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Reading in Low Light

DSC02546 The book of Ecclesiastes, like the books of Job and Psalms show how easily we confuse our own understanding with our thoughts of God.

How else can we read “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.“Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless…” (Ecc 1:2 NLT), followed soon by, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal… What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (3:1-3, 9-11 NLT).

Like Job in his losses, Job’s friends in their well-intentioned counsel, David in his times of suffering, and all who are trying to see in low light, the words of Ecclesiastes show what happens when, in the burden, confusion, and limitations of human perspective, we get a hint of something far better.

1Cor 13:12


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218 Responses to “Reading in Low Light”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning, yes we certainly can sound pretty foolish trying to sound as if we know something yet clearly seen or completely understood.

    Feeding the critters as I do I have come to understand some of the chatter I hear from them, but I would never lay claim that I speak *critter*. For me sometimes it is still just *chatter*.

    Psalms 46:10 KJV “Be still, and know that I am God:”

    Good advice.

    42 degrees with light drizzle.


  2. foreverblessed says:

    The bible is the Word of God, but these verses you cite Mart, I have always believed that this is a man speaking, a very very depressed man! A man who had everything in the world that a man could desire, and yet so lost! But he keeps on writing, and he is not so down anymore. It sometimes reminds me people who start talking to me, who are so down, and I am left with sll that negativity, and the person leaves relieved, but doesn’ t tell me so.
    Thanks for the Psalm, God wins in the end!

  3. poohpity says:

    Mart, Even the itty bitty glimpses about God we have in scripture are just a twinkle of Him but He has give us even further information though the person of the Son. Sadly many do not seek or search to know even what little we are given to know and seem to feel more comfortable basing it on themselves. It seems like the little we get to know by staying close to Him, just like disciples, He reveals more over time and that seems very similar to most relationships we have with others as well. The longer you know someone the more you know about them and what makes them tick the longer you know God it seems the more you grow in love for Him and realizing how wonderful His grace truly is.

  4. poohpity says:

    If there is anything that seems worth the time put in to me is learning and growing in our relationship with God, I do not know if learning about God has the same impact though.

  5. poohpity says:

    Job’s friends seem to know about God with all their accusations but Job seemed to know God by saying things like no matter what happens he did not curse God.

  6. SFDBWV says:

    In the winter months I am greeted with the little chickadees, juncos, and finches first thing in the morning. They come right in to the feed sometimes as I am standing there putting it out for them. Their little sounds of “chick-a-dee-dee-dee and phoebe and chirp” sound pleasant and friendly.

    Later as the morning wears on the squirrels make busy chatter and the cardinals make their quick little chirps as they take turns feeding.

    The cardinal pairs always take turn, one watches for danger while the other feeds.

    However without fail the unwelcome starlings and noisy blue jays show up to spoil the music of the feeder with their loud squawking.

    They just intrude and make as much noise as they can. Causing all the other song birds to fly up into the branches and silently await the intruders to get their fill and leave.

    I am endlessly amused at how much nature can teach us; as without fail all the lessons of Scripture give us a lesson in comparisons.


  7. poohpity says:

    Steve, how do you consider the things you write? Intrusions over the topic with loud squawking or relevant additions? Have you learned the lessons of scripture through nature as applied to yourself or as one on the outside looking darkly into the conversation based on what is in your heart and mind using your reasoning just as you do speaking for the critters? Assuming that is how they think and what they are saying?

  8. joycemb says:

    Pooh help me understand why you keep ‘pecking’ away at Steve?

  9. joycemb says:

    I myself see his posts as creative, thoughtful and far from mean spirited. His genuine and living faith in God is powerful to hear. A true man of God. Must be why you attack him so?

  10. poohpity says:

    Joyce who do you think Steve was pecking away at to start with? I was simply saying that the critters were given to Steve by God, in his yard, for him to learn from just as we read the bible it is a mirror into ourselves not to peck away at others.

