Text Size: Zoom In

Where’s the Good News?

3776403818_db9881b5f9_z

Flickr Photo by Q Family

My guess is that most of us have been around long enough to hear questions asked either to avoid or find answers.

For example,

If the law of God is written on our hearts, as Paul says, why do we need the Scriptures of Moses or Jesus?

Or, if all law is fulfilled in one, as Paul says— to love our neighbor as ourselves, and if that one law is common to many religions, not just Christianity, why do we need a religion that divides rather than unites?

And if we all know non-Christians who seem to love their neighbor better than we do, what would make our faith preferable to theirs?

Seems to me that any of these three questions could be asked to avoid or answer two more: What is moralism/legalism? And how does its story help us find or ignore the best news ever heard?

Would be interested in a discussion of how such questions could either weaken or strengthen our faith.


Vote on whether you think this post is something you'll be thinking about:
Vote This Post DownVote This Post Up (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...
142 Comments »

142 Responses to “Where’s the Good News?”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Mart my friend you torture yourself with such questions, but because they are evidently nagging at your intellect I will try and give commentary from my own limited intellect.

    As I understand the Bible story Mankind lost their connection to their creator God.
    Without going in deeper let me just say that at some point in human history mankind forgot the real truth of God and began to invent his own theories of who God is.

    Written on the hearts of mankind is a haunting knowledge that there is more to existence then just this life we live and an inner desire to see justice prevail.

    The “Chosen People” from the family of Abraham were *bred* in order to create a people through whom God would reconnect with all of mankind and expose Himself in His laws, justice and moreover in His love and mercy.

    In the person of Jesus God tells us there is no other way to know the Father/Creator/God than by receiving Him into our hearts.

    At some point in our search and belief we either accept this as being true or reject it as false.

    We accept Jesus or reject Jesus.

    What has happened to all civilizations and peoples who have rejected Jesus? They have failed and suffered the price of Adam by being accursed and a plague on all the rest of mankind.

    There is prosperity and peace only where Jesus is present and all the ugly of mankind when He is ignored or rejected. This is the witness of history and perhaps why God uses generations in order to make His point to stubborn rebellious mankind.

    Well I will start here and see where else my thoughts may take me.

    Strangely it is 56 and light rain, strangely because that is the high predicted for the day.

    Steve

  2. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    The questions you present here, Mart, are asked by those who stand “on the threshold,” peering into faith — but unwilling to enter. Not wishing to refute your characterization, question #2 as you have phrased it is a gift to the apologist! It is incomplete — and if my agnostic friend can listen awhile, I would be happy to supply what’s lacking:

    Before loving one another as Jesus and then Paul teaches, we are called to love God with all our heart, soul and mind (and strength). There is the point at which any person must step over the misgivings and perceive the great love God has for him/her — or not. I would respect a person’s choice to avoid the truth that love comes first from God.

    “We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.” 1 John 4:19-21

    Loving others stands alone as a cart with no horse.

    We need the Word of God to shape us continually, it seems to me because we easily pull away from the covenant God makes with us — individually and as his people (church). Paul compares the covenant in Jesus to a marriage, in the letter to the Ephesians (Eph 5:25-30).

    Paul teaches that the working of the Word is a washing and a cleansing so complete that it makes a Jesus-follower holy by the Savior’s holiness. We need that Word — the man Jesus Christ and the Book (or dvd, cd or audio stream online).

    The discussion may take a believer closer to the entryway, but (s)he is always talking to the questioner over the threshold. Stepping out the door is turning away from God and forfeiting faith. Some who rail against Christ and His church want exactly that outcome when they question authority. Who but God has absolute authority?

    Blessings all day,
    Maru

    48F here with light rain.

  3. remarutho says:

    I speak figuratively, not literally! A Jesus-follower does stay inside a building every minute — the covenant is a movable feast of Good News, kept in our hearts! :o) Maru

  4. poohpity says:

    Wow Mart very thought and faith provoking. As Eleanor Roosevelt said; “Great minds discuss ideas, Average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people.”

    Have to take some time to consider the implications but just on the surface sometimes through observation nothing about some Christians would draw people to want to know Jesus on the other hand there are those who’s actions are focused on Christ that make a life with Him very appealing but then again it is Jesus who draws us to Himself. It is Him who puts the desire in our hearts to get to know Him better through the scriptures or any other means possible. Then it goes from all about us to being all about God.

  5. poohpity says:

    Just another thought the bible can be a book of morals and laws or it can be the testimonies of those who have gone before us some closely following God and some who do not closely follow Him describing the results of both but mainly God’s response to both.

  6. saled says:

    Mart Great Questions that so need to be discussed and pondered. I love poohpity’s comment about any means possible. I think the greatest other means and which is in our hearts is the Holy Spirit. Many times I have seen the Bible used to not love our neighbor. Well if I help her she just buy drugs or booze so she needs to suffer. You know we wouldn’t help the man in the good Samaritan parable because he would just go out on the same road and get robbed again so he should just suffer. I chuckle about it but in all seriousness I have been on church committees that have been that bad. God is love and the Bible is the greatest love story. I strongly believe that we need to remember this and if we err to err with love rather than to beat each other over the head with Scripture. My husband and I have talked at length about a lady I work with that so puts all of us to shame in the loving our neighbor category and she is an atheist. We worship God not the Bible and it is my belief that Jesus clearly taught to always let love win.

  7. joycemb says:

    Mart those are some interesting thoughts you have this morning. Thinking about Universalism and how tempting that was once to me as I fell victim to the legalists/moralists of the Christian faith. I know of a ‘church’ where people of all faiths can come and worship their God/god in unity. I’m sure it’s a very loving, peaceful place, yet, what has True goodness/love/peace have in common, really, with all the goodness/love/peace people have found through worshipping idols, whether their own intellect, family tradition or a statue with a history?

    Guarding our hearts is important lest we be deceived by seducing spirits. It takes wisdom, the Holy Spirit within, and the company of true believers/followers of Christ to get through this fallen/broken world that is filled with deception, both in the Church of Christ and without.

  8. remarutho says:

    Hoped to say that a Jesus follower does not stay inside a building all the time! Maru

  9. joycemb says:

    Mart said: “If the law of God is written on our hearts, as Paul says, why do we need the Scriptures of Moses or Jesus?”

    Good question again. I’ve seen this very question used to manipulate people when they don’t want to change yet expect everyone else to. They think they are ‘fooling’ people because they use Jesus’ name yet their actions show differently. We need the written word to confirm what’s written in our hearts. If we do not want to ‘hear’ the written word, then I wonder if the law of God (Jesus who fulfilled the law) is really written in our hearts in the first place? Can some be good, gentle, kind, and loving without Jesus, yes they can, yet, there’s just something so special about being bound to Jesus it’s hard to explain to an unbeliever or even a ‘fake’ believer. Yet the changes produced by Christ’ indwelling are very evident.

    Sundry thoughts on a clear, bright Sunday. 48 degrees.

  10. Dinakar says:

    Dear Mart,
    I strongly believe in asking the tough questions. In finding the answers we all grow in our faith.
    Let me share some answers which have satisfied me. Please let me start from the second half of your questions.
    Regarding the issue of non-christians loving others better than christians – ‘AGAPE’ is primarily selfless love. Jesus further says unless a man denies himself he is not worthy of me so before you begin to love your neighbour you have to loose the ‘I’ only then Agape is possible. In 1 cor 13 paul talks of giving your body to be burnt without love as unprofitable. So what appears as Love may not qualify as Agape according to Paul. My observation in the world around me is that people do good in order to service their ‘ego’ / ‘I’ . True AGAPE is a gift of GOD and cannot be duplicated by a non-christian.
    Moralism is living a life in a society which has a unanimous agreement on a set of rules or standards to live by.
    Legalism builds on moralism and tries adhere to the strict letter of the law irrespective of the outcome of such an act.
    Jesus builds on top of legalism – the Law says ‘do not commit adultery’ under AGAPE Jesus says if a person looks with an evil intent he is guilty of transgressing the law!
    The good news is only good news to the person who sells all that he has in order to buy the field with the treasure in it.
    Till a person gives up ‘ego’ and personal desires it is impossible to enter into the kingdom of GOD
    In answering the first part of your questions When AGAPE is written in your heart you will know what to do in any given situation – regardless of whether there is a law or not. Under Agape you will more than fulfill the law you will supersede it. Like Jesus said – let alone commit adultery you will not even look at a another with an intent of adultery!

    hope my thoughts help you.

    Dinakar

  11. jeff1 says:

    I am not comfortable with making observations on others doing good and coming away with the conclusion that it is done to service their ‘ego’. Am I that pure of thought and deed that I can make such a judgement? When I do a good deed I do not believe that I have a 100% pure heart behind it. When my employed no longer wanted me in employment I took up voluntary work but that was for my own Good as much as the organisation I needed to feel useful to help my self-esteem.

    Also my faith was not driven by good works for the foundation for my faith is built on what God has done for me by saving me from hell by ‘the Cross of Christ’. I understand that there are those who teach ‘Salvation’ from doing ‘good works’ but it is not the foundation of my faith.

    My father (God Rest Him) was a man of great faith for He taught me to trust in Christ alone the true author of our faith.

    Man will continue to put his spin on the truth of the gospel but it is by the miraculous work of Christ that we are saved and not by good works let any man boast.

