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Unwrapping the Greatest Riddle


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We’ve talked in the past about riddles. I think my favorite is: The poor have it. The rich need it. If you eat it you die. What is it?

As we all know, riddles work by play on words; by layers of double meaning or ambiguity understood by the speaker but not revealed to the hearer.

While a light approach to riddles might be something like, what did Adam say to Eve the day before Christmas?, the best riddles are those that cannot be answered until their wisdom/wit is revealed.

I’ve written the last few posts with what might be called the first riddle of Christmas in mind. To the Serpent the Lord said, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:1

Reading backward, we know how the drama of Scripture ultimately answers the clues of this riddle-like statement. But read forward, it’s layers of ambiguity and double-meanings created thousands of years of wonder about (a) the word picture of snakes and people; (b) the identity of the serpent ; (c) the identity of the woman; (d) the meaning of the seed; (e) the identity of the seed of the woman; (f) the identity of the seed of the serpent; (g)the meaning of a word that could mean— bruise, strike, crush, fall upon, desire.

With words of promise wrapped in mystery the Lord went undercover to ultimately pull off the greatest sting in history— when the answer of the riddle was finally revealed. Yet going forward, there was enough clarity to trust a good Creator who was promising in veiled words to respond in wisdom to the shrewdness of his enemy.

Who ever would could have thought (going forward) that our God would wrap himself in the flesh of a crying baby; or groan with us in our sin; or cry out in his execution like a sinner—to bear the ultimate rage and violence of our deception and rebellion?

For those of us who have lost a sense of the wonder that must have filled the minds of the wise men/magi who slowly made their way westward, following a star, it might be helpful to think again about how riddles work. Think about the difference between reading the Story of the Bible… like we are trying to read our own lives, forward— before the infinite goodness and genius/wisdom of our Lord’s own answers are given…

And by the way…

(a) nothing

(b) It’s Christmas, Eve.   (:-)

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70 Responses to “Unwrapping the Greatest Riddle”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    There were some who recognized not just the story in Genesis, but the hints of added prophesy overs hundreds of years, even thousands of years.

    What will be remembered of you or I in such a length of time?

    The Magi came looking because they recognized the prophesies as well as the times.

    Herod was given a clue by the scribes who advised him.

    We on the other hand have no book that lays out our lives in advance, only clues as to in the end of all things where we may consciously be.

    The reason for this in my opinion is because the Bible is not about us so much as it is about God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

    It is not that we are insignificant, but that He is more important.

    Just as a side smile Mart, when I was a young man in the USMC we used to lightly torture our fellow Marines for telling such corny jokes…().

    29 degrees and flurries.


  2. poohpity says:

    Oh yes Mart. I understood more about myself and human nature through the bible as it was such a good reflection or like a mirror into my soul and yet God still did what He did for us. Very surprising.

  3. SFDBWV says:

    On a small rest between things and wanted to add this thought.

    What riddle remains?

    Perhaps better said; what riddles remain.

    We know that the ultimate “Gift” to mankind is Jesus of Nazareth the Savior, yet what remains hinted at or foretold as yet to occur relevant to Him.

    Of course we have the entire Book of Revelation as well as given prophesy spread across thousands of years to gain a glimpse, but are we seeing it clearly or are they hidden in yet another riddle?

    There is the “beast” there is the “anti-christ” there is Satan that old serpent/dragon, are they all the same?

    There is the “rapture”, is it for sure? Is it also hidden in Scripture in riddle form?

    Are all the “details” between Genesis and Revelation there to show the majesty of God? So said is the story one long riddle with the single conclusion that there is only one God?

    Are we all collectively Adam? In providing a way for Adam to be reconciled are we not all reconciled because we all are Adam? Even Eve came from Adam.

    Yes I think there are plenty of riddles yet unanswered or gifts unopened for us to discover.

    When we do have all the answers, what then is left for us to do? Spend eternity praising God?

    There is a new earth and a new heaven in the plans, He never changes, but will there be another story of a different nature?


