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Medium - 1Words spoken or written have a backstory. So does everyone and everything.

Without some understanding of what caused an event, or where a person has come from, it’s hard to make much sense of anything or anybody.

That’s not to imply that anyone can collect all of the data, DNA, or background information that we need to answer all of our questions. As finite mortals Medium - 1 (1)we have to live much of our lives in the silence and humility of what God only knows.

Part of wisdom therefore is knowing who to trust and how to live and love in the balance of what can and cannot be known about the people, events, and shared stories of our lives.

Medium - 1 (2)_SnapseedI’ve read a couple of books recently that emphasize the importance of backstory in explaining why the best news the world has ever heard so often sounds like bad news. But let’s leave that for later.

Am guessing that two words and the thought that everything and everyone has a story are worth talking about. As for the pictures, I saw the above in the parking lot of a collision repair shop on my way from work on Friday, and decided to come back yesterday to help get out the message

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86 Responses to “Backstory”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Mart, it is 32 degrees here with light frost, a perfect October morning.

    I am blessed to live in a small town with people I have known for generations, which gives me a little edge in more about what makes them “tick”.

    In some cases all I have to do is think about their grandparents to know why they behave the way they do. Also knowing about their triumphs and tragedies I know some of what makes one a saint and another not so good.

    It is in the tragedies that I know of people where the real enlightenment comes in their behavior.

    It is not so easy with new people, as I haven’t yet known what broke them or molded them to the place that they are in their life.

    It is here that before I can truly know someone, I have to be friends and close enough friends that we share the stories of our lives with each other, openly and honestly, all the good and all the ugly. Only then can either of us know the “backstory” of why we are and who we are.

    In my initial, and to a degree my continuing, comments here I have shared a lot about my life in an attempt to help explain why I feel about some subjects as I do and where I am on different subjects.

    In this way from me it is more of a personal response than just a technical one.

    There are of course some things that need to stay private, but there is nothing private from God and so only God is really ever going to know the full and entire “backstory” in its purest sense.

    The best then we should do is recognize that there is more to a person than we see at face value and give them the benefit of knowing that before we make a judgement at any level in our assessment of them.

    In my particular case I always expect the best of someone and always disappointed when shown otherwise. However only through learning their “backstory” can my disappointment be turned to compassionate understanding; one way to learn that is to befriend them, another is to be told their story.

    I prefer the friendship route, but some people shun friendships from their past pain of intimacy, theirs are harder to help, but not give up on.


  2. poohpity says:

    One of the very first things I wrote in my bible that my Pastor taught was “Be kind because you never know what battle someone is facing” I would imagine it could also say, or that they have gone through or will go through.

    I also learned that the uglier a person acts and pushes people away those are the one’s who usually need someone the most, not that everyone doesn’t need somebody.

    Writing on the internet or texting seems to take the humanity out some what. You know like that is a real person behind the words and can cause fatalities not only by car crashes but in peoples heart’s, mind’s and soul’s.

  3. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    Moved into my neighborhood the summer of 2012. Now I can say I am getting acquainted with members of my (small) community at last. Stories over coffee and an English muffin — small group discussions — chats at the mail boxes or over the fence have made the difference between getting acquainted and really knowing my neighbors. Praying together is the best.

    The backstory on why we are tempted to text while driving is usually tragic. Perhaps somebody we really love has messaged something important — and we must check their words — next, perhaps we cannot resist the temptation to actually text at least a brief answer…sad when the unsent message on the cell phone in the wrecked vehicle reads “love you…”

    Have not given up on those who seem harder to have a conversation with. Have started volunteering downtown at the rescue mission. Some folks there want to share their backstory — others are aloof, or even hostile to questions of any kind. The pain of disappointment doesn’t fade with time. Trust forms slowly, and “a heart that hasn’t been broken isn’t a whole heart.”

    Blessings all day,

  4. poohpity says:

    Sometimes getting negative attention is better than getting no attention at all.

  5. SFDBWV says:

    Matt has had a good morning, so as soon as he was settled in for a little music I went to the spring to fill up our water jugs.

    The air scented heavy with the season of the year as color all around gleamed with the morning frost and melting ice in the falling leaves.

    It is a special place for me and has a story I have told before, but will share again.

    In the winter of 75-76 we had a very cold deep freeze settle on us for several weeks on end with temperatures not getting above freezing and staying between 0 and the teens.

    It was the last year we would be using the spring as the major source of water for our town. A new system to be constructed that spring and summer.

    Three factors created an emergency condition for us, the first being the cold the second being that people let their spigots run in order to keep their water lines from freezing and the third being the reservoir was well below the depth needed to provide water to the whole of the community. There would be times I did not have water at my house until midnight or later and others not for days.

    People looked to me to solve their water problems and I took the responsibility very serious. After exhausting all of the possible solutions I knew of one evening just before dark I went up to the spring in a last ditch effort to “imagine” a way to get more water to come from the spring.

    As I stood there underneath an old hemlock tree in the blue of the evening as snow fell in a silent symphony I fell to my knees and said to God “I am not Moses, I cannot strike the rock and bring forth more water, I am out of ideas and at the end of my desperation, I cannot fix this problem I am left to leaving it to you.”

    Without any more words I left the spring and came home…As soon as I opened my back door the phone rang, it was the West Virginia State Highway Department they were aware of our problem, the sister town of Thomas has a large lake for a water system and has agreed to “give” us water to keep our reservoir full and they (highway dept.) would start hauling water using a water tanker right away if that was ok.

    That hour I learned that even before there was a problem God was working out a solution, I just had to get out of the way and let Him.

    I wanted to share this one story with you all because everyone needs encouragement.

    Especially those who think that they have been forgotten or abandoned. And those who use negative attention just to get attention. God is working out your solution even before you needed one.


  6. poohpity says:

    When I ride with my youngest son it is amazing how much he uses his phone not only for texting but for music. I asked him that while I am in the car with him if he could concentrate more on the road than on his phone. Here in AZ one can be stopped and ticketed for texting while driving. He did get stopped one day and had to take his phone bill in to show that he was not texting even after explaining to the officer that he was not.

    Do we really have to let everyone know every move we make, every thought we have, every opinion that comes to mind like it is in our world of social media? Face to face human interaction seems to be a thing of the past and although it can be good but to go into a restaurant or any other social event all you see is people looking into their phones. Older people do not want to get bull dog face but looking down all the time one would think causes it, bahabahhabbaa.

  7. joycemb says:

    “Part of wisdom therefore is knowing who to trust and how to live and love in the balance of what can and cannot be known about the people, events, and shared stories of our lives.”