    Good works are required in the world because a dying world as failed to grasp that it is so.

    Man has reaped what he sowed by not focusing on ‘Christ’ but thankfully God’s word is His word and I/We are saved because God not only firstly loved us but loves us to the very end. TO HIM BE THE GLORY.

  12. poohpity says:

    If we even thought for a moment we could live a morally pure life bringing no harm to anyone or anything and follow all the laws not just the laws in the bible but the laws set up by our government that person would be a super person and there would be no need for the “Good News”. If we could figure out all the mysteries of science and have all the answers for human existence or for anything else for that matter then again there would be no need for the “Good News”. So then where is the “Good News”? The “Good News” is about a person produced to reveal the God of all creation into something we could understand.

    Why does that scare people because they would have to believe they were weak, frail, needy and in need of help to live through this life. It would mean after introspection we are not all that we think we are, can not do all that we think we can do, provide what we are unable to provide for others and fix what is broken.

    What weakens our faith is that one most often does not really live what they believe they do, putting on a false front. Thinking that we are able to live the moral law and expecting others to do the same, you know like living a lie then one does not really show what they believe they trust in themselves not God.

  13. poohpity says:

    Can you imagine what living this life would be like with the burden of guilt and shame over shadowing our very existence. Never receiving forgiveness or mercy for the things we do. Most often that leads one to lay that kind of burden on others and sadly most often Christians live like that even after they have received it. Of course no one would want to have that when they see the very one’s who have professed they believe living like they have never received it? It does not seem like “Good News” when we do not show grace and mercy to others like they have to earn a pardon, forgiveness and mercy.

  14. street says:

    If the law of God is written on our hearts, as Paul says, why do we need the Scriptures of Moses or Jesus?

    answer man is a moral agent. good/evil and choice

    why do we need a religion that divides rather than unites?

    answer no one can serve two masters

    what would make our faith preferable to theirs?

    answer real true love not as the world gives.

    couple of other points we would not be able to figure things out on our own. like where did we come from and where are we going? who is God? He has to tell us.

    last point, the huge problem of evil. pandemic in all flesh, save One.

    the battle for rest continues.

  15. street says:

    mart i guess there are two kinds of people in the world. those that know they need saved from all the sin and death they have committed and those who are self righteous and don’t need saved. i wonder how buda, alla, and jewdism saves? even among the religions of the world there have been violent clashes. the antichrist will destroy them all and make himself god of universal world religion. idol making is never out dated till Heir returns. the problem with idols is that you become like them.

  16. SFDBWV says:

    We are told that the spirit of the anti-christ has been around since the beginning of time.

    When the Holy Spirit lives within our hearts the anti-christ’s spirit is immediately recognizable.

    Jesus warned that near the end there would be false christ’s arise and told us not to be fooled.

    The history of the world is rife with false “saviors”.

    False “Messiah’s/Christ’s” are just that, false imitators of the real true Christ/Messiah/Savior.

    I read a story on BBC News whose caption caught my eye; “Why Music Makes Us Cry”.

    I was immediately disappointed to read that this article was written from a base of evolution and even though it’s title led me to expect some kind of answer, their conclusion was that music had no evolutionary value or necessity and ended where it began, but with a question mark…”Why (does) Music Make Us Cry?”

    All false religions of the world leave us empty, unsatisfied and void of the Holy Spirit of God…Without Jesus of Nazareth.

    The “Good News” is that God has reconciled Himself with man and is available to all who come to Jesus, but only through Jesus so that there is no confusion in the multitude of false religions.

    Jesus “is” the “Good News”, that is where the Good News is Mart, in Jesus of Nazareth.

    I hope that answers your question.

    28 degrees and foggy.

    Steve

  17. poohpity says:

    How do those type of answers strengthen one’s faith or make life with Christ sound appealing enough to draw others to Him? Would they make anyone want to get to know Him or even think about Him? Where is the Good News, where is the passion?

  18. saled says:

    Mart says that he is interested in discussing how these questions could weaken or strengthen our faith. It seems to me that moralism/legalism lead us to ignore the best news ever heard. Jesus came to rescue us and he did just that. It is clear that there is something wrong with this world and with us. And it is clear that we don’t have the power to right all the wrongs, such as Saturdays Oklahoma parade accident. I wonder about those words in the Lord’s prayer, ‘your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” My hope is that in heaven, all the wrongs have been righted. And this earthly experience has something to do with the working out of our rescue. As for me, my own failures and the failures of othere will never be enough to make me give up hope in the One who came to rescue us.

  19. poohpity says:

    Yes, for me it is exciting to be around those who have placed their hope and trust in God. Having someone say I want what you have and replying, you can have it too. It is so available to everyone who asks. It seems very evident those who do understand that the battle has been won and live like it with hope in the only One we can place our trust, safety and life in.

  20. jeff1 says:

    I must never let another human being, no matter how good their intentions tell me that I should not have suffering in my life because it is saying that God does not know what He is doing.

    There are secret places in all of us that only God can touch and that is when I feel His presence with me when I am lowly of heart.

    We must accept people as they are and do not try to preach to them for they have not got your teaching or experience of your walk with God and you will only put fear in them.

    You must treat them as you would like them to treat you if you where in their shoes and as they get to know you they will get to know whom you put your trust in.

    You should not force it on them but treat them as an individual who has not had your walk with God.

    Allow them to be themselves but as you nurture them you will be giving them insight to who God is and He will do the rest.

    You are not greater than your Master so do not try to be.

  21. poohpity says:

    ????

  22. poohpity says:

    God never promised that our lives will be without suffering, trials and troubles in fact He said we can be sure of it and even more so when we make a choice to follow Jesus. But the “Good News” is that when we have Jesus we know that He has overcome the world and we can have peace and hope in spite of everything else.

  23. SFDBWV says:

    Going a step further and looking a little at these other religions that seem to foster love as the center point of obedience to their “law”.

    Judaism insists on cleanliness whereas the Buddhist’s it is I believe to have an affection to feces.

    Judaism gives God the final authority in judging human behavior, whereas the Hindu believes one is reincarnated over and over again in both punishment and reward giving the person the ability to achieve their own placement by works.

    Islamists show no compassion to any other human being including some of their own faith. An evil religion brought to an illiterate thief by a dark spirit’s visitations.

    The “Good News” of Jesus of Nazareth is that all of these people who are held in bondage to their own beliefs are able to be set free of their misguided faiths through acceptance of Jesus as Lord.

    Acceptance of Jesus as Lord breaks the chains of ignorance concerning God and allows for the Holy Spirit to dwell within them, leading them toward truth.

    Christianity is based on Jesus being the Son of God as presented in the Triune Personage of God, evidenced by His resurrection and defeat of death and sin. Not based on loving our neighbor as ourselves and thereby empowering us to obtain our own salvation by works.

    Again Mart I say in answer to your question “Where’s the Good News?” The Good News is Jesus is Lord and it is found there with Him and His story.

    Steve

  24. joycemb says:

    Accepting Jesus is everyone’s right. Rejecting Him is also everyone’s right. The Good News is that we are promised a new life with Him now, and for eternity. Hallelujah! Makes no sense to me that in an age where ‘tolerance’ is promoted Christianity is the only ‘religion’ not tolerated anymore. It’s even ok to blend Christianity with other religions, such as so-called Christian yoga. But the purity of the Gospel message is up for ridicule. Nothing’s changed really since Christ died. What power He has! That He should cause offense to non-believers! Yep He’s the one I’m sticking with.

  25. jeff1 says:

    I think you forget what brutality has been committed in the name of Christianity over history. I do not see non believers not wanting to believe in God but they see God as a power thirsty mythical character because man has done a good job of false teaching from one generation to the next.

    It is God who will prove to man in His time and in His way that He is goodness pesonified and not some mythical character made up by those of us who lack intelligence or are not capable of living in the real world.

    It dose not help that many Christians behave like they want non believers in hell for how do you tell someone who has no teaching or knowledge of God that He is an all loving God on one hand but He will have you suffer in eternal damnation if you do not believe.

    I am not in the school of thinking that God would want anyone to suffer eternally and it is God and heaven that hold the key to ending evil on earth and it is for us to be caretakers here on earth until they do.

  26. joycemb says:

    I don’t know any Christians that want others to go to hell. God also does not want anyone to suffer eternally, He died so we don’t have to suffer eternally. It comes to a persons choice. God is sad as are people when people choose to deny His greatest sacrifice for us all.

    If you only read the parts of the Bible about God’s wrath then you would take away that God is only about wrath. Picking and choosing how and what to read and listen to is what keeps us in our own ‘hell’ if you will.

    The ‘keys’ to the Kingdom were given to Christ at his death. The key to life or death. It’s our choice, always has been. I know it’s hard to let-go of false teaching, but the only way one can really know the truth is by:
    1. Asking Jesus to forgive you of your sins and decide to follow Him and Him alone. He is real and He is listening for you and anybody who desires Him.

    2 Trust and wait for Him to give you a hunger and thirst to read the Bible from His perspective, you won’t have to wait long, trust me…

    3. After you have done that, listen as God Himself sorts out truth from fiction for you. It really does take ‘new eyes and ears’ to hear and see Truth. New eyes and ears that only God can give.