  4. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    Mart, in Unwrapping the Greatest Riddle you pose a challenge I believe we need to consider carefully:

    “For those of us who have lost a sense of the wonder that must have filled the minds of the wise men/magi who slowly made their way westward, following a star, it might be helpful to think again about how riddles work. Think about the difference between reading the Story of the Bible… like we are trying to read our own lives, forward — before the infinite goodness and genius/wisdom of our Lord’s own answers are given…”

    It seems to me we experience the sense of wonder when we do allow the story to unfold without rushing to the “answers.” We live in the questions, as someone has said. The Gospel tells us Mary of Nazareth “pondered these things in her heart.” We ponder as well when we take the days as they come — allowing them to unfold. We are always in Advent until Jesus enters history again in the flesh. And like Mary, we are Christ-bearers to those we meet along the way to Bethlehem.

    I think of the riddle Samson told the Philistine crowd. He set out a few actual facts about when he killed the lion and then later found a bees’ nest inside the carcass when he next passed by — then he ate some of the honey. When he laid out the event in riddle form, no one could figure out what it meant until he revealed what actually happened.

    The greatest riddle of God’s will has not yet been unwrapped. The meaning of following Jesus:

    “All through the day — all through the night
    Dwell in His promises, walk in His light.
    Darkness shall flee at His command.
    All through the day and night we’re in His hand.”

    Joy and Peace this last week of Advent,

    45F with showers in the valley. River at flood stage.

  5. street says:

    made from nothing….
    spirit filled….
    repentance in sackcloth and ashes….
    redeemed by God.

    walking waiting abiding in faith hope and love.

  6. street says:

    looking at the picture a little closer….

    Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.

  7. SFDBWV says:

    In reading this mornings “Days of Praise” I found it interesting that the Greek, Latin and Hebrew word for science translates in being “knowledge”.

    Is the purpose of a riddle to hide some piece of information or to make the discovery an effort in learning?

    Jesus spoke in the form of parables/riddles only after He was rejected by the elders of Israel. Its purpose not to confuse, but to make the understanding come by discovery.

    Children are filled with excitement as Christmas morning approaches and come Christmas Eve can hardly be contained.

    Yes Mart it would be nice if we could recapture that same excitement anticipating Jesus and what new discovery awaits us in Him, because of Him, every day.

    Merry Christmas to all.

    22 degrees 2 inches of snow under a star lit sky.


  8. poohpity says:

    The answer to the riddle given in Genesis finally was revealed in Jesus. The promises throughout history and of the prophets were fulfilled, the hopes we are given for the future we wait in anticipation for them to come well unless we grow faint and weary, shrinking back allowing the struggles of this life and this prince of darkness to win and take our joy away.

    It seems when we look around at all the circumstance and not to the One who is able, we can get discouraged. I also found that there is so much I take for granted by grumbling and complaining about what I want rather than being grateful for what I have, I miss some of the best wonders that are all around me.

  9. poohpity says:

    It seems the closer one gets to God the more aware of their own spiritual condition they become which in turn begins more excitement in the knowledge of what that babe wrapped in cloth lying in a manger has done then the more grace abounds in one’s heart to overflowing with peace. The further away from God the more aware one becomes of the sins of others which takes the focus from above to here below.

    Unwrapping the greatest gift of God and sinners reconciled to become one. To me that is a gift that just keeps on giving as I admit my sins and in gratitude receive His unfailing grace and mercy every day.

  10. joycemb says:

    My thoughts of the picture are the “dead” pondering the new born babe and seeing hope for the first time maybe? Pure speculation but waiting for riddles of the ages to be finally solved?

  11. joycemb says:

    I tried to enlarge the pic and it’s pretty fuzzy, but appears to be more animal like than human. A donkey maybe? The one that would eventually carry Jesus to where he would be crucified for all?

  12. jeff1 says:

    I listen to my local radio station in the morning and they have a riddle every morning and I have never been able to solve it yet, so I am not too good at fathoming riddles.

    I do know that God touches my soul in ways I cannot speak about for I cannot explain something that is not explainable!

    When I am down and , and, oh, my soul, so weary;
    When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
    Then I am still and wait here in the silence,
    Until you come and sit awhile with me.

    You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
    You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
    I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
    You raise me up to more than I can be.

    You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
    You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
    I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
    You raise me up to more than I can be.

    There is no life – no life without its hunger;
    Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
    But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
    Sometimes I think, I glimpse eternity.

    You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
    You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
    I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
    You raise me up to more than I can be.

    You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
    You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
    I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
    You raise me up to more than I can be.

    You raise me up to more than I can be.

  13. street says:

    steve said,”In reading this mornings “Days of Praise” I found it interesting that the Greek, Latin and Hebrew word for science translates in being “knowledge”.”

    Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].

  14. street says:

    joycemb it’s a lamb

  15. SFDBWV says:

    Street it would fit our blog if the little critter were a Lamb, but look closer it is a rabbit.


  16. SFDBWV says:

    Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.”:28 “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

    Genesis 2:17, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shat surely die.”

    Never really thought pf God as being “The Riddler”, but as I think about it all of the little seeming discrepancies or tensions of Scripture could be considered a riddle to be solved by the “enquiring mind”.

    Looking at Genesis 1:26 we read of the creation of man and in verse 27 we read further explained He also created woman, “blessed” them and told them to multiply and “replenish” the earth. This being before Genesis 2 whereupon the 7th day appears. Where it also appears more detail in creation is explained.

    For me there is several questions to answer, or riddles to solve.

    Even if we see that it was Eve created as stated in verse: 27, it was still only the 6th day, the same day Adam was created. Also verse 28 refers to man and woman as “them”, plural. And tells them to “replenish” the earth not fill as He did for the other creatures created.

    Also in verse 28 God blessed them, yet in Genesis 3 they are expelled from Eden and given a cruel harsh existence to endure, then they begin to “replenish” the earth.

    In Genesis 2:17 God warns Adam that in the day he eats of the forbidden fruit he would surely die, yet it was nine hundred and thirty years later before Adam did surely die.

    Was it only then the innocence of Adam that died that one significant day?

    And what of that word “replenish”?

    Plenty of puzzles or riddles to explore, as we work to know what life is all about, and once we consider life is all about Jesus, we then have to consider what is our own lives about and where we fit into His story.

    20 degrees and clear.


  17. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA —

    Got to thinking about the “promise wrapped in a mystery” you mention, Mart. Went searching for the one who originally wrote “live the questions.” and found this quote from Rainier Rilke:

    “Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

    “Mystery” seemed to be Rilke’s poetic passion. He was by no means a sold-out follower of Jesus — but he roamed the world thinking and writing about the Greatest Riddle.

    It seems to me we are all looking at the reverse side of the tapestry of this life. We see the knotted threads and the unclear hints of a pattern. We humans are “making our way westward following a star”…as you said, Mart. Jesus is our true and faithful Guide.


    42F with rain showers here.

  18. poohpity says:

    Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”

    If I only could realize the simplicity of the riddles and trust God for the answers, just as Mart supplied the answer to the riddles he posed there would be more peace and rest. Trusting that there is a place where the mind, soul and heart meet to satisfy all our needs to know but sadly people then and still to this day make things so complicated that they talk their selves into a frenzied commotion coming away with only a headache leaving the heart and soul unsatisfied.

  19. poohpity says:

    You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9 The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.

    10 This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. 11 They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward.

    12 They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen.(1 Peter 1:8-12)

    So it seems riddles have been around since the beginning and were unwrapped piece by piece until Jesus came and still more to be unwrapped until that time when we see Him face to face. We are only given a shadow of what is yet to come but we can hold on to the answers we have been given to live with great expectations of what is yet to come.

  20. joycemb says:

    I tried to find the picture on ArtPrize.com but my phone won’t support the whole site. Wasn’t surprised to find other Dehaans listed as contributors though. Seems to be a very well educated family all around!

    Thinking about the Great Riddler. This morning in prayer I went seeking for what to do about an ongoing problem in my life, and even though there really is no way to fix the problem barring miraculous intervention He gave me the perfect answer: Don’t look backward or forward, look up.

    Why do the answers to life’s most difficult problems seem so obvious when He speaks? I guess because He is the giver and originator of all things good. A very good thing to remember when life’s toughest problems come our way. He is ALWAYS good.

  21. foreverblessed says:

    My husband and myself have been looking at the picture.
    What are they staring at?
    Alittle dog? Says my husband.
    To me it looks like a little deer.

    But the coldness of the people looking, or the indifference.
    It reminds me of John 1:11
    He came to that which His own, but His own did not receive Him.

    But ….we are those that believe.
    V12 Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become the children of God

  22. foreverblessed says:

    Joyce, what A beautifull answer that was!
    Indeed our lives are So simple, we are in His Hands!
    He rules the earth, as the Christmas song says,
    And He rules all the little and big things in our life.
    I am so happy for you that you hear His voice, and I pray all of us may do so too.