  11. poohpity says:

    And none of us no matter how spiritual one claims to be knows what they are thinking or saying unless one is Dr Dolittle and we know he was fiction.

  12. poohpity says:

    Some of us read Mart’s post before we read any comments and discuss that before we start commenting on the comments.

  13. joycemb says:

    “Reading in low light” is what we are doing when we pick at minor things.

  14. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    Appreciate the photo of the storage shed/garage you included with your post, Mart! We collect things, ideas and notions from many places, don’t we? As I peer into my own storage space, I see it is time to sort through and dispose of old stuff!

    Pondering the Apostle Paul’s words to the Corinthian church you cite at the end of your blog entry, I took a moment to find 1 Cor 13:12 in The Living Translation:

    “In the same way, we can see and understand only a little about God now, as if we were peering at his reflection in a poor mirror; but someday we are going to see him in his completeness, face-to-face. Now all that I know is hazy and blurred, but then I will see everything clearly, just as clearly as God sees into my heart right now.”

    Finding myself at “Leap Day,” Feb. 29th — and in the middle of the Season of Lent — I confess there will never be a better time to do a little spring cleaning in the attic and basement of my life! :o)

    Grace & Peace,

  15. joycemb says:

    I agree Maru the season of Lent is a great time to honor God through our humbly seeking to know Him better and become more like Him. Righteousness prevails! Praise God!

  16. joycemb says:

    I Corin13:13 But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. (The Message translation)

    Great advice. I’m going to be working on this good counsel.

  17. street says:

    dear maru thanks for your comment, the picture did not load when loading the page this day. it did make me think of a garage of stuff that is accumulating things over time and we really think it worth keeping, just in case, yet we place no value on it and live/set it aside in the dark.

    this said, now thinking of the the lamp. nothing is hidden from it’s light. many lamps are mentioned in the stories of the Bible. yet we are lamps too. we know we need oil and lots of it. an endless supply if you will.
    i have come to the understanding a lamp and oil are everywhere and in plentiful supply. my thought turn away from the lamp and look for light. thinking Jesus must light this lamp. God is light and in Him is no darkness. thinking there are lamps and light out there like false prophets and teachers. Jesus said you will be able to tell a tree by it’s fruit. He also said once you get the board out of your eye you will be able to get the spec out of your brothers eye. that said i go back to the garage with all that stuff in there. is it possible we would find Jesus in the garage waiting for us? in other words what we thought of no importance was set aside for something else? praying for light to come.

    you might find Jesus in all the stuff you collected in the garage, but i don’t think he will sit there. He like His Father will run to you when you turn to Him.

  18. Loomis says:

    Low light excellent phrase to describe their experience. When we view life through these difficult emotions it narrows our perspective. What I love about their experience is God wants us to come to him when we see blue. Honest good stuff.

  19. jeff1 says:

    We call on Him whenever storm clouds gather
    We call on Him to light our darkest day
    Why must it be that only when we’re lonely
    And hopes are dim, we call on Him

    Why don’t we call on Him before we lose our way
    To count our blessings and thank Him while we may

    We call on Him when no-one else will answer
    We ask of Him a reason to go on
    When our cup of joy becomes a cup of sorrow
    Filled to the brim, we call on Him

    Why don’t we call on Him before we lose our way
    To count our blessings and thank Him while we may

  20. street says:

    we call on Him when we recognize we are in need not before. Jesus did not come for the righteous or the healthy, He came and died for sinners. has we grow older we discover we are not healthy and when the law is read we find out we are sinners too. when we look farther out we see an appointment with death. God has preserved His law and His Word for us to read. no other book can claim a complete and comprehensive explanation of man’s past, purpose, and future.

  21. oneg2dblu says:

    I believe that King Solomon could just as well said, “Temporal,temporal,temporal, everything is temporal.”

    But, God being Eternal, has put eternity in the hearts of man.