    Wow Mart I had just finished my prayers with asking God this very question! Praying for wisdom. Letting go of other peoples’ perceptions is a part of wisdom. My journey and life can be analyzed but what God has done and is doing is for me to know. Neither can I tell others how I think their lives SHOULD go. But trust is proved worthy by its actions, right? Knowing who to trust doesn’t always mean you will not be betrayed at some point, but God knows all and is always there to pick up the pieces, always. And sometimes He’s the ONLY one who seems to care, but He’s enough.

  8. joycemb says:

    Thank you Steve for that very encouraging story!

  9. joycemb says:

    Pooh I so agree with you, the internet/phones has so changed the way we relate. I used to live by a state college and remember the shock of seeing people running/walking with phones in hand! How can you really enjoy the beauty of the outdoors, one of our freedoms we still have, while on your phone. Now we see stories of people actually walking into things, pools etc; yes and cars and pedestrians also! Crazy scary world we are in. You have to be more alert now than ever before for people on phones while driving and walking!

  10. oneg2dblu says:

    Yes, let us all be encouraged.

    What encourages me the most, is not our ability to tell, or sell a story, but, our ability see everything through the lens of seeing the Hand of God in it.

    Already solving our prayers before we utter them, even in all our knowing or all our doubting, He is always there, He is always willing, and He is able.

    Praise God, that in Him, we have our breath, our strength, our very life, a Savior, a Helper, and His Everlasting Almighty Word, that never fails to meet our needs.

    If we need guidance, we have His Word, if we need solutions, we have His Word, if we need purpose, we have His Word, we we need anything, we have His Word that He will provide.

    Wherever God resides, God provides.

  11. jeff1 says:

    When I keep my eyes on Jesus I find peace and contentment but when I do not focus on Him, I feel lost and vulnerable. In my personal journey I find as soon as I feel frightened by circumstances that I cannot comprehend I need to go back to the basics that God loves me and Christ, crucified, died and risen are the evidence of His love. When I do this I can once again step out in faith knowing that whatever circumstances I find myself God is with me. Having suffered psychotic episodes was frightening not just for me but for those around me, I would not wish it on my worst enemy but it brought me closer to God in a way I could never imagine. There is a stigma attached to mental health which is difficult to remove. Well meaning people use platitudes like, life is difficult for everyone you have to get on with it, they tell you of stories of people who overcome their difficulties to make you feel better but it just makes you feel more guilty for feeling the way you do. I took it to God when I had no one else to turn too and He understood that just because I do not react like others it did not make Him love me any less. GOD IS A LOVING, MERCIFUL, JUST FATHER OF THAT I AM SURE.

  12. SFDBWV says:

    The “ball and chain” is today symbolic of keeping a person at bay or slowing them down or stopping them from escaping.

    We seem to have a few people who are familiar with psychological evaluations and even a novice is familiar with the psychiatrist and his couch conversations.

    “Tell me about your childhood.” Or “Tell me how you felt about your mother and father.”

    Psychoanalysis is about getting a person to face their backstory in an attempt to remove the ball and chain from them and setting them free.

    “The Great Physician” Jesus of Nazareth offers us the same healing at an even deeper level and in fact came so that we could be set free of the things that kept us bound up as well as apart from God.

    We are never whole without God in our lives and all our little quirks and idiosyncrasies revolve around either trying to please Him our way or escape from guilt for not feeling we please Him or even need to.

    Whereas it may take many years for a person to undergo psychotherapy it may take some people many years as well to understand what God’s “grace” actually offers.

    The backstory of our development has a huge influence on how we move through life, as well as how we see our faith and our place being a Christian.

    Empty yourself to our Lord, resist no longer and He will set you freer than you ever understood freedom to mean.

    Frost again this morning, under a clear October sky.


  13. poohpity says:

    Seeing the “backstory” for the reason that those two words “stop texting” is a warning that can be the consequences of what happens when we are driving are similar to the reasons that God gave us guidelines to follow. God does not seem to want us to inflict harm on others, on ourselves and more importantly in our relationship with God by showing us through the “backstory” of the OT to see what happens when we do, of course all we have to do is look in our own lives to see that to be true.

    “The law can give protection to the victims and will punish those who have done unlawful actions. We do not have any option, where we can choose from, if we disobey, then, we have to face the consequences. If a society won’t have a system of law on it that will control how the people handle their lives, then there would not be a society to live in. People will be able to make decisions that will solely be based on their principles, then they would be able to commit crimes if they want to, steal, murder, damage, bully, rape, trespass, and even terrorize whatever or whoever or whenever they want to, and nothing would be done about it at all.” The Importance of Law to the Society: Need of the Hour By Anil Albert D’Souza

    Now way before that was written the Creator of all that there is showed us to be truly free and to allow others freedom as well God gave us laws for us each to know and follow to have a safe community.

  14. jeff1 says:

    On the subject of backstory, the Queen has intervened to settle a dispute triggered when an amateur genealogist revealed that a distinguished baronet came from a different bloodline to his relatives, suggesting that there may have been an illegitimate child in a previous generation.

    The two rival branches of the family have spent thousands of pounds on a legal battle to prove which is a true line.

    Peerage authorities have been called upon to determine if genetic material could be used to determine who should inherit the Pringle of Stichill baronetcy.

    ‘I think it is inevitable that DNA will become a factor in those sort of dispute’- Charles Kidd, editor of Debrett’s.

    The Queen herself referred the case to the Judicial
    Committee of the Privy Council.

    The little-known court of top judges will rule on whether DNA evidence can be lawfully used to settle the issue of hereditary title.

    If approved, the use of DNA evidence in cases relating to hereditary titles could have far reaching consequences if ‘pretenders’ with genetic evidence of their birth right begin to emerge.

    It would set an important precedent meaning that any similar cases of claims to titles could be resolved by DNA testing.

    Charles Kidd, editor of Derbrett’s Peerage and Baronetage, told the mail on Sunday: “I think its inevitable that DNA will become a factor in those sort of disputes.”

    One peer has already warned that it will open “a can of worms”.

    It is not clear what other ongoing cases could ultimately be resolved in this way.

    There are times when I do not much recognise myself as a child of God and disappointment in myself grips me and all I can do is be silent. There are sometimes I just have to be quite before God because there are no words that I can say, I am speechless before Him and yet somewhere in my deepest abyss I know I am His and I will not need a DNA test to prove it because God knows His children.

    Gary, you made reference in a recent post to men being from Mars and woman from Venus, I tend to agree but I also believe it was God’s intention. God knows us better than we know ourselves. In this modern world women are forever trying to see themselves equal to men by trying to do men’s jobs.

    I watched a women bus driver having difficulties with the machine that holds the fares and when she was out of sight two other men from the bus depot came along and they where complaining to each other how useless she was for they had to keep sorting the machine for her.

    Generally men are more technically minded than woman, while there are exceptions, it is a fact of life.

    I ask myself why women today need to feel they have to do men’s work to feel equal and my son answered my question by His response.