  23. joycemb says:

    Forever so many different interpretations and perspectives yet no matter what the object in the picture there is only one God Jesus followers serve. Yes I wish I could see Him too but one day I will and so will everyone! Yay! (Or, help!)

  24. cbrown says:

    Wanted to give the results of the prison ministry outreach posted yesterday. 1,700 inmates
    20,000 homemade cookies from the church family
    60 volunteers delivered them and ministered
    47 inmates saved and 23 recommitments.

    Thanks to everyone who had a part in the ministry. The inmates made many comments of appreciation and joy. To God be the Glory.

  25. joycemb says:

    Thank you for the update, yes to God be the glory!

  26. Mart DeHaan says:

    Yes, the animal in the picture is a small rabbit. As mentioned above, would have fit our purposes more directly if it had been a lamb. But the sense of wonder in the faces of “humanity” is what caught my attention for this post. :-)…

  27. remarutho says:

    Good Morning —

    Thanks for the news on your Christmas-time visit to the prison, CBrown! Rejoicing over here with you and your church! Glad so many lives were touched by the Gospel — church folks and inmates. God is good!

    Advent blessings,

  28. SFDBWV says:

    Kudos Chris for your Christmas visit at the prison and to your church family as well.

    Was just wondering did the guards or prison officials get any cookies?

    This summer at a maximum security prison not far from here a new twist on high tech crime was attempted when some fellows tried to fly in contraband by way of a “drone” into the prison yard; of course they all got caught.

    Again I am happy for your success and more for the acceptance of the Gospel.

    Thanks Chris for the update.


  29. SFDBWV says:

    Matthew and I get up somewhere between 4 and 4:20 every snowless morning and after I get him set up with his breakfast I turn on the computer and look in on things.

    I have come to realize that the posting time on the blog is central time, but I am impressed that you Mart in Michigan as well as you Maru way out there in Oregon on the coast are up and at it already.

    Thinking a bit this morning of all the faces of humanity staring at the little bunny I am reminded at how I must also look to them as I look out from my kitchen window at the parade of critters that come and go here as well.

    Sometimes when I realize that our eyes are looking into each other I sense their curiosity at wondering what my next move may be, sometimes they pretend not to be looking and just saunter away, sometimes just go back to eating and other times take off running.

    Yesterday I noticed the doves hanging around underneath the suet cage looking for bits of suet. The thing is I haven’t put any out yet this year. They remember.

    I think there is a lot more to what critters “think” than what we “think” we know.

    27 degrees under a partially cloudy sky.


  30. poohpity says:

    Chris, I share in your wonder and thanksgiving for all God used your team for in sharing His mighty love.

    Mart, it is with much sorrow that I have to admit that I take for granted that wondrous gift we celebrate this time of the year. But there are still times I am in so much awe about the great lengths God went through just to show me He wants me to be near to Him. The times I am taking Him for granted are the times when I am so very consumed with me and the world around me but the minute my eyes go back to Him I can not believe because of who I am, He did what He did even knowing me as well as He does.

    All He gave up or laid down to come inside a little, itty, bitty babe born in the humblest of circumstances even in those days to bring the Kingdom of God to earth. May we all be filled with the wonder of it this Christmas season and stare intently at it as those people in the picture are.

  31. joycemb says:

    Fascinating! I had to turn and turn the pic until I finally saw a bunny! But my mind wants to interpret the ear for an eye and the eye for a nose, must be a left brain right brain thing. So glad that the magnificent God we serve sees all and knows all because we sure don’t!

    Merry Christmas everyone and may these days be a blessing of new revelation into the goodness of our Creator.

  32. cbrown says:

    Steve,we gave the guards cookies also and they were very appreciative of the ministry.One of the the cell blocks I was on reminded me of Mart”s picture above. It was 3 levels and open in the middle. Each cell had a steel door with a plexiglass window about 12″by 12″with 3 small holes to talk through. Part of our group started from the bottom level putting a cup of coke and a bag of cookies through the opening food is given and the other members shared God’s Love through a crack in the side of the the metal door. As we were serving, the inmates on all 3 levels were pressed against the window to watch us.

  33. cbrown says:

    One additional comment. The inmates were in that cell block because of their actions.

  34. joycemb says:

    Chris I love your telling of your ministry experiences. Just think, even though these prisoners had to be isolated due to their behavior God blessed them right where they are at! That’s the hard thing I had to learn myself, that no matter how wrongly I acted God still loved me!