    There is nothing temporal about God or His Eternity.

    Beyond measure even for a King, even for the King who could have anything he wanted and chose wisdom, which God granted him.
    Yet, with all his wisdom, he still could not find anything but temporal in this world, no matter what the season, there was a beginning and an end.

    The King knew his mortal limits,he knew his nature, and he knew his life here, was but another season.

    He also knew His God was Immortal, Merciful, and Almighty.

  22. street says:

    been thinking about a conversation few days ago about low light. it was like this. when i was young 4,5,6 grade the world was black and white. good and evil. it seemed to be easy to navigate through life at that age. as i got older things got turned gray on me. now in the suburbs it’s even turning my hair gray. in my teens i was out in pasture one morning in low light looking for horses for the days activities. the light was very dim and everything looked gray. i did notice my mind and eyes where playing tricks on me because i could not see color and had to go by shapes. it was funny while looking back on it, but very unsettling when it happened. low light operating demands looking to the One who can help you. thinking everything that happens to us is to teach us to turn to Him and trust Him and not only that but to ask. would not hurt to ask for more light and/or help.

  23. foreverblessed says:

    I find this a difficult topic to meditate upon.
    As Mart writes, in our times of difficulties, no matter how bad they are, we get a glimps of something far better.
    It sounds like what Corrie ten Boom used to say:
    No matter how deep life goes, Jesus goes even deeper!

    And she had a witness: she had been in a nazi camp, and she could testify that Jesus just walked right besides her!

  24. SFDBWV says:

    Mart’s subject matter for us to *think about* touches upon the Books of wisdom, Job and the struggles of David found in his story and best in the Psalms.

    All three areas of the Bible give us a fountain of wealth to draw from in order to best express what we may *consider* relevant.

    The Catholic Bible adds two more Books of *Wisdom* from which to find good advice and observations, divinely inspired.

    Proverbs and Ecclesiastes in the protestant Bible just like “The Book of Wisdom” and “The Book of Sirach” often give timely advice to people who are at a specific point in their life. We may be able to *connect* to their voice because we find a common synchronous emotion that speaks to our need then.

    The Book of Job is also considered a Book of wisdom and as mentioned by Mart. Job’s friends thought they had wisdom enough to speak about God. When God did speak for Himself He verified what Job had said about Him and used nature to show His simplest power and knowledge to Job as a way saying, “Look if you don’t know about these things, what makes you think you know about the higher things of life?” My paraphrasing exclusively.

    David, beloved of God, wrote great songs and poetry in attempt to both honor and question God, sometimes in the same song. We do the same things, a lot less eloquent. “Oh God you are great, yet why did you let this happen, please save me from this disaster.” Again my paraphrasing. The Book of Psalms is also considered a Book of wisdom.

    So our subject becomes our observation of and use of wisdom from our knowledge of Scripture and how we see and practice it/her in our life.

    I see her in nature as God shown Solomon and Job, I also see her in people and all too often as the results of what are seen in people when wisdom is ignored, bypassed or trampled upon, once again in comparison.

    One of the mysteries of life that Solomon asks and I too wonder is “What is this life all about?” If it takes us a lifetime to even get close to understanding our place in it and more importantly how to be better people; by the time we get closer to being that better person our life is over. So what has our life been about?
    Perhaps only to show how we needed God in Jesus the Messiah from birth to death, with a promise of a better life in a resurrected future because of Him.

    In the meantime it is important to God that we treat each other with love. Again it becomes obvious in comparison when we do and when we don’t and fortunately unfortunately neither can be ignored.

    26 degrees and clear.


  25. poohpity says:

    Wow Steve, some really honest, deep and heartfelt thoughts. Many of which some are afraid to say but share in the emotion of them.