    I worked in an all men environment and to my dismay I found that how a women looked gave her a great advantage on how men treated her. I also discovered that they showed more respect to women in higher positions than women doing menial work.

    Whether I like this modern world or not, I have to live in it and I have noticed having two sons that they adapt the behaviour of their peers while they are younger and I can remember rebelling against my parents and listening more to my peers also.

    I am a product of my time just as they are a product of theirs, how can I judge them for doing what I did myself. We all need time to grow in grace, it is not a one shoe size fits all.

    Though we have many differences, coming from different nation, culture and religion our walks mean more to God than we can ever imagine or ever will imagine until we finally see Him in all His glory. I am thankful to be part of this gathering though at times we do not seem to be singing from the same hymn sheet, we are definitely aiming to please God in ways that only each of us know. You are so right Gary, ‘God did not say I should walk in another man’s shoes’ but it is what we try to do so that we have empathy with another. We are sometimes God’s worst enemy, our own worst enemy and others worst enemy but I have always said here that God loves a trier, so if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Practice makes Perfect they say! For as Pooh says ‘we fall down’, ‘we get up’, faith is not an exact science though there are times I wish it where.

  15. poohpity says:

    When I look at the backstory of when the laws of Moses were given can you imagine what would have happened with 1 million people roaming in the wilderness with no one to follow or look up to for order or guidelines for them to follow it would have mayhem and chaos.

  16. poohpity says:

    God may not have said anything about walking in another man’s shoes but He did say to “treat others as you would like to be treated”.

  17. oneg2dblu says:

    jeff1… good points, all of them.
    In that day when the trial of the women found in adultery was forced to be adjudicated by Christ, He knew that a women then, had no voice, they were not even allowed to speak to defend themselves even if innocent.
    So, He became her defense lawyer. He told the jury that they must first excuse themselves if equally guilty, and the court room was cleared out rather quickly.
    Then,the only innocent one there, made His ruling, He gave her a higher form of justice previously unknown.
    Did He give her, her Eternal Salvation, or just a temporary reprieve, and with conditions attached?

  18. oneg2dblu says:

    Sorry, woman, not women…

  19. oneg2dblu says:

    As I look at the backstory, I see that Christ has no problem with the Original Ten, but, He did have a problem about how the additional religious laws, added later, were falsely applied, twisted by some, and used against Him and His Disciples.
    We sometimes try to link all law, with The Original Ten.
    And, yes, all were needed at one time, for the protection, order, and health of the people.
    Or, society, as pooh said.

  20. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    Feel like Jacob trying to get a good hold on the man he wrestled all night by the River Jabbock. Whew! Am not sure knowing an individual’s backstory can give another person any extra ability to help him or her. As Steve rightly points out, deep inner healing of memories and wounds is in God’s hands.

    Mart, you mysteriously wrote:

    “I’ve read a couple of books recently that emphasize the importance of backstory in explaining why the best news the world has ever heard so often sounds like bad news. But let’s leave that for later.”

    The One with the most amazing backstory is Jesus of Nazareth. Only the sharing of His story can truly transform hearts and lives — worldview and behavior. The Gospel is the best news the world has ever heard.

    Incidentally, He was texting in the dust as he judged the case of the woman caught in adultery — at least according to the technology of the day. :o) Much ink has flowed trying to guess what He was writing as He knelt there. Without “knowing” what He put down, we may be sure they were Words of Life.

    Joy all day,

    47F and cloudy here this a.m.

  21. poohpity says:

    All the original law was linked to the 10 they were part of it.

  22. jeff1 says:

    History repeats itself and religious leaders to day are doing what happened in Jesus’s day, they are not following His teaching and as a result the blind is leading the blind for those they preach too do not know any different. You would be amazed what people believe from what they have been told by Priests and Pastors and I have had to hold my tongue for I was so angry that people where convinced they where telling them the truth. False teaching is widespread, mixed with apathy and atheism and you find it is difficult to get a Jesus follower who truly knows the gospel. I was very blessed to have a Cannon who was old school, truly understood scripture and give me great peace when I was very unwell after explaining Jacob’s ladder and the angels ascending and descending. He since died and there are not many of Him left. The hospital I was in, I noticed Him he would spend all day with the sick and the staff of the hospital and He was such a humble man, the two men I miss most are Him and my Dad for I could always talk to them and find peace of mind. A man of God is not hard to recognise but they are either scarce on the ground these days or else they are just too busy with overload of work and not enough of them to go around. Women here are starting to become lay preachers to ease the Rector’s load and also women are starting to come into the Clergy. Perhaps they will bring a new method of reaching out to the generations to come, the younger clergy are more hands on with youth work and will get to know the younger ones better for I often do not understand my Son much and all as I love Him, his way of doing things will be very different to mine. I know it is not a bad thing for we cannot live in the past and the younger generation have less baggage and can see from a clearer perspective than I can and that is a good thing for the future I believe.

  23. oneg2dblu says:

    Yet, all mankind, Jew, Gentile, Slave, or Free, man or woman, are all convicted by breaking the Ten, they were sufficient enough to show us all, our need for a Savior.

    None of the other religious and dietary laws that specifically pertained to the Jewish people and their religion and their traditions, were ever applied to the rest of the world as sin, were they?

    So, all the other thousands of laws were not given to, or linked to, all humanity.

    In my opinion…

  24. oneg2dblu says:

    I wonder when the old ways of structure and order in the church started slipping away. Attempts were made, but not successful on Paul’s watch though, for he understood that there is hierarchy, a way of the order of things, that God had put in place.
    But, modern man, being wiser in his own eyes, will have nothing to do with them, for they are too exclusive, and not inclusive enough, and I believe they were designed that way, for a reason.
    Divine Wisdom…

  25. poohpity says:

    Gary, you will see the difference in Judaism and Christianity if you only search and seek to learn. Obviously none of the whole chapters or books in the Bible that many have referred you to do you even believe what they say. So how can answering any more questions on the subject help in anyway. You have your mind made up no matter what the Bible teaches but all the answers are right there in the scriptures for you to learn from if you really want to.

  26. poohpity says:

    Rather than asking us, ask God, He is more than excited to teach about His Word to those who want to know. So seeking Divine Wisdom is the very best way to go.

  27. oneg2dblu says:

    Thanks pooh, I’ll continue ask the Lord, to continue to show me what “He” wants me to know.

    So, Please do not bother yourself with that any more.

    I believe our conversations or over for a while, because they seem to drag things down to a level, which I believe, I personally must stay away from.


  28. oneg2dblu says:

    I am going away for another, 40 Days of Fasting, from this never resolving car wreck of belittling characterizations, to be with my Lord.
    Good Night and God Bless…

  29. poohpity says:

    Gary it does not bother me at all to share God’s Word with you but more often than not it seems you do not believe what it says. If you are going to fast from belittling characterizations, how can you fast from yourself?