    I had a very interesting experience yesterday as I reached out to the child of a cousin I grew up with that tried to kill her mother- my aunt- when she was 14 after being horribly abused
    her whole life. This niece has an arrest record longer than her age, 43, and is finally able to go to college. She said she knew nothing of her mothers family and was so thankful I reached out to her. She was born miraculously because her mother was full of drugs and she wasn’t expected to live. Her mother abandoned her to the streets when she was 13 and renounced her as her daughter when she was 15, which hurt her immensely she said.
    Her mother never mentioned her family at all. She died 7 years ago.

    I am so thankful for the on-going healing God has done for me and how He continues to reach out to those in need! I will be mentoring, praying, and being a cheer leader in her life! I’m so blessed, this is the best Christmas present ever! Praying she meets Jesus which will be her best Christmas ever!

  35. SFDBWV says:

    Matthew and I have dentist appointments in a couple hours so I am in a holding pattern. Looked in and seen Chris, your comment to me.

    I am very pleased that you thought of the guards along with the prisoners. Not too many of us would like to be locked up in such a depressing and violent place 8 or 12 hours a day as a job.

    They too need our prayers and support whenever and however we can.

    I am always at odds in how is the best way to house criminals away from society. The way we have been doing it doesn’t seem to work very well.

    Again I am happy to know that you gave them some comfort if even just a coke a cookie and some kindness, and of course the seed of the Gospel.

    Well done friend.


  36. SFDBWV says:

    Prayers for your second cousin Joyce, and for you as always.

    Because of Jesus God is a God of second chances, even 3 or 4 or as many chances as it takes.

    Be blessed.


  37. cbrown says:

    Joyce, your post was a blessing. Merry Christmas to all!

  38. remarutho says:

    Thanks for the encouraging story, Joyce!

    Blessings on your growing relationship with your cousin!

    Beautiful gift to all here!


  39. SFDBWV says:

    Received some troubling news this evening and am asking for prayer from you all for Pearl’s (narrowpathseeker) granddaughter Brianna.

    She had heart surgery 2 years ago and the heart valve they installed has been recalled as defective, two children have already died.

    She is to have open heart surgery again Tuesday to replace the valve.

    We believe in prayer and believe in the power of your prayers as well.

    Thank you all for her sake and the healing of her granddaughter Brianna.


  40. remarutho says:

    Thanks for the prompting to pray, Steve —

    Will keep Brianna in my prayers — her surgeons,
    the medical team and care givers…Also the family
    keeping vigil


  41. poohpity says:

    I am also joining in prayers for Brianna for the Lord to go before her and guide everyone in her care and comfort/peace for the family.

  42. foreverblessed says:

    Praying too, for Brianna, het family!
    And for the inmates where Chris was, for the ones who gave their hearts to Jesus, and for those who not het did. For the guards.
    In my country they trie to separate the real criminals from the psychiatric patients. If that us possible. But many crimes ate committed by people who should gave been given special places to live, like shared communities, where supervisors see to their well being. And it helps, our prisons are not so full anymore.
    Our country now rents prison cells to other European countries, like Belgium and Norway.

  43. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry for all the typos, I am sending this from my smartphone, it’s kind of hard.
    ” but many crimes are committed by people who should have been given special places to live, with supervision.”

  44. cbrown says:

    Foreverblessed, thank you for your thoughts and prayers for the inmates. I also am praying for Brianna and Joyce and her aunts daughter. Praise God! P.S, I thought you were in Belgium?

  45. jeff1 says:

    I do not envy those whose job it is to decide who is capable of committing crimes again and who is able to be rehabilitated. I know in my community many will not let their children walk to school anymore because it is known that the authorities now put pedophiles back into communities and the community is not aware of it.

    While I understand that the perpetrator needs help there is still a risk of them re offending and if that happens then we end up with more victims.

    It seems to be a vicious cycle to me, and I do wonder, would the authorities who allow perpetrators back into the communities, put them into the areas they live in and allow them access to their children.

    You find that while most people will give a person another chance they will not take chances when it comes to their children for I know my community anyway feel that we are responsible for the well being of them.

    I worked for a while in a job where I got my eyes open to child abuse and I do not know how Social Workers do their job for they are restricted to who they listen to when deciding on matters which relate to how good a parent their client is.