  27. street says:

    dear mart love the pic of the market place next to the broad road. a cafeteria plan, if you will, for your journey. pick and choose what is right for you. maybe we need a few more soup nazi’s in our life. our dependence on Jesus must not falter. the denying of our selves is a most difficult undertaking. i guess if you leave it to others it turns into a cult. like israel asking for a king. hope the King comes back soon for His Bride. the way time is passing by i think it is a blink away. if we all become reapers do you think we can over take the sowers? just thinking….praying might by the better option.

  28. jeff1 says:

    Joyce, I have never had the desire to read the bible because I witnessed people reading it and taking from it what they wanted to believe.

    The consequences of such are still known today in my country.

    Why do I need to read the bible when God speaks to me through the heart, music, and other people.

    My faith in God is better for knowing is spirit is within me and I did not get to know that from reading the bible.

    I now look at people in a new light for I realize they are just like me waiting for a better world to come where we will all be changed beyond recognition.

    The desire in me is not for God’s word for as a believer surrounded with religious people I am overloaded with knowledge of who God is.

    The one thing I desire above all else is not just to know God loves me but to experience that love.

    My desire is to see the fulfillment of the gospel so that all can enjoy the love of God and see false teaching as far as the east is from the west. So be it.

  29. joycemb says:

    Viv in America we talk about having a ‘personal relationship’ with Jesus, which means we have repented of our sin and accepted His atonement so that we can walk/talk/listen and pray with Him for other believers and for those who do not yet have faith in Him, Jesus. Jesus is the once human part of the trinity, the triune God. This is what and how we practice our faith. Is this different from the way you practice? I don’t hear you talking about your relationship with Christ.

    Your desire to experience the love of God is very possible right now once you accept Christ as your personal savior. Not a corporate but a very personal, intimate relationship with Him. I have and it’s what keeps me going in a cold, cruel world.

  30. phpatato says:

    “Or, if all law is fulfilled in one, as Paul says— to love our neighbor as ourselves, and if that one law is common to many religions, not just Christianity, why do we need a religion that divides rather than unites?”

    Mart, your question – Why do we need a religion that divides rather than unites…..

    We don’t. We don’t need a “religion” at all. It is not about “religion”. It is about RELATIONSHIP. Religion is man-made. Flawed. Can’t be trusted. To me, probably all religions are a joke in God’s eyes. He is looking down laughing, or perhaps I should be saying crying, at us and our own inflated egos and blind stupidity. Every religion thinks that theirs is the best, the one and only and most favourable in their “god’s” eyes. Christianity and all her religions is no different. Each thinks theirs will be the one Blessed by God.

    It is NOT about religion. It is about a Relationship. Christians are set apart because of their personal relationship with God. The only thing God requires is for someone to admit they are a sinner, believe through faith that His only son, Jesus Christ, gave His own life as payment for sin by dying on the cross, that He rose from the dead the third day and is now sitting on the right hand side of God as our Advocate to God.

    As a Christian, we grew in God’s heart. He’s adopted us. He chose us and He delights in us. It was a decision He made based on love. And it wasn’t a snap decision. He made it before he ever created the world! THAT is not religion. THAT is a relationship.

    Ephesians 2: 1-10

    1)And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2)(Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3)Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4)But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5)Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6)And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7)That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8)For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9)Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10)For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

    Religions…ALL religions are man-made thoughts and laws and rules and works. They count as nothing. It is the Relationship that man has to seek out and that relationship is the Good News Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is that relationship gift that God Almighty is offering to anyone who is willing to receive it but they have to make the effort by reaching for it with faith.

    As for a “religion” that divides rather than unites…it is God that set the tone for that. It is God that has told us that although we live in this world, we are not to be part of this world. So let the world have all their man-made religions, walking blindly, being lost and unsatisfied, always searching and never finding what they seek. We are told not be part of that, so we will be separate and not united. But what we are called to do by God is to share what we have found, pointing them to the free gift that is awaiting them…that being eternal life with Jesus Christ our Lord.

  31. jeff1 says:

    Joyce, you must understand that I am still a member of my church and religion because that church has never taught me wrong. It was my waywardness that led me astray but it was God’s spirit within me that enlightened me to much false teaching in my community.

    When someone is convinced in their mind that scripture is God’s word and they interpretate to fit their beliefs and there beliefs include killing anyone opposed to them then I can tell you that hell is very real.

    It was that hell that turned me back to my church for having listened to so much false teaching I realized I was in a church that preaches Christ and I did not need to go looking for another.

    When you have lived in a war zone for 30 years you do not come out of it unscathed. While up on 3000 people where killed there where many left with serious injuries, both physically and mentally.

    The fear of it starting again does not go away. I was heading to the town the other day and it was cordoned off for there was a bomb scare and I could almost feel my heart pounding outside my chest thinking not again.

    The church that I attend is a sanctuary from the outside community. Tourists come to this country and admire its beauty and say how nice the people are and while that is very true they are not aware of the evil that surrounds us.

    While I have never had any doubt in my faith in Christ, in some ways it is like an inherited faith for I knew it from a child I am not sure what a personal relationship with Christ is.

    In war you have to find a safe place, I found it in the church I was born in with people I trusted.
    We prayed together through the bad days and so I see my relationship with Jesus as being a corporate one.

    It works for me praying together, taking communion together,running activities together. I do not belief God loves me any less for needing to have other believers in our relationship for we do after all make up the body of Christ. I cannot really explain why I am this way but I do believe it has to do with somewhere in my secret place I fear God to approach Him on my own.

    As a child I can remember being told I would go to hell for being bad and I don’t know if I ever stopped believing that. It is such a long time ago but it troubles me that I still remember it. Some memories are difficult to shake off, for me anyway.

    Hope that gives you a better understanding of my walk of faith Joyce.

  32. joycemb says:

    Yes thank you Viv for sharing your spiritual walk. I understand that secret place and fear that can abide there for some of us. For myself all fear of death was gone when I accepted Christ as my personal savior. Was I still afraid of God for a long time? Yes I was, it took me a long time to reconcile the God of the Old Testament with the Jesus of the New.; that Jesus actually fulfilled the desires of the God of the OT by blessing us all through the sacrificing of His one and only Son for the sins of all is amazing. We need not fear Him in the sense that He’s going to whack us over the head someday for not being perfect in conduct or behavior. We fear Him because He is our creator and deserves our loving responses toward Him.

    It is a deeply personal response and means taking a chance that He just may be even MORE loving than we dared hope or imagine. I encourage you to take the plunge, face your fears and see what God can really do! Praying for you and all Viv.

  33. street says:

    dear joyce and viv,
    your comments have have brought up a revision in my thinking that i came across recently. i have blogged on here it is dangerous to live next door to the Temple in Jerusalem.

    c. s. lewis had a line in a book that caught my attention. in his book there is a conversation about the Lion, Jesus, and a character asks is He dangerous? the reply was yes, but He is good.

  34. street says:

    mart said,”And how does its story help us find or ignore the best news ever heard?”

    i think it would clarify it, by getting completely lost.

    to ignore would discount the sacrifice.

    p.s. does the world even know what sin is?

  35. foreverblessed says:

    Amen Pat!
    It is about relation with God Himself.

    The question: why do we need the bible when the law is written in our hearts. That is a very good one.
    I have been thinking about it a few days, and reading the comments, but I cannot think of a good answer.
    Maybe, if we would not have had a bible, God would answer directly to our minds and spirit.
    God is bigger then the bible.
    But we do have a bible.
    On tuesdays I go to the big church in town, a pretty church, where tourists come (thanks Jeff for your stories, what a difficult situation your country is in, and you yourself too).
    The protestant churches have a reading plan of the bible. Every week for bible verses. Always a Psalm, now they are in Jonah 4, and Psalm 13.
    Now I am studying a Psalm every week. And I like it.
    The Psalms are so good, and slowly very slowly, the meaning of life, the story of the bible, becomes more and more clear. Salvation!

    How I would miss the Psalms if we did not have them, and the Song of Songs, and the story of Genesis.
    And all the stories of people who stumbled and fell, and stood up because God helped them.

    I do not know the answer to the question Mart gave, but I would miss the bible very much!

  36. jeff1 says:

    Joyce, the difficulty is getting rid of the little girl who heard so often that if you are bad you will go to hell.
    She is part of who I have become and in some ways she proves those whom told her that correct.

    I failed God, there is no denying that so in many ways I reaped what I sowed which was also a warning I was given as a child.

    I hang on to her for she is what drives me to trust God and not on my own understanding.

    She is a constant reminder that wandering from God is dangerous so she is part of my walk of faith for if there was no her then there would be no me I would not be who I am.

    Parents punish us when we do bad because they love us, I see God as punishing me because He loves me.

    I made bad choices and I have to pay the consequences that is God’s law to me, for when people around me did bad I expected them to get punished.

    For me to see it any other way would mean I had double standards, I cannot expect God’s law to apply to others but when I break it He turns a blind eye.

    I am what I am a sinner saved by grace. The sin of judging others while being blind to my own is my burden to bear for I ommitted to allow God to show mercy to others while expecting His mercy for myself and those I love.

    I am beginning to understand where Gary is coming from now, it is obedience that makes a person right with God but Jesus still died for the lost for God knows human nature so well and it is from a heart of gratitude that I say this for I have been lost all of my life but ignorance is bliss they say and I now understand that for what I did not know did not hurt me but what I know now may do so for the rest of my earthly life.

