has given me the will to take each day as it comes and to listen for His voice and not the voices that tell me I am unworthy for though it is true that I am unworthy in man’s eyes it is God who has accepted me as forgiven and I know this in my heart for God has spoken to my heart for He alone understands the turmoil in my mind.

  132. SFDBWV says:

    Being human we all share a common experience no matter what culture or language or religion.

    There are things that are outside of our normal senses that we cannot ignore and so intense sometimes are these things that they have a great influence on us and lead us to make decisions from.

    The word “omen” means a hint or warning or “foreshadowing” of something unseen or unknown as yet about to happen.

    Matthew 27:19 tells us that Pilate’s wife warned him not to have anything to do with Jesus, because of a dream concerning Him.

    All of the written history of the Jewish people gave information as to the coming Messiah from Genesis to Malachi, yet to the discerning eye this coming Messiah is shown in two statures.

    One the suffering sacrifice the other the conquering King.

    We are very familiar with Jesus the Lamb, how familiar are we with Jesus the Lord of Lords and King of Kings?

    This same Jesus is also foreshadowed in Scripture.

    Am wondering if this human experience of “knowing” things before they happen is a foreshadowing of our transfigured bodies or a frustration in knowing we cannot change the future, only being prepared to live through it.


  133. street says:

    dear jeff, i wonder when we can all say that it was all good like joseph. even after being sold as a slave by his brothers. we definitely see God’s hand in it in that they originally set out to kill him. job went through a very difficult time too. and he was “INNOCENT” the innocence is before God not man. we are told to love and judge rightly. we can only do this while abiding in Him. and before that happens we have to take up our cross. the truth will indeed make you free.

  134. jeff1 says:

    I believe Steve that our teachings are very much focused on Jesus as the Lamb and therefore it is for us to follow. I know I have not been taught about Jesus the King only that He will come again in a future time and until then we must fight the good fight. I believe that I see the world worse than it is for I see it through my eyes and not God’s eyes. My experiences darken the world for me and so I get frustrated because I cannot stop that happening in my human form. When I listen to my children they see the world very different because they have no baggage and can look at it from a clearer view. Much and all as I would like to clear my mind of all the difficult times in my life, there comes a time when I have to face up to the fact that those difficult times make me who I am today. Because of the difficulties in my Country I know many who have let themselves get bitter instead of allowing God to work His way they try to do it their way and I can see no good come from that. I am no different from most than I beat myself up now and again for the times I feel I should have known better but I think getting older as learned me one thing and that is that I am never too old to learn. I know people who want to know the future and I do not get them for I am more than happy to take a day at a time and let God take care of the future. He has been around longer and when I took charge of my own life I did not do so well so its an easy choice for me to let God take the reigns.

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