    Jesus says “But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matt 6:17-18

  30. SFDBWV says:

    About 30 years ago this month a wonderful man and friend was killed as he slowed to turn into the church parking lot. He was our Sunday school superintendent and was on his way to get the church warmed up and get things ready for church. His name was Wellington.

    The man that killed him, Joe, is a kind and gentle man who loves to tell corny jokes and weeps easily when sentimental subjects are discussed.

    How did the accident happen?
    Well at the time Joe smoked and it being a cold frosty morning Joe’s windshield was covered with frost. Joe didn’t allow time for his car heater to defrost his windshield and so while driving into the rising sun and blinded by the white covering that covered his view he bent forward to use his car cigarette lighter to light his cigarette and did not see Wellington’s truck in front of him and so when Wellington slowed to turn into the parking lot Joe plowed into the back of Wellington’s pickup breaking his neck and ending his life.

    We keep making more and more laws to address paying attention to your driving while behind the wheel, but it will never stop complacency and all it takes is for your mind to wander for just a second for tragedy to happen.

    Don’t text and drive…The list just goes on and on.

    55 and rain this morning, usually we have snow by now so I am happy with a little frost and cold rain as it makes the leaves smell earthy.


  31. SFDBWV says:

    If any among you are uncommitted as to whether or not the end of the world is eminent, here is a little story I read this morning that may have me convinced.

    Playboy magazine is quitting the publication of fully nude women, saying the internet has flooded the market and they can’t compete along that line.

    Playboy without nudes…The end has come.

    For the moral technocrats among us though the news story is real, but my sharing it is meant as sarcasm and a little dry humor.

    Smile, it looks better on you than a frown.


  32. jeff1 says:

    It is very easy to smile and see the funny side when it does not affect us but when it does it soon takes the smile of our face. For the families of the people who are lead into vice they would see it much differently. I enjoy you dry humour Steve but there is always a serious side to what we laugh at and until it affects us personally we may find what makes us laugh makes another cry. As my dear mother has always said ‘one man’s meat is another man’s poison’ and how right she was.

  33. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning (here) Viv, here is a little more of my humor with regards to your story of the Queen and the question of DNA and a legitimate “royal” blood line.

    An old saying that goes like this…”Mamma’s baby, daddy’s maybe.”

    People are people the world around, there are good days and bad for all as well, I hope your day today is a good one.


  34. jeff1 says:

    Yes Steve so far so good, learning fast Steve life is a double edged sword isn’t it!

  35. joycemb says:

    Steve thinking about the ‘shakeup’ now regarding DNA testing of ‘royals’ reminds me that people who seem to have everything going their way isn’t always real. But God knows EVERYTHING about everybody. I will be thanking God today that He keeps me honest and have no scandals hidden from public view I have to worry about! :-) Bless you also Viv and hope your day goes well. Joyce

  36. street says:

    dear gary, hope you are comforted bye the God of all comfort. i stumbled on to Psalm 87, like everything else i come across. read it with parallel translations and the new knowledge from and old devotional. this is the text Jesus sighted when talking with Nicodemus in John. i have to say other thoughts and ideas came out of it and warmed my heart as only a Father can do. which leaves me with my last two thoughts on this.

    Jesus said I have chosen you, you did not choose Me.

    The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

  37. SFDBWV says:

    A few months ago a business from Johnstown PA bought our “local” daily newspaper “The Cumberland Times”. It became immediately obvious the paper had changed.

    It is almost at a point where I only continue to get the paper from a lifetime of habit rather than any other reason.

    The people who deliver it told me this morning that the paper has fired most all of its staff are raising the cost, are causing them many problems and seem bent on ruining the paper and closing it down.

    A broader, as well as detailed, look around me seems to reflect a similar attitude. Everything familiar is changing.

    Today’s events are tomorrow’s “backstory”, but what kind of future is being created by the events and actions of today?

    What seems to be obviously missing is “hope” and a determined people working for a better future, goal minded and willing to sacrifice in order to obtain it.

    The statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream seems to be clearly in view in today’s world.

    More and more I understand why it is called “The great and terrible day of the Lord.”

    Since we are promised only today, it is my hope and goal to make today a good one and bless all those I can however I can.


  38. jeff1 says:

    It is difficult to see God in today’s world because “hope in God” is missing. Science has taken over from God in the modern world. Young people want evidence to support theories rather than trust in God.

    Man has convinced the younger generation that God is for those who lack intelligence. Revelations of abuse from many religions leave the younger generation turning away from mainstream religions and filling the vacuum with Science. Man indeed is his own worst
    enemy as God always new.

    God is still a just God though, I was once like that younger generation searching for answers that only God could provide.

    Backstories of events, people and unresolved questions are part of our lives.

    Just as God turned up in our lives when we needed Him, He will turn up in theirs when they finally realize He is not some mythical figure but their God, our God and the God of our forefathers.

    It is the miraculous work of God that joins us together and what God joins, let no one separate.

  39. tracey5tgbtg says:

    If only it were that easy to stop people from texting, or sinning. Just put up a dire warning. Show a horrific picture of the consequences. But will people stop texting while driving, stop drinking while driving, stop smoking, stop overeating, stop their addictions, stop sinning, just because they are told bad things will happen to them if they don’t?

    Mart said, “I’ve read a couple of books recently that emphasize the importance of backstory in explaining why the best news the world has ever heard so often sounds like bad news. But let’s leave that for later.”

    I would like to hear more about that. Some people hear the good news that their sins have been forgiven and are so grateful they give their heart and soul into Jesus’ keeping. Others hear that someone is accusing them of sin and they don’t think that they are “that bad.” Others hear that now that they have been forgiven, they have to walk a straight and narrow road that they were never able to walk before.

  40. foreverblessed says:

    The backstory. I would like to add this topic with to me is the backstory of the bible:
    It was the My Utmost of Oct 9, that is still on my smartphone, every time I open it,
    with the title:
    Building on the Atonement.

    I believe the whole plan of God was to redeem man to Himself through Christ’s sacrifice.
    When doing more studies in the Psalms I noticed that when it is spoken of Salvation in Psalms, it talks about this Redemption that we have through Jesus Christ.
    The article end:

    continually bring yourself to the trial and test of the atonement and ask:
    “Where is the discernment of the atonement in this, and in that?”

    Turning my thoughts to this atonement instead of: why do people not obey God, why do they still text? Why do they still smoke.
    My thought were more on the rules, no bad word for the rules, they are good for you, but people are not saved by rules.
    But by the Atonement through Christ.