  37. foreverblessed says:

    On Tuesdays we have a midday prayer, all the different churches participate, protestants, catholics, evangelicals. (That is, one person at a time leads the meeting, not all of them together)
    We read the bible verses of the reading plan (the protestant bible reading plan, or Lithurgy they call it). We sing a few psalms, and we offer up to God, the prayers that visitors have written in the prayer book. Whether we can read them or not.
    The people from Eastern Europe are very believing people, (a better word then religious). On Sunday morning there is a Polish service in a Cathlic church, before the dutch come. The Polish is full of people, when the Dutch meet it is half full. But also many other languages, Arabic, and Chines or some other Asian language.
    And we pray for them all.
    I like it when christians pray!

  38. Mart DeHaan says:

    My thought is that until we stay with our focus on who Christ is, what he alone has done, can do, and will do for us and the whole of his Creation… focusing on any moral imperative, including love for neighbor, turns out to be a non-starter and dead end.

  39. SFDBWV says:

    So then Mart it would seem we agree, the “good news” is all about God’s gift of Jesus and not about being a good neighbor.

    Steve

  40. Mart DeHaan says:

    On second thought, the above comment is in reference to the questions raised in the post. When it comes to living together in either public or private space, seems to me that love, only love, and love only, enables us to talk about and work together in the issues of our lives.

    That Jesus is the ultimate example and source of such love, as well as the only answer for our failure to love our Father with our whole hearts and our neighbor as ourselves is the point of this post.

  41. Mart DeHaan says:

    Steve, yes… and that lived out we love our neighbor through and because of him. (we were writing at the same time :-)

  42. poohpity says:

    So if we even see as I do often that even non-believers loving others better than we even love our own brothers/sisters in Christ what does that really show about our faith? The in fighting, clashes, hatred, alienation and cliques rather than patience, care, concern, compassion, making allowances for shortcomings not only for those that are easy to love but even for those who are not so easy to love. Not the feeling of love but the action of love; in seeking the highest good for one another.

    “If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?” 1 John 4:20

  43. SFDBWV says:

    Interesting isn’t it that over time we “do” the things Jesus wants of us automatically, not out of fear for not doing so or because we consciously are aware of pleasing Him, but because it is instinctively the right things to do.

    An abbreviation of receiving God’s good news.

    We all stumble over each other when posting, I am just glad to see you here Mart.

    Steve

  44. poohpity says:

    I would imagine it leaves those outside the Christian circles wondering if they shoot their own or tear each other apart why would I want to be part of that?

  45. poohpity says:

    I can picture a non-believer saying, “Where is the Good News?” It looks more like a war zone.

  46. poohpity says:

    If it comes automatically then why is it explained as a battle that rages inside of us? Isn’t the automatic part the flesh?

  47. poohpity says:

    I think it is best when we finally come to the point that we realize we are incapable of loving God and others without His help. Letting go of independence and finally admitting to our inadequacies, inabilities and reliance on the One who is able to work through and in us.

  48. Mart DeHaan says:

    Deb, you are right about the ongoing war, but don’t you think it is also true that there are times when the Spirit of Christ graciously and quietly shows up in our hearts in a way that shows his presence in and through us, even when we are not thinking consciously about him?

  49. joycemb says:

    Vivien I wish that those who shamed you with ‘going to hell for misbehaving’ as you reacted to the bombs/fighting had been able to take the time to really listen to you and understand it was the fighting around you that was causing you to ‘act up’. That what you really needed was love and comfort from your fears. What you didn’t get then you can give yourself now, love and comfort, and Jesus is the perfect one to show you how to do that. Jesus said to come to Him if we are burdened by anything, and He will give us rest from our burdens/struggles. Even from ourselves. I recommend you love and embrace the little girl part of you and bring her to Jesus, who LOVES little children. Even naughty ones ;-)

  50. joycemb says:

    Mart it’s great to see you here this morning!

  51. poohpity says:

    Mart, yes, but is that not His work and not what is natural to us. Then we see it is not common but extraordinarily beyond our capabilities a manifestation of the Spirit especially knowing we did not even think about it like an unconscious action. Our first response or reaction seems most often to come from us but after a minute or taking a breath, you know like setting aside self to follow a different path. Even Jesus deep within His heart wanted for the cup to be taken from Him(human side) and He was full of the Spirit still had to make a choice. Of anyone wouldn’t it have come automatically from Him?

  52. poohpity says:

    So even with the help of His Spirit don’t we have to practice stepping aside and allowing that Spirit to work, I do not see that as automatic. Doesn’t each step/action we take come with thought? Our breathing, heart beat, and bodily functions are automatic but don’t behaviors such as love have to be learned and practiced?

  53. joycemb says:

    I once knew a Christian who lead a special type and much needed ministry who came to our church for funds and support to start it up in our town. People and the church however did not respond to their requests. When asked why God was not supplying the money they said: God is telling people to support me but they are not obeying God.

    It’s not all about us, it’s about God. Sometimes we have to get out of our own way to see and hear God at work. He’s here, we just choose to not see Him as our own needs become more important than God’s and what He is trying to teach us. I guess it comes down to who is sitting on the throne of our hearts.

  54. street says:

    jeff said,”I am beginning to understand where Gary is coming from now, it is obedience that makes a person right with God but Jesus still died for the lost..

    heard so often that if you are bad you will go to hell.

    I made bad choices and I have to pay the consequences

    I see God as punishing me because He loves me.”

    dear jeff i think the Bible is clear that the righteous live by faith not works. the patriarchs did not get this faith down perfectly, but did work it’s way out in their actions. not in obedience, for a pay check, as more like trusting. we all have to go through a process of testing and trusting. look at any of these individuals and you will see grace all over the place. and as for punishment, more like gracious loving discipline because your His kid.
    the Holy Spirit will work us over like a mom getting her kid ready for church on sunday morning. except He’s working in the inside. struggling with sin double standards and any other uncleanness is the Holy Spirits specialty. getting convicted is not fun but necessary for us to be conformed to the image of His Son. Holiness Love Faithfulness and any other godly virtue is the fruit He grows with our permission because we know He loves us and is doing everything for our good and well being.

    if we are to pay the consequence of our sin then we would not be concerned with hell. noah was concerned with sin and believed God and built a boat, to God’s specifications. we are to put our faith in the One who died for us and now lives for us and put His Spirit in us. obedience is a sure fire way of getting closer to Him in many respects. but i would have to say faith hope and love in Christ make for one happy childhood.
    pay closer attention to the things that trip you up and look to Jesus for help.

  55. poohpity says:

    Weren’t all the patriarchs like Noah and Abraham a live before the law was given? So weren’t their lives based on faith alone and looking forward(in hope)for the Savior?

  56. refump says:

    Recently read an article written by Christian author that fits into this discussion
    Finding what you weren’t seeking
    by John Fischer

    At some point along one’s process of spiritual growth, a wave of questions comes along. Some people worry about this, thinking that they are losing their faith. Suddenly it seems some of the answers you have been using appear shallow to you. Faith may start to look too simple for life, as life becomes more and more complex. As it turns out, your life may not be that much better than it was before you decided to follow Christ. For some, it may be worse. Those who try to “sell” Christianity based on the success/happiness/overall well being of the final product may look like shysters based on what you now know.
    I think a lot of this disappointment is due to a common misunderstanding of what it is that we find when we find Christ. We don’t find a bunch of answers, or a system of beliefs that work, or a god that is going to guarantee us everything our culture has taught us to desire. We found a relationship with God, and finding this relationship is only the beginning.
    What we have found is a lifetime of learning, growing and deepening in that relationship with God. Some of that involves pain. Some involves losing. It all involves a redirecting of our lives from one way of looking at the world to another.
    What makes it worthwhile is not the end product, but the fact that, all along the way, the living God-the one who will be the center of our eternity, accompanies us.
    If you read the Psalms of David, what you come away with is not the triumph of David’s exemplary life, but the heart relationship with God that holds it all together through victory and defeat, joy and sorrow, friends and friendlessness, depression and elation-the presence of God and the seeming absence of God. It’s not an altogether pretty picture. It’s not what TV preachers promise. It’s what God gives. Himself. And a major part of the finding is finding out that He indeed is enough. He is everything.
    That’s what you find when you “find” Christ. It’s a little like finding what you weren’t seeking, but really wanted all along.

  57. poohpity says:

    :-)

  58. poohpity says:

    “We draw people to Christ not by loudly discrediting what they believe, by telling them how wrong they are and how right we are, but by showing them a light that is so lovely that they want with all their hearts to know the source of it.” Madeleine L’Engle

  59. jeff1 says:

    Street, I seem to have lost sight of what trips me up. Mostly anger with a world that only seems to care these days with how we look rather than if we are a decent human being.

    This world never changes man has come full circle and the rich and powerful are still in charge and there is still the poor and the needy in it.

    Where is the ‘Good News’, it is with God, He got it right for if Christ hadn’t died for mankind he certainly was never going to get it right himself.

    History tells us that man’s ‘ego’ is greater than his intelligence but thankfully we have a creator whose intelligence is greater than His ego.

    I hear what your are saying that the bible says the righteous live by faith and not works.