    One of the employees I worked with told me how she knew one of the clients personally and that they where manipulating the Social Worker but she was not allowed to pass on the information or she would loose her job and the Social Worker hers.

    I cannot see how we can have a full proof system when it comes to issues like these and I will always take the side of the most vulnerable when it comes to whom we should protect.

    I thank God for those in jobs of caring i.e health workers, social workers, doctors, nurses who do such a marvelous work under such difficult circumstances.

  46. poohpity says:

    Here in the States it is the law for anyone as in health workers, social workers, doctors or nurses to report even suspensions of child abuse, neglect or of any kind of abuse to a weaker person like domestic abuse or to self like suicide and they can lose their licenses if they do not. It is called a failure to report and is one of the basics of any human service provider.

  47. jeff1 says:

    I think that any citizen would report abuse if they suspected it was going on but in the case I am referring to the Social Worker was being hoodwinked by the parent who was actually leaving the children in the house on their own but another member of staff knew that the Social Worker was being lied to but was not allowed to confer with the Social Worker as it would have been just hearsay the Social Worker could not have acted on it.

    I remember my father telling me when he was doing his job that the law always worked against him and for the perpetrator and it is the same with all these type of jobs, you need that much evidence to take it to Court that many give up the will, knowing that it won’t go any further, or a judge will give them a slap on the wrist and don’t do it again and they go away laughing at how British justice works for the criminal and not for the victim.

    It has become a joke here, how if someone breaks into your house, and he hurts himself inside your property, the law would hold you responsible for compensating him because he was in your property.

    The law here dose not work anymore and people are loosing hope in a system that does not differentiate between victim and perpetrator.

    It seems to me that if the law breaks down then we are in a very dangerous situation for vigilantes or similar groups start up and make up their own laws.

  48. remarutho says:

    Good Evening BTA Friends —

    Mart, you wrote of God’s prophecy about the serpent bruising and being bruised (Gen 3:1):

    “But read forward, it’s layers of ambiguity and double-meanings created thousands of years of wonder about
    (a) the word picture of snakes and people;
    (b) the identity of the serpent;
    (c) the identity of the woman;
    (d) the meaning of the seed;
    (e) the identity of the seed of the woman;
    (f) the identity of the seed of the serpent;
    (g)the meaning of a word that could mean — bruise, strike, crush, fall upon, desire.”

    It seems to me that prophecy continues to unfold — and the nature of God’s Word — “words of promise wrapped in mystery” — allows us to rise each morning still wondering what will take place as the promise is fulfilled.

    At the launch of each day of our lives we are given the chance to participate in what God is accomplishing in Jesus Christ. We have good reason to trust in the promised Messiah — born in a humble stable — sent to give us victory over sin and death. It is His victory that is being revealed.

    As we live in Him we can see Him unwrapping the greatest riddle. He is still bringing light under the radar of the principalities, the powers and the world rulers who seek to bring darkness.

    Grace & Peace as we await Christmas,

    37F and cloudy tonight. Mixed precipitation forecast.

  49. poohpity says:

    Lord, ignite in us the wonder we first had as we heard the “Good News” bring back that fire of excitement when we heard that our sins had been forgiven and we could live this life under your wing, in your care and with your help. Help us enjoy the wonder of knowing that everyday we get another chance to experience your mercies, grace and love. Help us to live loved.

  50. joycemb says:

    “As the world debates who should be armed to wage war and who shouldn’t be, the message of Christmas is that God Incarnate came to this same world as a babe to ultimately carry us in His everlasting arms. This world would be a different place if we understood what that meant.”

    A Christmas Meditation by Ravi Zacharias

  51. jeff1 says:

    I cannot live loved in a world where there is so much hate but knowing God loves me gives me the strength to carry on a day at a time not looking back or not looking forward but getting through each day as it comes in the sure at certain hope of the Resurrection of the world to come.