  41. jeff1 says:


    Make me a channel of your peace,
    Where there is hatred, let me being Your love,
    Where there is injury, Your pardon Lord,
    And where there is doubt, true faith in You

    Make me a channel of your peace,
    Where there is despair in life, let me bring hope,
    Where there is darkness – only light,
    And where there is sadness – ever joy,

    Oh Master, grant that I may never seek,
    So much to be consoled as to console
    To be understood, as to understand,
    To be loved, as to love with all my soul

    Make me a channel of your peace,
    It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
    In giving to all men that we receive,
    And in dying that we are born to eternal life

    Oh Master grant that I may never seek
    So much to be consoled as to console
    To be understood, as to understand
    To be loved, as to love with all my soul

    Make me a channel of your peace,
    Where there is hatred, let me bring Your love,
    Where there is injury, Your pardon Lord,
    And where there’s doubt, true faith in You

  42. SFDBWV says:

    This is why I envy people who just accept things at base value and need to look no further with regards to our salvation, our Lord or all of the many directions the study of Scripture can take us.

    As we peel back issue upon issue or layer upon layer of seeking enlightenment or answers it just has no end and always creates more questions.

    Foreverblessed I fully agree that there is a “backstory” with regards to the Bible and the big question is when did it begin?

    If you think in terms that God created everything, and everything includes “all things created, that are in heaven, and are in the earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him.” (Colossians 1:16)

    Keeping in mind that the Creator existed before all things and approves all things.

    I am encouraged to read Proverbs 8:22-23, “The Lord possessed me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.” And Ephesians 1:4, “According as He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”

    Jesus says to John in Revelation 1:8 “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending.”

    Evil in its many forms has no power above God, so what is the backstory in God’s plans from beginning to ending…Jesus of Nazareth.

    God doesn’t have to prove anything to anybody so this backstory isn’t about proving something to Satan who is a created being himself as some would have us believe it is and always has been about Him and about His purposes.

    Rest easy for we don’t have to prove anything to anyone either we are already His.


  43. joycemb says:

    Forever Yes! The atonement is our backstory! Nothing else to look back to. What happened when the Israelites got tired of tramping around in the desert, the desert God had ordained for them to be in? They looked back and wished they were where they at least got their 4 squares a day (or however many). Lot’s wife looked back and remained stuck where she was forever. So important that we who claim Christ’s atonement for ourselves keep looking forward no matter our situation in life. Not getting stuck in whatever or whoever even that comes in our way. I often get tripped up by memories of my own backstory. Thank God that because of the atonement I can still move forward. I don’t have to be stuck.

    Vivien I love St. Francis words. Thank you for sharing.

  44. jeff1 says:

    Thank you Joyce for sharing for I had not known who wrote them.

  45. joycemb says:

    Tracey the crucifixion comes to mind if that is what Mart is thinking of…

  46. street says:

    steve said,”What seems to be obviously missing is “hope” and a determined people working for a better future, goal minded and willing to sacrifice in order to obtain it.”

    dear steve what seems to be missing to me is faith in God that works through the most adverse conditions, like joseph, job, paul, Jesus. in order to obtain it or what is promised by God. it is already received from afar. thinking that faith hope and love, God’s eternal love, working to accomplish His will. they endured much, don’t think it possible without this love. the world does many harmful things for “love” and is disappointed.

    thinking of gary and what he has been harping on for awhile thinking of catch 22 of MATTHEW 22:1-14 the guy that shows up to the wedding party improperly dressed? how can that be possible? i can not see this to be possible at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, but it is entirely possible within the church. thinking of the 10 virgins of which 5 were very foolish. keep your lamps trimmed and filled with oil.

    do not let your love grow cold. all love is from God. God is love.

  47. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Yes, that is one aspect that some people may look at and see bad news. At first glance seeing a man being tortured to death is hard to view as good news. There are so many ways that people can’t see the “good news.”

  48. joycemb says:

    Beautiful day here! 69 degrees and sunny. Leaves blew off the trees over the weekend so it’s crunchy under foot. Fall, my favorite time, besides spring.

  49. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All

    Pray all is well in your lives… Mart said,

    “I’ve read a couple of books recently that emphasize the importance of backstory in explaining why the best news the world has ever heard so often sounds like bad news. But let’s leave that for later.”

    When I think of the best news the world has ever heard, I think of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”, 2 Cor. 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”, and Rev. 19:11-16, “11) Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12) His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13) He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14) And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean,followed Him on white horses. 15) Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16) And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:


    Curious as to what Mart is gonna share with us later on… Hopefully, I’ll be able to share more thoughts later.

    96 degrees and sunny in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,

  50. SFDBWV says:

    You are a odd duck street, I am never sure of your gender nor whether you are being disagreeable or encouraging.

    From my own perspective there are plenty of people who believe in god, the problem being they make him into “their” image.

    There are also many “quasi” or “pseudo” Christians around as well who do the same of Jesus.

    I am not going to discuss Gary in his absence, but will say that any Christian who believes that their hope is in their ability to be obedient to the commandments, even Jesus’ commandment, has placed their hope in themselves and not in Jesus.

    Any Christian who purposely sins relying on Jesus’ sacrifice to cover their sin is guilty of nailing Him to the cross again and will answer for it to Him in due time.

    The world is falling apart and the nature of people is becoming darker and darker as is outlined by God’s prophets thousands of years ago. Those of us who recognize it are encouraged to not worry about the condition of the world, but be encouraged that because our hope is in Jesus, we are soon to be reunited with Him.

    Whereas I can be happy to believe I and those I love will soon be out of here, I am equally saddened that everything here in this world that I have grown to love is disappearing and fading away.

    It is a mixture of happiness and sadness to know the future, just as Jesus wept for Jerusalem I too weep for the world.

    39 degrees under gray clouds.


  51. jeff1 says:

    Do not let your love grow cold! I do not find it easy to love all those who Jesus loved. Some people are easier to love than others but loving our enemies is a huge step and takes willingness, determination and the love of God to achieve. When you have come up in an environment filled with hatred love like that is not easy to achieve, it is more hoped for than expected. It may be God’s way to love but men who do not practice their convictions fail God and always find a good reason to do so.

  52. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    Mart, your observation about the human condition is surely a paraphrase of many proverbs, some psalms and the conclusions of the prophets in Scripture:

    “As finite mortals we have to live much of our lives in the silence and humility of what God only knows.”

    Pray for me please, since my regular Bible reading program has me moving through the latter chapters of Ezekiel’s writings right now. The resonance with current events is striking. Keeping my world map at hand so I can look again and again at that “small slice of cake,” Israel/Palestine.

    In youth events, we used to sing for fun:

    Shut the door
    Keep out the devil-devil
    Shut the door
    Keep the devil in the dark
    Shut the door
    Keep out the devil-devil
    Light a candle
    Everything is alright
    Light a candle
    Everything is alright

    Turns out, this lively little song may be about the best counsel for these days! The only other thing is to pray when we light the candle, and to praise the Almighty. Not always smiling when I sing this song now.