    That to me is why the world will not change until Christ’s return. Human nature is what it is and if works are not required to be right with God then ‘self’ will get in the way.

    People will take the attitude that I owe man nothing and I am already right with God by my faith and that explains why the world won’t change.

    I believed that God would change the world but the truth is that man has changed God and I am not sure who God is anymore.

    The gospel was once simple, perhaps it was too simple for a life lived out putting your trust in it, in fact I would say I have always believed Jesus died for the world but the confusion for me is with who God is!

  60. street says:

    dear jeff i think i found gary’s life verse,”“Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

    the verse i think that goes with this is,” if God had not saved us we would have become like sodom and gomorrah. it is a good thing to fear the Lord and to trust in Him.

    been following RBC’s daily devotionals in Jeremiah and the severity and grace of God are side by side.

  61. street says:

    dear jeff when you struggle with who and what God’s is. just stop for a second and turn to look at Jesus. when you see Him you will see God. He is alive and well and the good Shepard of your soul, Who laid down His life for you in obedience to His Father.

    many times i find myself in a bad place because i rationalize who or where i want to go with out God. only to find loneliness and regret. it is better to reflect in God’s truth and make decisions according to truth and live by faith that He has given me, not outside of it. thinking He will come for us when we get off track, but it is better to come to Him because He ask us too. the hard part is abiding remembering holding on to. some day He will be finished and the harvest complete. take His Word for it. it is a lot easier to hold onto something valuable than something that is worth less. value correctly.

  62. joycemb says:

    “Never try to explain God until you have obeyed Him. The only bit of God we understand is the bit we have obeyed.” –Oswald Chambers

    Interesting post I found on my facebook page just now. Wondering what others think of this?

  63. jeff1 says:

    Street, it is in my thinking that I find difficult to keep focused on God for the things of this world get in the way.
    In my heart I trust God, but my mind wanders, and I have so many questions, but I know my head could not take in all that I wonder about God, so I just be quiet before Him and ask Him to give me rest and it works.

    The reason I need to focus on Christ and not God is that with Christ it is finished there are no more questions for he is the beginning and the end.

    The fear of hell for being bad has stayed with me and I fear God more than I love Him. This haunts me though I have tried to put it to the back of my mind.

    My heart knows what my mind cannot conceive that God loves me so I live in a world of fear and joy. It is difficult to explain what I don’t understand myself except I know God/Christ is so very real and yet so very far away.

  64. poohpity says:

    Isn’t Jesus God in the flesh? Jesus came to show/reveal God to us, to show us His great love for all mankind.

  65. saled says:

    Great article, refump. His message rings true to me.

  66. poohpity says:

    He is not far away He lives in our hearts.

  67. street says:

    “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:1-10

    as i read this i have to admit i have been walking in bad habits of the past and they do muddy the present and future for me. i am beginning to understand that sin just doesn’t show up all at once. it starts very slowly, subtly and no one is immune to it. paul called out peter on it and was correct. we are not paul or peter , but we are their brothers and sisters if we follow Jesus. been reading Romans 7 for a few days now and these two spirits we have to deal with, the flesh and the Holy Spirit are mutually exclusive i think. the standard is very high and we kid ourselves if think we can walk it. Jesus did do this on our behalf and asks us to love Him and put to death the things of the old way. the good news is He will not give up on us and we should never give up on Him. God is good and impartial.
    thinking….what would happen if Jesus came back and found me living in the flesh? ouch

  68. joycemb says:

    16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a [m]shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive [n]and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

  69. poohpity says:

    street, do you believe in Jesus? Then you are covered by His Spirit, believe and walk in that, that is what God sees. Jesus is sufficient. When one is in right believing then that is what you will be living. Jesus did what we were unable to do, trust His work and it will effect how one lives. Live as one dearly loved, deeply forgiven, shown great mercy and afforded unconditional grace.

  70. poohpity says:

    If you have read the 7th Chapter of Romans then you know the the struggle with the flesh was won, “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” We are in the flesh until we leave this body.

  71. joycemb says:

    When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. 5Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience Col. 3:5-6

  72. joycemb says:

    Street you are so honest. It’s refreshing to read. Failure is not easy to talk about. But we have our hope in Christ, don’t we. Focusing on him and rejecting the sinful deeds our flesh is prone to do has it’s reward when Jesus returns. In the mean time yes, we need to be watchful of our behavior every day. Looking up always and watching for His return. I do not want to see God’s wrath. If you’ve ever been in a terrible wind storm, which I have, it’s terrifying and all you can say is come Lord Jesus, I’m here waiting for you. Paul’s warning to the church at Colosse are still pertinent for today. They witness truth to me, anyway.

  73. joycemb says:

    Eph. 5:8.9 Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true),

  74. jeff1 says:

    The bible is pertinent today as it was then because human nature does not change, History keeps on repeating itself as God knew it would.

    Our forefathers where products of there time as we are ours and our children will be there’s. God’s truth will keep being revealed till it is all in the light and only then will men of evil be no more.

    Each generation hides its own sinfulness in fear of God because of a lack of understanding of who God is.
    I have often commented to people older than myself how society is becoming a one parent family and how immoral society is becoming only to be told that it has been going on for generations but it was hidden then due to the intolerant times people liv

  75. jeff1 says:

    Continued:lived in.

    It is God who is faithful to us and not us to God.

    The truth would never be revealed if it where up to man it is by the miraculous work of God that all truth will come to light for Jesus died for the truth and God will ensure His truth is what prevails.

    I do not fully understand God but as a mother I do understand this He would not let His son die such a brutal death if it where not ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

    Man thinks he is so clever making discoveries when in fact he is feeding his ego. God did not get it wrong human nature is despicable without God.

    How dare I claim I am faithful to God it is God who is faithful to me and always has been.

    There is no one more sur that God is a God of mercy than the one who has in her mind doubted His love for her but in her heart knows otherwise.

  76. poohpity says:

    Joyce a few verses later in Col 3:12-17;

    Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

    15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

  77. joycemb says:

    Yes Pooh I’m glad you read that! Praying for your daughter.

  78. remarutho says:

    Dear All —

    Back from a time away, so have read down to see the trend of the discussion. The questions people ask these days to either seek or avoid answers are the context in which each Jesus follower lives out their life. Perhaps the only “good news” some folks in the world will ever see or hear is one of us.

    Mart, you asked:

    “And if we all know non-Christians who seem to love their neighbor better than we do, what would make our faith preferable to theirs?”

    There is the crux of the good news being lived out — perhaps shining forth from your face — as you speak the name of Jesus. There is a fragrance, and a glory of the Savior that is part of the presence of one of His followers — because He dwells in His own. Faith in Christ is a big difference!

    It must be that there is just something about you that brings a response from those who are not following the Lord Jesus:

    “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.

    “For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life.

    “And who is adequate for these things? For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.”
    (2 Cor 2:14-17)

    Our challenge must be to say and do things that Jesus leads us to say and do — no more, no less.

    Blessings all day,
    Maru

    52F and foggy in the valley this morning

  79. joycemb says:

    Without faith it is impossible to please God. The Bible.

  80. poohpity says:

    Thank you Joyce.

    About reading the rest of that chapter I did not want the first few verses about the wrath of God left without the rest about Jesus taking that wrath for us. Anyone can read it, making the choice to live it out is where it counts.

  81. joycemb says:

    exactly

  82. poohpity says:

    Yes those who live out grace often prompt those they come in contact with to ask about “The Good News”. Not those who preach about it only but those who actually live what they say they believe. “Preach by your deeds” St Francis of Assisi

  83. jeff1 says:

    Our challenge is to trust God in a world that is confused about who God is.

    The difference should not matter to me the reason another loves His neighbour or does good works. It will draw me to them because it is Christlike behavior regardless of whether driven by faith in God.

    I am not always aware that it is my God given spirit that drives me to do better but God is working in me whether I realize it or not.

    While those who know the bible are aware of God working and that is pleasing to God, it does not mean He is not at work in others who lack faith.

    Faith pleases God but those with hope in Him he does not send empty away and those who love Him know Him best of all.

    If you are a believer who has all three then you are probably too heavenly to be any earthly good.

    This world does not change because human nature does not change. In Christ’s day his disciples where more concerned with their position in heaven than they were following Him.
    How many times did they fail Him and we think we are any better!

    We need to come down from our high horses and look at the world perishing around us and then ask ourselves is this pleasing to God.

    I will tell you what pleases God trusting that you are saved by the death and the ressurection of His son.

    The gospel is not about our faithfulness to Him, it is about His faithfulness to us and JESUS CHRIST is the evidence of that faithfulness and while many do learn that from the bible there are others who learn it from a life lived out in trusting the author of their faith.

    I cannot do what God has already done save the world by the miraculous work of Christ, I am not greater than my master.

    We are equal in Christ whether I am a believer who is a high court judge or a believer who is sweeping the streets.
    It makes no difference to God for we all serve His purpose.

    Man causes class distinction not God, our prejudices get in the way of being use to God but we hang on to them because not to, would leave us with no one to hang out with.

    I am faithful to God, I have not got a clue what faithfulness looks like this side of heaven.

    The good news does not change,the faces and beliefs of people change down through the ages but what has God got that man has not, He has time.