    There must be lights burning brighter somewhere
    Got to be birds flying higher in a sky more blue
    If I can dream of a better land
    Where all my brothers walk hand in hand
    Tell me why, oh why.oh why can’t my dream come true

    There must be peace and understanding sometime
    Strong winds of promise that will blow away
    All the doubt and fear
    If I can dream of a warmer sun
    Where hope keeps shining on everyone
    Tell me why, oh why, oh why won’t that sun appear

    We’re lost in a cloud
    With too much rain
    We’re trapped in world
    That’s troubled with pain
    But as long as a man
    Has the strength to dream
    He can redeem his soul and fly

    Deep in my heart there’s a trembling question
    Still I am sure that the answer gonna come somehow
    Out there in the dark, is a beckoning candle
    And while I can think, while I can talk
    While I can stand, while I can walk
    While I can dream, please let my dream
    Come true, right now
    Oh yeah

  52. foreverblessed says:

    Chris, I live in the Netherlands. It was Davids who lived in Belgium. But he hasn’t commented for a long time. He wanted to read the bible in a year.

  53. foreverblessed says:

    It is all about Jesus, everything van be solved, redeemed in th Cross. In the Cross there is reconciliation, for every human who turns to Christ.
    Peter had to learn to have is eyes fixed on Jesus and not on the waves. We have to learn that too, if we look too much on the trouble in the world, we will sink like Peter.
    Thank God, Jesus gave Peter a hand, and so will He give us if we keep believing in Him.

    What a great thing that the muslim passengers in the bus defended the christians in Kenya!

  54. cbrown says:

    Foreverblessed, I doubt that you meant it this way but Peter did not learn to trust Jesus.I believe He looked to Jesus as the Son of God and accepted What Jesus taught him while they were together by faith.But,Jesus promised Peter that when He ascended back to the Father He would send a Helper and at Pentecost He did as He promised and Peter was born again.From that point on Peter was guided by the Holy Spirit.

  55. foreverblessed says:

    Chris, I was talking about Matthew 14:22-36, Jesus walking on the water, and Peter walking towards Him. Then Peter looked on the wind and the waves, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
    V31 Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught Him.
    “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

    What you talk about is found in Matthew 16:13-20.

    A little further along the line.

    It is a discipline we have to tell ourselves:
    Have your eyes fixed on Jesus, and not on the circumstances.

  56. foreverblessed says:

    Jesus came in the world as a tiny baby. A very small beginning.
    How could a little baby change the whole world?
    It starts small, tiny, seamingly insignificant.
    The world is not totaly changed, sin is stll all around.
    But the Kingdom is like a mustard seed, starting small.
    I often forget that, and get discouraged. Then I must look at Jesus again. He started the Kingdom, He will finish it.
    Yet, in faith, we believe that in the spiritual realm Jesus is victorious! He has conquered evil. And that remains true, whether we are still sick or in adverse situations.

    Small, as a little kingdom in each of our hearts. Your heart and my heart, as a little seed.
    Just like a tiny baby in a crib.

  57. SFDBWV says:

    For as far back as I can remember twice a year I am especially “expectant”. Something in my spirit always feels as if there is something very special about to happen.

    Those two day’s being Christmas Eve and the night before Easter.

    I suppose it most likely speaks of my own personal faith as the two events I mentioned already brought about their own unique miracles into our world.

    However that same unspoken faith in me turns into that like a little child and hopes that the miracles I need in my life arrive on those mornings of Christmas and Easter.

    I know we all have hidden desires that we pray for, or hope for and it is for me on these special occasions that something in me expects something wonderful to come.

    Even though something wonderful already came and why we set aside the days to remember in celebration.

    It is 57 degrees Fahrenheit and raining here. I hope wherever any of you are your Christmas Eve is filled with expectation and hope and find your miracle in the morning awaiting you.


  58. SFDBWV says:

    Below is an email from Pearl’s son to her, she has shared with me. It would seem Brianna’s surgery was updated and this his report.

    I will let you all know of any further updates.

    “Ok, DONE! Brianna’s surgeon just came out to talk. Everything went very well, new valve is functioning well, no obstructions. She’ll be back in her room in about 30 minutes. Thank you for all your prayers!!!!
    OMG, thank you for all your prayers, they definitely helped so far. I can’t believe the difference in Brianna from last time right after surgery to this time. She is light years ahead of where she was last time. The pain team found what worked and was on top of it right away. She is actually eating (sorry Master CharlieMcShane, it’s bacon)
    Words cannot express how happy I am right now! Thank you again for all the well wishes and positive thoughts!”


  59. poohpity says:

    Praise God!

    Steve I also wanted to thank you for the wonderful Christmas card. Everyone looks real healthy this year and forgive me cause I was unable to send anything. It is one of those very thin Christmases was even unable to buy my kids anything. So thank you for the warm smile that your card brought to my heart. Deb

  60. cbrown says:

    Yes Foreverblessed and also Acts 1:4 [d]Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for [e]what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized [f]with the Holy Spirit [g]not many days from now.”