    49F and clear this a.m. Still dark in the valley here at 05:31 hrs.

  53. poohpity says:

    People sin all the time it makes no difference whether it is intentional or unintentional, understand I am not condoning sin at all but it happens. We could never place Jesus on the Cross again that was something He came to do for the sins of the world once and for all. For the sins of people in the past(backstory), people now and people in the future. It seems most resist sin out of love not compliance to rules. People who follow the stop texting rule out love for themselves and their fellow man do it to not harm.

    That was His choice, it also could have been His choice to get down and save Himself but that was one of the reasons for His birth. He was born to die for us, for everyone.

  54. jeff1 says:

    In order to know what is sweet we must also taste what is bitter!

    Why me Lord?
    What have I ever done
    To deserve even one
    Of the blessings I’ve known

    Why me Lord?
    What did I ever do?
    That was worth love from You?
    And the kindness You’ve shown

    Lord help me, Jesus
    I’ve wasted it
    So help me Jesus
    I know what I am

    Now that I know
    That I’ve needed You
    So help me Jesus
    My soul’s in Your hand

    Try me Lord
    If You think there’s a way
    That I can repay
    What I’ve taken from You

    Maybe Lord
    I could show someone else
    What I’ve been through myself
    On my way back to You

    Lord help me, Jesus
    I’ve wasted it
    So help me Jesus
    My soul’s in Your hand
    Jesus, my soul’s in Your hand

  55. poohpity says:

    I was wondering if knowing the backstory of “stop texting” because doing it while driving has taken the lives of so many would be similar to what Paul wrote to the Philippians, “Do nothing out of vain conceit, rather in humility value others above yourself not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interest of the others.”.

  56. phpatato says:

    Good morning Everyone

    On reading this morning’s comments, it occurs to me that the theme is what lies heavy upon my heart these days – that being the condition of the world, how extremely fast it is deteriorating and Canada’s upcoming election for a Prime Minister. I have chosen and will vote for the man, I believe, is the “lesser of all evils” as in today’s world of politics, every country is hard-pressed to find a “godly man” in which to place our confidence. There is a young man running for PM (prime minister) who is, in my opinion, a real threat to all things right. He stands for all things wrong and my spirit is troubled because I believe that he will succeed in becoming PM. Canada sits so precariously on that slippery slope as it is, I fear come Oct 19, She will be thrust into darkness. The words in our National anthem “God keep our land, glorious and free” will be nothing but words placed in a phrase, with no meaning.

    Steve, your comment this morning stands in agreement with how I feel. I will sit and watch how quickly things will unravel, knowing that it all has to happen as part of God’s will for the end times. I too, am filled with a mixture of happiness and sadness.

    Maru, I am not smiling too much at all these days but I am praying that I keep my candle lit and my mouth singing praises to the Almighty. I am praying for my family and friends as well. I will keep you in my prayers as you explore the words written in Ezekiel.

    Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done. Please Lord give us the strength to keep our faith strong, holding us tight as we enter this fast approaching, tumultuous “storm”. Amen.

    Sorry for sounding so anxious this morning.

    Love to all

  57. joycemb says:

    Steve you said: Any Christian who purposely sins relying on Jesus’ sacrifice to cover their sin is guilty of nailing Him to the cross again and will answer for it to Him in due time.

    Paul couldn’t agree more Steve. To turn a blind eye to our conduct means we are deceiving ourselves and others as well. Jeremiah warns about the consequences of listening to false prophets/shepherds who end up scattering the sheep!

    Jesus died once for all, one sacrifice for all time/peoples, not for all sins committed willingly and not repented of. That is cheap grace.

    The backstory of our lives is a warning of future sad events, just like the texting driver. Unless we change our ways.

    Maru yes these are scary times we are living in. Thinking of what lies ahead for my children and grandchildren. Sticking closer to God than ever is the only way to endure whatever comes. We have a lot of work to do yet.

  58. joycemb says:

    Pat good to hear from you and also praying for all my friends, loved ones, and for peace in a time of great anxiety. I heard back in the 80’s that some felt the danger to America would come from the direction of Canada. I will be praying for your elections also and for your peace. Joyce

  59. poohpity says:

    Did we confess our sins before Jesus died for them?

  60. phpatato says:


    I am in agreement with your thoughts on unrepented sin and people believing they have no need of asking for forgiveness when they do sin just because Christ died once for all.

    I look at it this way….. If I sin today, then I have a need to make things right with God….today! As a born again Christian, although my sins are already eternally forgiven, because of Jesus Christ dying on the cross, I am still expected to maintain a close fellowship with my God. We must therefore, differentiate between salvation (which is our relationship with Christ), and our Christian walk (which is our fellowship with Christ). Relationship and fellowship. I will always be Christ’s child because I am born again but if I don’t repent of the sins that I have committed on a daily basis, my fellowship with Him is broken. And I am told in the Bible that I will answer and will be held accountable for those unrepentant sins at the Judgement Seat of Christ. 2 Cor 5:10 I cannot lose my salvation, but I will suffer loss 1 Cor 3:15. There is peace for me knowing that if I ask forgiveness for the wrongs I commit today, He promises to remember them no more…as far as the east is from the west.

    And as for Canada being the danger to America, I have never heard that but anything is possible. :-) I do know this….both countries are in serious serious danger of God turning His back on us, and it is my belief that He will. Nowhere in Scripture is there even a hint of North America being involved in the end of times. We will become countries of no importance on the world stage.

    and as Gary would say…I could be wrong….but I am open to being corrected.

    Pat xo

  61. joycemb says:

    Pat agree with everything you said about sin/repentance.

    About Canada, I didn’t state that correctly. What I was taught years ago it that enemies would come south through Canada to overtake the US. Was taught it was Russia, well, the way things are now shaping up? Hmmm, sounds possible, doesn’t it?

    I listened to a bible/archeology scholar (Doctoral level) on internet that said the US he believes is the ‘daughter of the Chaldeans’ talked about in scripture. Interesting I thought.

  62. phpatato says:

    I want to further add…I am expected to, in my Father’s eyes, take the responsibility of righting the wrongs I have done today..if it is within my power to do so, to seek forgiveness from those I have done wrong to by making the wrong things right. That means I have got to suck up my pride, humble myself and say sorry. Not an easy thing to do sometimes but I am assured that with much practice, it does get easier. Saying sorry. Why is doing that 5 letter word so difficult? Often times, saying sorry even when you feel you aren’t to blame, brings healing to your soul.

    And upon further thought, I do believe there are some that are beginning to believe that the United States is one of the four great beasts in Daniel’s prophecy – Daniel 7:2-4 – and that the US is the one spoken of in Revelation 12:14 coming to Israel’s rescue….???? One could spend years trying to sort end of times prophecy out. For me, just when I think I have it somewhat kinda understood, I find I don’t.