    Each generation gets nearer to the truth not by man’s discoveries but by the miraculous work of God who will finish what He started by transforming us from the selfish beings we have become for while I look around me at what others have become I fail to see what I have become myself, a sinner saved by grace, I have went full circle to find what I started with is also the end and that is that the good news for mankind is JESUS CHRIST DIED SO THAT MANKIND IS SAVED FROM HIMSELF and history tells us that if we are honest enough to look at it without prejudice.

  84. phpatato says:

    Viv

    May I ask you to clarify what you said:

    “If you are a believer who has all three then you are probably too heavenly to be any earthly good.”

    Are you saying that if a twice born believer has faith, hope and love…they hold no worth for God to use on earth?? If so, according to your opinion…I’m sunk. :-(

  85. joycemb says:

    The horse I ride on is this and nothing more or less….

    “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”
    by Edward Mote, 1797-1874
    1. My hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
    But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
    On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
    All other ground is sinking sand.

    2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
    I rest on His unchanging grace;
    In every high and stormy gale
    My anchor holds within the veil.
    On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
    All other ground is sinking sand.

    3. His oath, His covenant, and blood
    Support me in the whelming flood;
    When every earthly prop gives way,
    He then is all my Hope and Stay.
    On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
    All other ground is sinking sand.

    4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
    Oh, may I then in Him be found,
    Clothed in His righteousness alone,
    Faultless to stand before the throne!
    On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
    All other ground is sinking sand.

  86. joycemb says:

    All WE have to do is to receive the marvelous gift of salvation that was given to us by Jesus Christ and be born-again. That truth has not changed since day one. I think many have tried through the centuries to adjust that one truth with add-ons, but Christ-alone stands alone when we speak of or look for Truth.

  87. jeff1 says:

    Phpatato post Oct 30 10.51 am

    It is my opinion from a lifetimes experiences that I have lived in hope, had faith, shared love but not all three at once.

    I am saying that in my lifetime I have not known another beleiver who can walk so perfectly but I am not saying it cannot be done.

    It depends on our own relationship with Christ but even Peter, Jesus’s closest disciple made promises to Jesus He could not keep. There are circumstances that I can find myself in and I do not know how I will behave until faced with them.

    What we do know is that whatever response we have we’ve been forgiven even if we fail.

    God looks at our motive rather than our outcome.

  88. joycemb says:

    Hello all,

    Two days till I move and I haven’t been this tired since I gave birth! But everything I needed God is and has taken care of so I am a very tired and thankful pilgrim/pilgrimess? I got this on FB today and seems like a cautionary thought for all of us on this blog.

    “Beware of knowing what you don’t practice.” –Oswald Chambers, in Approved Unto God from The Quotable Oswald Chambers

    Or, preaching what you don’t practice, right?

    Have a good evening all and time for another nap for me,
    blessings,
    Joyce

  89. poohpity says:

    Viv, we are all in process. None will ever have this relationship down pat so to me the most important thing that I have received and practice is grace. Will I show grace all the time, no but I have another out admitting I have done wrong and ask for forgiveness. Living in His grace helps us to live by grace.

    I have to stop fretting or looking how others fail living this Christian life and being the one to point it out but just measuring or keeping an eye on how I am doing at it that seems to be how to develop compassion and empathy which also seems to promote grace.

  90. joycemb says:

    Developing compassion and empathy, well, we get our first taste at the cross. Then comes the hard part of living out our lives, as Mart questioned, with all the hard questions, manipulative questions, impulsive and peace destroying questions are what we have to deal with as believers, no matter what stage we are at in our journey. Some learn rather quickly, some painfully slowly. But I think what Mart is getting at, if I’m thinking at all clearly at this point, is how to love in spite of all these things. And is our reason to love, because we’re commanded to do so, enough? Honestly, it’s all I’ve got sometimes. Come to think of it, that’s all anyone has, unless like many unbelievers it comes ‘naturally’. For some it does. But for those of us who are not naturally or even as Christ followers easy lovers’ then what? Christ is there, as Mart said, silently like a spirit coming in to do what we can’t. Mother Teresa used to say that when she looked into someone’s face she saw Christ. Wow that is not easy to do, in the flesh. Or even in the spirit sometimes when times are particularly troubling.

    Jesus told His disciples that if they weren’t received to leave. There is a time when it is wise to leave also. I think it’s hard for us to ‘leave’ people alone sometimes because we KNOW that Christ is able to do all things. Yet, there is a time. Timing is important, and when grace fails us, which as pooh pointed out happens to everyone, we pick ourselves up and go away, move, take time off or whatever, knowing that the trial we failed will come up somewhere somehow again and again and again, until we learn what Jesus is teaching us. At least that has been my experience.

    The ‘war’ going on on this blog isn’t getting better. Perhaps as wisdom says ‘there is a time…for all things. Perhaps acknowledging that things that have had their issues here for many many years aren’t going to change, ever. Mart, you are the MOST patient person I have ever known. But then you have a lot more going on than some of us do. Distractions I guess you could call it, not bad, just honest distractions. I’m rambling…., maybe I’m sleeping. Just thought it was important to talk about as I am sooo tired of the infighting and circular thinking that goes on here. I know I am a part of it. I’m sorry for this. Lord Jesus help.

  91. poohpity says:

    I have no understanding(empathy) or the ability to taste what happened at the Cross cause I have never been through that, never was who Jesus is or suffered what He suffered not being in His skin. That has to be left to my imagination and trust what I am taught about it.

    Where has there been a “war” on this blog recently. Aren’t we all adults just discussing things? Of course I do not know what is in another’s heart, they may be at war but if they are at war on here they are probably at war in their own heart and lives too.

  92. joycemb says:

    Pooh is it at all possible that your inability to ’empathize’ may be the very reason so many have left this blog? Think about it a minute. Empathy is quite natural for a lot of people. Your inability to empathize, even with Jesus, whom you should know personally if you are a Christ follower, is quite telling. I’m not blaming or shaming you pooh, I’m just wondering if you are at all aware of the differences. Jesus NEVER says we have to be empathetic to love, agape love is Gods love, human love is framed by thoughts, feelings and emotions, same as the pagans or unbelievers. But it does make for communication difficulties when people as you say struggle in their own hearts and lives. We all struggle, in our own ways with different things. My personal struggle, my heart issue, is the empathic pain I feel for others, especially those who don’t have the same abilities I have. This is hard to write but I’m all for direct communication when possible. And I’m too tired to feel hurt or pain right now.
    Pooh, what are your thoughts on what I’ve said?

  93. jeff1 says:

    I think there are circumstances where I can have compassion with people but there are also times when I have to leave it with God when it is beyond my understanding.

    I used to get upset with all the terror that went on both in my country and in the world but I now leave such things to God and I am finding more peace within myself.

    I would agree that I have to examine myself more than those around me and in doing so I become more humble and less critical for I start to realize how temptation can destroy a person in times of weakness and how God strengths me in such times.

    You are right Pooh, we are a work in process and thank goodness God is a patient God.

  94. street says:

    where’s the good news!
    tonight i watched a movie about christian service, from a man on the other side of the world. he was a bright light in a dark world. my pride was greatly hurt by his great love and service and i am thankful that God brought this light into my life. it was painful and humbling. the good news is God cares enough to put me through the wringer to conform me to the image of His Son. oh that this light would illuminate every part of the earth and draw mankind to His Kingdom.

    p.s. the pain was from not viewing people as more important than myself or if you will, thinking i was doing pretty good. this pride needs to go.
    humility humility humility. the same kind that Jesus found in people of faith when He was on earth.

    someone wrote mother tearesa saw Jesus in everyone she looked at. that is a good idea in that what ever you do to the least of your brethren you did it to Me, Jesus said. good night bloggers hope you all have a good and godly weekend.

  95. poohpity says:

    Amen, Viv! I will join you thanking God for His patience.

    Joyce, what are my thoughts about what you wrote, that you do not have a clue about what I wrote and I would like for you to explain if you can how God felt being nailed to the Cross for our sins since you have the amazing ability to empathize with Him as you say.

  96. street says:

    When you begin to rest upon your repentance, and forget the Saviour, away with your repentance; and when you begin to pray, and you depend upon your prayers, and forget the Lord Jesus, away with your prayers. When you think you are beginning to grow in grace, and you feel, “Now I am somebody,” away with such spurious growth as that, for you are only being puffed up with pride, and not really growing at all. Labour not to labour; labour to keep down your natural self-righteousness and self-reliance; labour to continue where the publican was, and cry, “God be merciful to me a sinner.”

    –Charles Spurgeon

  97. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Street, that was very good!
    Looking up to Jesus, not to ourselves!

    This morning my brother called me, he is in town and if he could visit. Immediately I was thinking, “now I can witness to him”

    This thought, me looking to my brother, the point of interest was my brother. But there was a very little thought in my mind: this is the time to look to Jesus.

    How can I explain this? When my eyes are focused on my brother, he will deep down feel this, that I a have a hidden agenda: trying to get him to accept Jesus.

    But when I, with my whole heart and mind and whole being am focused on Jesus, I am relexed, I am His child, He is in me, and I in Him.
    And then my brother can be relaxed being here.

    As Maru was saying, or maybe someone else overhere, we ARE the good news!