    6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

  61. jeff1 says:

    Waiting on the Lord I find difficult but having others around me who share my faith give me strength and remembering that God’s grace is sufficient for me today helps me not to become anguished about tomorrow.

    Wishing all a blessed and peaceful Christmas and New Year.

  62. joycemb says:

    Viv that’s exactly what The Lord showed me this morning as He has reminded me more than once:
    9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

    10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

    Even though our current status may not be ideal concerning our life situation, there is a promised reward for our continuing to pick ourselves up and do good, and especially to those we worship with.

    Pooh it blessed my heart also to hear the joy in your post! ( BTW, I too have no funds for gifts or stamps/cards this year). My friend and I are both alone but attending church services then combining what’s in our cupboards for a meal tonite then going to a community dinner tomorrow.

    Blessings of Christ-mas to all!

  63. Regina says:

    Merry Christmas Eve, All! :-)

    I dropped by to say hello, and to tell you that it’s 72 degrees in Texas right now! I don’t ever remember it being this warm on Christmas Eve. It’s really strange, but I’m not complaining! Lol! I had to go to the grocery store to pick up some last minute items, and it was a Spring like evening outside, which made it a very pleasant experience (in spite of the X-mas Eve crowd). I pray all is well with everyone, and that this will be one of the ((BEST)) Christmases you all have ever had!

    LOVE to all…

  64. Regina says:

    ps. Thank you joycemb, foreverblessed, poohpity and all who are keeping my name before God’s throne of grace for my situation (divorce process). I pray that the LORD will bless you 100 fold return for your intercession on my behalf.

    I LOVE you all,

  65. street says:

    thinking the difficulty comes when we take our eyes of the Savior or fail to remember His love towards us.
    praying you and your family a joyous Christmas.

    Nahum 1:3
    The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, And the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. In whirlwind and storm is His way, And clouds are the dust beneath His feet.

    the greatest riddle is Jesus.
    wait patiently for Him. He will not disappoint.

  66. SFDBWV says:

    You pooh are very welcome for the Christmas card. I don’t send cards to get one, it is my desire to share with others a little glimpse of our past year and of course say Merry Christmas.

    For those who don’t know what she and I are talking of, the card I send is a collection of pictures of all of us throughout the year, and scenery around our house and town. This year I had a picture of a wild turkey just outside my kitchen window as part of the things that occur here.

    My mother in law “Crick” will be leaving Saturday for a nursing home her daughter picked out near her. Most likely Saturday will be the last time we see her. It has been a joy and privilege to have taken care of her all of these years. For us it is a bitter turn of events as this is something she never wanted to have happen. But Glenna has had to live night and day with her these past two months and Crick knows she has to go.

    Like Regina, this is odd weather for Christmas with no snow and spring like temperatures, but also like her we are not complaining.

    Anyway wherever any of you are today it is our prayers and desires for you that you all have a “Very Merry Christmas.”


  67. poohpity says:

    Joyce, my Praise God was for the answer to prayer by the good report about narrow’s granddaughter. :-)

    Steve, I know just felt bad about not being able to send out warm wishes for this wonderful Christmas morn which I am sending your way and to all the BTA family.

  68. foreverblessed says:

    MERRY Christmas to you all!

    One of the many riddles about Christ in the OT:

    For to us a child is born
    To us a son is given,
    and the government will be on His shoulders.
    And he will be called
    Wonderful Counsellor,
    Mighty God
    Everlasting Father
    Prince of Peace.
    Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end.
    Isaiah 9:6-7

    The think about this, all these things Jesus is to me NOW!

  69. street says:

    I will stand at my watch
    and station myself on the ramparts;
    I will look to see what he will say to me,
    and what answer I am to give to this complaint.
    The Lord’s Answer

    2 Then the Lord replied:

    “Write down the revelation
    and make it plain on tablets
    so that a herald[e] may run with it.
    For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
    it speaks of the end
    and will not prove false.
    Though it linger, wait for it;
    it will certainly come
    and will not delay.

    the mystery continues.

  70. joycemb says:

    Pooh I should have been more specific, sorry, I was talking about your happiness in getting Steve’s card- that’s what blessed my heart :-)

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