    Joyce, it struck me this afternoon after reading what you said, if it might be the “great bear from the north”. Canada’s north waters and land are easily penetrated and there have been reports of Russian subs and ships with an interest in that area.

  63. street says:

    In James 5:1-20 we see the contrast between the leanness of our lives and the muchness of God. James mentions suffering, sickness, and sin — three constant realities that underscore the fact that we are impoverished, needy people. And the antidote is found in prayer. Not ritualistic, passionless prayer, but prayer that is rooted in the reality of our leanness and our desperation for God’s muchness. As James reminds us, “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16. joe stowell

    thinking prayer brings us to Jesus. what is holding you back?

    thinking further….God uses all things, they are all His, to bring Him Glory and conform His children into the image of His Son. mind boggling.

  64. poohpity says:

    Whoever said one does not have to admit to their sins? If one does not admit sinning then that person would see no need for forgiveness or atonement.

  65. jeff1 says:

    We where taught that we where born sinners and all fall short of the glory of God. The Lord’s prayer covers all sin’s unless you are a Roman Catholic and they confess personal sin to a priest, at least that is what I was taught. Believers have been taught differently and unless someone has studied the bible for themselves they take that as the truth. Even those who have studied the bible do not come away with the same beliefs so how do we know who is right. God has appointed a chosen people to lead and until His reign on earth we are all practising what we where taught whether correct or not.

  66. poohpity says:

    Viv, the very first and foremost reason that I read the Bible was because God had put that desire deep within me to know Him. Another reason I read it for myself was so I did not have to just believe what others taught with out checking it out for myself. My Pastor would say please search the scriptures for yourself just do not believe what I teach.

    But I would disagree with most that read the bible come away with different beliefs, they may say they read it, but more often than not we find out we have more in common with our beliefs than the little issues that we disagree on. Teachers sadly take advantage of the fact that reading the Bible is not something a majority of Christians do. Out of the millions of believers research has shown that only 14% of them actually read the Bible daily and that includes preachers. So it is a pretty common practice among believers yet those are the very ones most often that cause troubles, dissension and divisions.

  67. jeff1 says:

    I was saying what I find among believers that I know, personally, and while I have got to now you hear Pooh and trust you understand scripture, I know the ones I know personally could quote scripture the way I could not but they still disagree as to what it is actually saying.
    I am making the point that we are all singing from a different hymn sheet but God has chosen those whom He knows have the truth and they will lead the lost when He reigns on earth. The bible say there is a falling away because of false teaching but who can say where the false teaching is coming from, in my own Country, Roman Catholics say it is coming from the Protestant Church and the Protestant Church say it is from the Roman Catholic Church but it is never that black and white is it!

  68. SFDBWV says:

    Moses said that the test of a Prophet is that they are 100% correct in their prophesy.

    However much of prophesy is confusing because most is not clearly understood until it is happening or has happened.

    Much like Jesus’ parables some got the meaning while some had to have them explained.

    Prophesy it seems is all about backstory presenting itself in the future.

    All of end time prophesy is centered on Israel and her neighbors.

    One of our problems today in trying to uncover prophesy written several thousand years ago is that people change the names of places. Places alien to our understanding on a map today.

    Over the years there have been many false alarms about the eminent return of Jesus and many followers of Jesus who truly thought the teaching on the subject they were receiving was right. Even to a place where they sold all of their belongings gave away the money and were left stunned, disillusioned and confused.

    So we are told not to try and figure the time of His return, but rather recognize the events leading up to it and be ready at all times as if it were to happen just as told to us by Jesus “suddenly”.

    For most of us (not all) who study the matter the biggest event in our lifetime was the return of the nation of Israel as a nation in 1948. All end-time prophesy centers on the events concerning her.

    She will stand alone against a hostile world and God Himself will rescue her.

    All of the written Word directed at the return of Messiah/Jesus is tied to the events directed at Israel and is “the backstory” to why so many of us are alarmed or interested in the headlines of events today.

    Should we be worried or troubled? Not if we have placed our trust in Jesus.

    Always remembering the story of Jonah and how God postponed the destruction of Nineveh because of her repenting.

    ISIS destroyed the tomb of Jonah only a few months ago.

    The followers of ISIS believe they are obeying God in bringing about the “End Times” and presenting an earth void of “Infidels”. Interesting isn’t it.

    Believe on and trust on Jesus of Nazareth and be at peace in a world that is not.


  69. poohpity says:

    Viv, I was not going against what you said but agreeing with it and I also agree that different denominations have different traditions they cling to but I was just saying for me I wanted to find out for myself, that’s all. I did not want to go through anyone else.

  70. poohpity says:

    Your statement Mart “Without some understanding of what caused an event, or where a person has come from, it’s hard to make much sense of anything or anybody.” It would seem that in humility understanding that we do not know those things may effect how we treat others. Even if we see a glimpse of that backstory as one who did not live it we really do not know until we have their skin on which is impossible. Giving the benefit of doubt and not assuming do you think it may lead to showing greater mercy?

  71. jeff1 says:

    How well do I give someone the benefit of the doubt!

    I was on this course and the facilitator gave us a list of people whom we might like as neighbours. The list was teacher, doctor, plumber, unemployed youth, ex convict. The unemployed youth and ex convict where bottom of the list.

    The facilitator then gave us further information on them. The teacher was suspended pending an investigation- the doctor was gay, the plumber was coloured, the unemployed youth was the son of a clergyman and the ex convict was now working with young offenders to rehabilitate them into society.

    It not only changed who was now bottom of the list but most of the class disagreed on who should be top of the list.

    We have all got prejudices whether we admit it to ourselves or not. We are human and we have been brought up in a different country, class, religion and gender.

    If I am honest with myself I will not like how I think about people who do not fit into what I believe to be “normal” for society. My normal is not someone else’s “normal” for society today is diverse and who says what normal looks like anymore.

    In a world that is very different to what I was brought up to, what I am learning more than anything is tolerance. I do not understand people anymore but they are another human being like myself and while they may not share my beliefs they are entitled to be treated with humility and mercy regardless of who or who not they are.

  72. poohpity says:

    “I do not understand people anymore but they are another human being like myself and while they may not share my beliefs they are entitled to be treated with humility and mercy regardless of who or who not they are.” Viv, what a beautiful way to be. Sending a big Amen your way. :-)

  73. SFDBWV says:

    It occurred to me that over the past decade plus I have been sharing my backstories with BTA’s audience.

    All my little stories about my life is all part of who I am and from some of them you can ascertain some of why I am like I am.

    Not everyone is comfortable being open and talking about themselves, in fact many here like to hide behind the cloak of anonymity.

    In today’s world of social media it is most likely safer to not be known.