    Not because we are, but because we rest in this great thing: Christ in us, the Hope of Glory

  98. foreverblessed says:

    Col 1:27 to them, the saints, God has chosen to make known among the gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
    v28 We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.
    v29 To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me.

  99. foreverblessed says:

    Having just written out these verses, I was thinking,
    Pooh, do you think Jesus would have defended Himself, like you did yesterday, 1.23 am?
    Think a moment about this point……
    What would Jesus have done,
    or rather, -what would Jesus do- before you write something.
    Be blessed, and lets encourage one another to see that Christ is formed in us.
    His graciousness, His endless mercy shown to us, His grace in pointing out things that are not right.

  100. poohpity says:

    forever, you think about how was I defending myself by your understanding? I was asked a question and I answered it. I was simply saying that I can not empathize with Jesus, for one I am not God so I do not know what it is like to be Him nor have I ever experienced crucifixion. So how is it even possible to understand(empathize) with Him, to be in His shoes or to walk the path He came for, I am no Savior so how can I understand what it is like to be one. That is way beyond anything I can fathom. Joyce did not understand and accused me of not being able to empathize with anyone which is a false accusation as is yours.

    Are your words an encouragement or a condemnation and judgement for something it seems that you may also have not understood. If you believe in His grace, mercy then what stops you from showing it to me? Think about it honestly by examining your own words that are far from the graciousness you are expecting from me. Show me by your example. I bet your brother would be blessed to see that as well to see grace being lived out not in words but in deeds.

  101. SFDBWV says:

    I look in at BTA every morning after getting Matthew settled in to his breakfast around 4:30 am. If led or prodded I will contribute something then between getting him through his breakfast and settled into his big easy chair for a little rest before his and my morning continues.

    I am reminded this morning about a fellow from San Diego California who found BTA and upon posting met with a little less than enthusiastic response whereupon he apologized for stumbling on what he seen as someone’s breakfast clutch and graciously said goodbye to the site.

    I am reminded that our outward behavior is a reflection of our inner spirit; I pray that my outward behavior always reflects the Spirit of God and is always seen and received as such.

    It has been a tumultuous week for us, it is Matt’s week off from his exercises and I try and occupy some of it with trips out of the house. Trips out are exhausting for he and I both and usually take a day to recover from.

    We had doctor visits Monday and a trip to the grocery store and Burger King Tuesday. Glenna had a trip to Martinsburg WV to a conference for the town and left Tuesday afternoon the meeting being Wednesday all day she spent at the night at a Hotel there is Martinsburg.

    Wednesday evening my 96 year old mother in law complained to me about her left knee being in such pain she could not stand on it nearly at all.

    While there with her I helped get herself ready for bed and got her settled in. After getting home I called her daughter who lives 2 hours away and informed her of her mother’s condition. Her response was for me to call an ambulance and send her.

    She doesn’t understand that her mother would need someone to go with her that knows her condition as well as medical history and be there as a comfort and companion with her.

    I called Glenna who without reservation checked out of her room and drove home (about 2 hours plus) through heavy rain and fog in order to rendezvous with me at Crick’s house and the ambulance in order to go to the hospital with her.

    A neighbor who is a retired RN stayed with Crick so I could stay with Matt and get him to bed.

    The ER doctor drew fluid and blood off of Crick’s knee and sent her home. Glenna has stayed with her since. He daughter said she couldn’t come as she had her own problems to deal with.

    And so goes life here in our world.

    We are all presented with challenges and choices as how to react and what truly separates us is how we respond.

    Love is always a sacrifice.

    Will leave you with a little poem from Louis I. Newman titled “The Voice of God”
    “I sought to hear the voice of God.
    And climbed the highest steeple.
    But God declared “Go down again,
    I dwell amongst the people.”

    37 degrees and clear.
    For the amusement of any who need a break look at the internet story about the skull faced asteroid passing by earth tonight and then read the comments, very funny.
    Steve

  102. joycemb says:

    Thanks Steve, yes, love is sacrifice and life sure is a journey of loving. Thanking God for safe traveling for Glenna and for providing His people to take care of Crick in her need. We should all be so blessed to have people like you and Glenna in our lives. I am one day away from my move and with my fibromyalgia, anxiety disorder, and tinnitus to deal with even though my kids know I am moving have not offered to help so have been doing as much as I can a little each day. So many details to take care of with moving! I woke up this morning early again finishing up my packing (in my head) then when I could move again got up singing hymns and spiritual songs to my cat and to my God, who is always with me and never forsakes me, even when those closest reject me.
    I am very much looking forward to a new direction in my journey of helping my 69 year old friend take care of her rapidly deteriorating 43 year old son. Between the two of us God will provide and we still both drive so blessed all around.

    Yep we’re all God’s people helping God’s people. Steve your post is all I’m reading and responding to today as this day is full. But knew you would be a bright spot to begin another stressful day.
    blessings, Joyce

  103. joycemb says:

    Ok I couldn’t resist.

    Pooh you asked: How did God feel when he was hanging on the cross? Just like we all do when we are hit, kicked, punched, lashed to a pole with nails, hair pulled out and beaten with bits of glass. That’s what Jesus felt. Jesus and God are one. So God felt all that Jesus felt.

    When I fall and scrape my knee, I hurt. When my bones and joints aren’t working properly, I hurt. Physical suffering God knows all about because He suffered it on the cross. The same pain you feel is what God felt.

  104. cbrown says:

    Luke 9:22 “saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up.

    23 And he said unto all, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

    24 For whosoever would save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.”

  105. poohpity says:

    Joyce would you have made the choice to go through all that suffering on purpose for me so I would not have to? If you say you would then why is it so hard just to be kind and not mean to me accusing me of things you know nothing about?

  106. joycemb says:

    Take your pain to Jesus, He knows your pain of being misunderstood. I’m passing it along to him also.

  107. poohpity says:

    Amen, now there is someone (Jesus) who is very empathetic to what we go through. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16

  108. joycemb says:

    Amen!

    The Supremacy of Christ, Col 1:15-23
    The Message translation

    Christ Holds It All Together

    15-18 We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.

    18-20 He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.

    21-23 You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don’t walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. There is no other Message—just this one. Every creature under heaven gets this same Message. I, Paul, am a messenger of this Message.

  109. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Joyce, thats it! Jesus is our All in All.
    Pooh, I have always been kind to you, and encouraging, and backing you up, why would you think I was not yesterday. I still am encouraging now, and I meant it as an encouragement, that Christ would increase in you in your reactions to others. Just as you write about how gracious God has been to you, that same grace would be greater and greater in your reactions to others here. I pray that God may give you that grace more and more.

  110. Mart DeHaan says:

    Good morning. Woke up this morning not only to the time change but also to a computer that wouldn’t start. Since it’s harder for me to post and work with pictures from a mobile device, am going to have to wait to see if I can get it fixed before changing post.

  111. Motorcycleminister says:

    The Good News is in our minds. Thank you Mart for “provoking thought” You do a wonderful job. For the past 14 years I have been a volunteer in prison. Assisting the facilitators in the programs, our goal is to provoke thought so as to direct the inmates to better themselves. All your subjects are so wonderful to read, as it provokes thought and communication with us all. Thank you and God Bless.

  112. poohpity says:

    forever, good example of the point. I am thankful for having my back in prayer as for the assuming how I am that is another issue all together but thanks for your opinion.

  113. poohpity says:

    My prayer for y’all is that I would not take so much space in your minds trying to get me to see how horrible I am, the areas that need change and replace that time in understanding how wonderful we have been treated, understood, forgiven, shown mercy and grace by the One you profess to follow. Now His grace is amazing and no I will never be able to measure up to it so why continue to concentrate on me.

  114. joycemb says:

    Pooh it’s not about all of us, it’s God who is working in you, if He is your Lord and Savior, to produce Christ-likeness. That’s false humility when you say: “…that I would not take so much space in your minds…”

    What God has shown me is that when I am confronted with questionable behavior, even if it doesn’t seem right, there is always a kernel of Truth in it. And I always look to God who reminds me that I’m certainly capable of doing what I may be confronted with, and so take it under advisement. Why? Because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

    James 1:2-8The Message (MSG)

    Faith Under Pressure

    2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

    5-8 If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.

  115. bubbles says:

    Mart, I’m sorry to read about your computer issues, and I hope they can be corrected in a timely manner. Technology has given me more frustration, extra work and wasted time than anything.

  116. poohpity says:

    lol

  117. street says:

    if i remember correctly poo, the Holy Spirit will always remind us of our faults that need attended too and who we need to bring them too.

    thanks joyce been praying simple prayers, “Help”

  118. street says:

    saw a penetrating verse at church today. Luke 10:36-37

    Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.”

    children of God pay close attention to how Jesus dealt with sin, bad thinking, or culture if you will. He was confronted with it all the time. very intriguing that He did not judge and kept with His mission.

    seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly with God.
    seeking justice led Him to the cross…the other two we are asked to do.
    very good news that Justice has come and we wait patiently for His return.

  119. street says:

    oh when some one falls into robbers hands restore them gently. fearing God so pride doesn’t trip you up too.

  120. poohpity says:

    yes street the Spirit does it with such love as to not break a bruised reed and has the ability to help us change. Amen!

  121. poohpity says:

    but Joyce is right we can always learn something from criticism even if it is meant for harm but God can use it to accomplish His purposes.

  122. poohpity says:

    On the other hand there is much damage that can happen when only a bit of truth gets mixed with assumptions and falsehoods it is called propaganda it destroys relationships, people and even used to sway the truth of scripture. Look at the media depending on the side they take but wouldn’t it be wonderful if as brothers/sister in Christ we are to look out for the good of each other.

    In church today we learned that prejudices are because of ignorance and a lack of truth. Phil 2:3-4 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

    He talked about this due to the play we are putting on “To Kill A Mockingbird”. The lessons from that play are applicable no matter the time they are from which are the same the lesson we learn from the Lord. Friday was my debut as an actress, it is so fun.

  123. poohpity says:

    It seems often times people use half truths to put others down to elevate themselves(selfish ambition).

  124. bubbles says:

    When technology won’t work and what should be simple takes hours if not days to correct, and work that has taken days to do is lost and not recovered, it’s not funny.

  125. poohpity says:

    bubbles, my lol was not meant for what you said. You know me better than that sweetheart, I thought?

  126. jeff1 says:

    We are living in a world of half truths because people believe what keeps them happy and not whole truths.
    It is where human nature fails.

    I was brought up in a culture that taught me certain values and I trust they are correct. The problem for me is that I am now finding that not everyone who was brought up to believe in them put them into practice.

    Trusting people was what led to bad choices for I am constantly told how gullable I am.

    God knows human nature but I do not for the heart can be deceitful above all else. I tend to believe what people tell me and I have found it to be foolish for people give you their version of the truth.

    It takes God to discern what is in a person’s heart and I have learned that through trusting people whom I believed where being honest only to find that the were not.

    I learned to trust God because man constantly let me down so you could say I learned the hard way. I have been laughed at many times by family and friends for my naivety and I found that they were right for they are better at discerning people then I am.

    I have learned to leave things in God’s hands because when I was going by my own understanding I was failing so I take what people tell me now like a pinch of salt without evidence to back it up.

    The one thing I am sure about is that God understands human nature best so it is best to leave that which I do not understand to Him or I cause myself heartache that I could have avoided.

    The good news for me is that I finally know in whom I can trust. The good news for me is good news for all for through disobedience God still intervened in my life showing me also that it is not my faithfullness to Him but God’s faithfulness to me that triumphs.

    On Sunday (All Saints Day) our sermon reminded us that we are Saints in God’s eyes yet I more often see that I look more like a non believer than a Saint.

    I have learned that there is a lot more to living out my faith than I first imagined and the more I learn the more I realize I am glad it is God who is faithful to me for I am sure of this today if I am sure of nothing else Salvation is mine by the miraculous work of God and not by my faith or works. Thanks be to God.

  127. poohpity says:

    Yes, Viv, that was one of the many ways Satan uses to deceive and also used against Jesus during His temptation in the wilderness as well as Adam and Eve in the garden. So it seems then a half truth or partial truth would be a full lie.

  128. poohpity says:

    bubbles, my lol was the irony of our discussion and the topic “Where’s the Good News”. Sort of proves that point.

  129. jeff1 says:

    I am going of topic as I wanted to tell you of a programme I watched last night, on Elvis, and one of my many favourite songs is ‘the wonder of you’. When the commentator ask Priscilla is then wife did Elvis make the song for her she said no it was to God whom he believed gave him his voice.

    Elvis’s beginning had started in church halls, and he, I believe, was ahead of his time,for as one of ‘the sweet inspirations’ said of him he seen people as equal regardless of the colour of their skin.

    The heart of Gospel music for me comes from the South and where Elvis’s roots are for no one can sing it with the passion that they can.

    In his final years Elvis became a sad figure from the gifted man he was but his legacy of not just gospel music leaves me in no doubt that his voice was a gift from God.

    I think the fact that he made this song as a tribute to God shows a man who battered and bruised by this world still longed for the simple life he knew as a boy.

    I would have assumed this was a song to his wife but it is a love song to God so much for assumptions!

    From one King to another King.

    The Wonder Of You

    When no-one else can understand me
    When everything I do is wrong
    You give me hope and consolation
    You give me strength to carry on
    And you’re always there to lend a hand
    In everything I do
    That’s the wonder
    The wonder of you
    And when you smile the world is brighter
    You touch my hand and I’m a king
    Your kiss to me is worth a fortunate
    Your love for me is everything
    I guess I’ll never know the reason why
    You love me like you do
    That’s the wonder
    The wonder of you

  130. bubbles says:

    Thank you, Pooh. I worked 11 hours today. I can’t get on this site at work, and I don’t have a internet access phone.

  131. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    Pray all is well in your lives. I also pray that this blog topic will stay current long enough for all to see my prayer request. I have, what I hope/pray to be, my last court hearing today, dear BTA friends. So, I have a prayer request. Please lift me up before God’s throne that today’s hearing will be the last one! :-) Pray (with my attorney and I) that the LORD will go before us and help us make wise decisions regarding what’s fair and equitable in the division of property. Though from my past experience, my soon-to-be-ex-spouse was always very “unfair” and even down right abusive in how he treated me (*financially, emotionally and psychologically) in our relationship. But the LORD taught me to trust Him to fight my battles. And I’ve learned how to leave this situation in His (very capable) hands. Thank you SO much for your prayers on my behalf, and (hopefully) I’ll have time to share my thoughts on this blog topic or the next later on.

    60 degrees and cloudy with the promise of sunshine later on in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,
    Regina

  132. poohpity says:

    Regina, It certainly has been a long battle. Will continue in prayers for justice.

  133. phpatato says:

    Regina

    Regina

    I am thinking about you and will be keeping you in my prayers throughout the day.

    The Lord bless you and keep you;
    The Lord make His face shine upon you,
    And be gracious to you;
    The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
    And give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

    Pat

  134. Regina says:

    Thank you, so much, pooh & pat for your prayers! You’re right, pooh! It certainly has been a long battle, but the LORD has been faithful, He has provided for me throughout the journey. I thought the battle was gonna end today, but I found out (through my attorney) that some of the judges (in my neck of the woods) opened their courts today on a first come, first serve basis. There were about 4 or 5 cases in front of us, and it was after 11 am before we were actually ready to start our hearing. Well, the judge informed us that since we needed two to three hours to have her help us divide the remaining property/assets, she wouldn’t be able to help us today. She told us that she had two *scheduled* hearings in the early afternoon, and our *scheduled* court date was not until February (the 26th to be exact). The judge did, however, award me additional spousal support (as my attorney fought for an extension) until the final court hearing (division of property/assets). I covet your prayers for me/with me for a full time teaching job. I was working as a Sub-Teacher/house?? when I was living with my soon-to-be-Ex. The LORD is giving me the strength to endure this process. I’m certainly relying on Him as I walk through it.

    Love to all,
    Regina

  135. poohpity says:

    Glad to hear about the extra income that will surely help in the meantime. Praise God for being so faithful to you even when the court has failed. You are certainly one strong woman and for that I am also praising God.

  136. poohpity says:

    When God is all we have, we find that is all we really needed. :-)

  137. remarutho says:

    Good Evening All —

    Just home from a high school reunion. Long trip — but a great time of reconnecting!

    Lifting you to the Lord, Regina, for a touch — strength and comfort through this struggle with your former husband.

    Blessings,
    Maru

  138. poohpity says:

    It seems in most religions everything that happens to a person is dependent on the person and one never knows if they get it right or if they paid enough penance. In some religions one has to keep coming back until they do. In my religion it is not about me but about what God has done and who He is. I know it seems so simple since most of our lives we learn to be loved by anyone we have to act the way they want to earn that love but our God loves us in spite of ourselves, we do have to earn it but only accept it.

  139. poohpity says:

    oops rather than “we do have to earn it” that should have been “we do not have to earn it”

  140. Regina says:

    Good Evening, All
    Pray all is well with everyone. Thank you so much, Maru and all who are praying for me regarding my divorce process. Please pray for my job situation as well. I’m currently looking for a full-time teaching position, and I want to be hired full-time the next time I go before the judge in February. I believe having a full-time job will work in my favor when she starts helping us divide the rest of the community property and financial assets. Thank you all so much for your prayers!

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

    Love to all,
    Regina

  141. Regina says:

    Oh, and thank you for the compliment, pooh! And, yes, God gets all of the glory as my strength comes from Him!

    Regina

  142. poohpity says:

    “What is moralism/legalism? And how does its story help us find or ignore the best news ever heard?”

    If one believes they are living a life that seems to be morally good that they do things that seem on the outside to be of good Christian character they may not see the need for the best news ever heard. Those type of folks that say “I was brought up in a Christian home and I don’t do those things like others do, I do not steal or murder or commit adultery and I go to church, read my bible and tithe.” They may never really see their need and ignore the Good News thinking they already have it even if they may have never gotten on their knees and asked the Lord to come into their lives.(Luke 18:9-14) But the one and most obvious problem in that case is pride.

    I think when those who speak of their need, faults, failings, weaknesses, inabilities know they need something outside themselves for help. The need to look up to Someone besides the deceitful trap of thinking they have exemplary behavior with some really sincere introspection see their humanity just does not measure up can one admit their need is great and can be found in only One. For someone else to notice that kind of heart and understanding the real grace and mercy we have been shown it will be apparent to the person then to on lookers.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.