    Some of the most fascinating reading I have ever done is from the pages of behavioral science. Strange that reading about the odd and even bizarre behavior of others is so interesting to read, yet it is real life and for many a nightmare existence.

    When I read the Bible stories about individuals it is well known that the Bible tells the good along with the bad, but in reality it is only a microcosm of that individual’s life. In some cases only a moment between them and God for us to see.

    The Bible only shows us enough of that person’s backstory in order to make a point or explain some of the action behind theirs and even God’s actions.

    Even some of the bad guys have a darker story to tell that perhaps made them into the bad guys they are.

    From one perspective it may be more tragic to learn some of the good guys had little or no good excuse for their ultimate bad behavior.

    Same for us and behind all the faces we see in a crowd or along the street.

    36 degrees under cloudy skies…The church is making apple butter this morning.


  74. tedmgossard says:

    Yes. All about context. Scripture about that as well. God’s context and somehow coming to find in and through Jesus that our stories and their context are part of that Story and context. And coming to embrace God’s Story as the story in which we want to live with the faith that somehow our story is not only included in it, but made to be an intrical part of it. Thanks, Mart.

  75. poohpity says:

    Yes people would be amazed if they really knew backstories without all the frills. In reality most often people only tell what they want others to hear to make a good impression or to look like a hero on social media but it is not really important what others think, it is God’s perspective that is important and He knows the truth about us with nothing to hide yet loves us anyway. There is a good and bad side to every human being but God seems to guide us to focus more on the good and tell His story and how He has impacted the bad with mercy.

  76. joycemb says:

    Hi Ted, what you say about our lives being an integral part of His story is something I had not thought of before. I am reading “Everyone Belongs To God” by Blumhardt. How we live our lives as Christ followers every day infuses the world with the message of the Good News. Yes, we are a flesh and blood part of His story in a flesh and blood world. But without us the Story would not be told! Thank you. Hope all is well with you and your family.
    Blessings, Joyce

  77. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, you said, what a beautiful way to be but I do not see it as black and white as that. I find my tolerance for people I do not understand easier than for people I do understand. The most difficult people to love are those closest to me for I know them too well and they me.
    God knew what He was doing when it comes to human nature.

  78. street says:

    dear bta friends, thinking about back story and every other conceivable thought we deal with and our reply. thinking again of job speaking correctly about God in his suffering. if job could not speak correctly about God in his suffering, any other speaking of God is pretty much a mute point. thinking further that it might be unwise to speak for God when He is so available to all mankind.

    let me even go further…christian are indwelled with and sealed by the Holy Spirit. i believe this is true. does that mean we can speak in the first person? if we do i don’t think we are aware of it. i have to admit sometimes people speak as if they are.

    i do understand christians can recognize bad fruit and bad water. the hard part is offering grace to correct, restore, and build up relationships. i understand this is impossible for humans. therefore pray.

  79. poohpity says:

    Viv, I am going through those very things right now. My daughter has been living on the street and I opened my home yet again to her and dealing with a loved one with Borderline Personality disorder is to say the least very trying. No boundaries I have set for my home are followed, almost everything that comes out of her mouth is a jumbled lie and a manipulation to get her way.

    So every thing I believe in is being tested to the very core. Carrying on any regular conversations are out of the question. Arguments and anger are around every corner. I feel as if I am caught up in the tornado of the life she has chosen. I have no patience, I feel irritable almost every moment with my blood pressure through the roof and kindness is the farthest thing from me right now. This week I feel as if I have taken 80 steps backward and none forward, so I know exactly where you are coming from.

  80. jeff1 says:

    My son lacks patience, Pooh, I have told him so, yet he is patient with others and not with me. In our country we have a saying God could not do it all Himself so he made mothers. Of all the roles I play in my lifetime being a mother is the most arduous when like you they have tested me to the limits and in those moments love is furthest from my heart. As a wayward child I have put God’s patience to the test as my child puts mine, I wish I could say that in those times I react like God does to us but if I am honest it is a fine line between love and hate and while I could never hate my children there are times when I could see them far from me. It is in these moments of testing that I realize God’s love is unconditional but mine is not. There are standards I expect of my children and when they don’t deliver I do not only despair of them but of my own parenting. God love you Pooh for I am that mother too torn between loving and hating, them for their behaviour, and myself as a parent who feels responsible for their lack of good behaviour. If I have learned anything in life, being a parent has taught me how difficult it must be for God when I say I am His follower yet often behave in a way that does not reflect it! To know that God does not give up on me inspires me not to give up on them. Look at it how I am Pooh, God is teaching me endurance, try to see it as another feather in your cap in your growth for the Kingdom and it will give you peace of mind in times of faltering.

  81. joycemb says:

    Viv that’s where grace levels the playing field, doesn’t it? Most times the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Giving others the grace we have been given is always our struggle and task, it seems. I too have my difficulties with my children’s behavior, yet, when I am most often at peace is when I see they are sometimes just like me, or their father; yet old enough to make their own choices and decisions. As much as I hate to admit it the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. It just comes down to how much grace and when to know to let-go and give them to God to help however He deems necessary. Sometimes we have to give them up completely to God, which is the hardest to do I think, coming from a mother. We are built to love our children unconditionally, and being without spousal support to help make the touch decisions sometimes it’s harder even. God bless us mothers all who struggle with way-ward children we would give our lives for it we had to. And God bless our Lord and Savior Jesus who did give His life for us all because He loves us SOOOOOO much.

  82. jeff1 says:

    FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE and the greatest of all is love, His love handed down. So true Pooh.

  83. joycemb says:

    Street thank you for your post at 7:24. I appreciate your higher perspectives so much. Blessings, Joyce

  84. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All

    Pray all is well in your lives. The intro comment to this blog was very interesting to me, and I wanted to share more thoughts on it before Mart posted another topic. I had a pretty busy week, and I was either too tied up with other things or too tired to share my thoughts. But, even though Mart has posted a new blog topic, I want to share at least one more thought on this one. Mart said,

    “As finite mortals, we have to live much of our lives in the silence and humility of what God only knows.”

    I find this statement to be ((so)) very true! As Steve said, some things about our lives have to remain private because if we revealed it to the wrong person/people, it could be devastating… not only for us but for others as well. Thank God for wisdom! Praise God for wisdom! *One* of the reasons why I ((love)) God is because He gave me wisdom!

    61 degrees and partly cloudy in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,

  85. Regina says:

    I finally have time to read the comments on this blog topic, and I have to echo this one…

    “God is working out your solution even before you needed one.”

    It so worthy of the echo… Thanks, Steve.


  86. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    Pray all is well in your lives. Just finished reading all of the comments on this blog topic, and want to say thank you to all who shared your wisdom and heart on this blog. pooh and viv,
    “May the Lord bless you and protect you.
    May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
    May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace” (Num. 6:2-26, NLT).

    Very rainy and 66 degrees in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,

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