  26. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Morning All. It appears that it is going to be another beautiful day here in NC and I plan on enjoying God’s beauty and His creation He sends our way to entertain us…I totally agree with Steve that we can learn a lot by watching the birds and animals. I believe that teaching us through His critters behavior may very well be His intent of sending them our way to observe as well as to amuse us.

    Steve, I can relate fully to your creature observations….as I type I am looking up to see a pesky little squirrel attacking the suet cage. We have tried to be fair to the squirrels (as we now feed EVERYTHING)by putting cheaper bird seed down with the corn for the deer.. the squirrels(sometimes 10 at a time) have been ok eating down in the back until one got a taste of the suet and NOTHING can keep them away. … not even the pellet gun…mostly we are both bad shots, but when we do hit they don’t really hurt them that much…and we don’t want to kill them…well…not really. :-)

    Anyway…I see what they do in the bright light and it is not difficult to recognize their deeds in the low light…YET…they are comical..as they sometimes think they are more clever than what they are.. like when they think they are hiding on the other side of the lattice when their fur is plainly sticking through the holes. I think that is along the same line of behavior of some humans that now makes me smile and sometimes outright laugh.

    Gary, sometimes I agree with you, sometimes not, and sometimes I am just not sure, but I have to say that sometimes you are right on target…dead on center. :-)

    May we all be Blessed with sight, hearing, our needs, and a smile.


  27. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… I wonder if the rest of Christianity only had those two additional books added to their 66, would they also be a better people?
    A more loving people?
    Or, is there life just the same, just as quickly gone, as scripture says, “like a vapor?”

    “Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless,”
    which seems to be the voice of the wisdom of a King who was given more knowledge than was contained in a couple of books.

    Just thinking…

  28. oneg2dblu says:

    There is no their, there!

  29. oneg2dblu says:

    Joyce… there is something to be said about our always keeping going back to our roots.
    Even our religious ones.
    For me it is the older NIV, a my Baptist beginnings as a new born believer, and for others it is others.
    Although, I was raised in the Reformed Church, I was not reformed, not a born again believer, until that one day I entered a small Baptist Church and for the first time, received the message of my life, that changed my life.

  30. oneg2dblu says:

    I am not saying all those years of Sunday School did not pave the way I would some day stumble to see, as the Narrow Way.

    But, I do now see I am blessed by all those who helped lead me there, and here.

    Blessings were found in the waiting, teachings to be yet proven with words to be yet understood fully, now dimly lit, but, they are still lit.

  31. street says:

    “So our subject becomes our observation of and use of wisdom from our knowledge of Scripture and how we see and practice it/her in our life.”

    i think we should be the subjects after all He is the Great King. and He loves us.

  32. street says:

    gary said,”Steve… I wonder if the rest of Christianity only had those two additional books added to their 66, would they also be a better people?”

    luke 16:31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”

  33. street says:

    some extremely relevant points have been made about all the stuff we have grown up with culture, religion, class, wealth, or no wealth whatever, it is these things that wage war in our members against God’s Spirit. we need to recognize this before the difficult times come. job was a righteous man and suffered with a very small amount darkness that was not displaced till questioned by God. he stood his ground and understood what God was saying to him that would make him question and even charge God. God was very proud of job and his response. God will withhold no good thing from us. job found this out, that God would not let him continue in darkness.

  34. oneg2dblu says:

    Mart… as you well know from receiving my written personal testimony years ago, I also hold you and all the other contributors of Our Daily Bread, accountable for leading me in that process.
    Here is part of that season’s timeline, on January 1st 1991, I opened my first personal copy of ODB and on February 3, 1991, I signed the Sinner’s Prayer in the back of the only bible I had a that time, my pocket Gideon’s Bible.
    Off to Work!

  35. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    Mart, you introduce your topic, Reading in Low Light, with a stunning thought. You wrote:

    “The book of Ecclesiastes, like the books of Job and Psalms show how easily we confuse our own understanding with our thoughts of God.”

    We categorize this writing of King Solomon, Ecclesiastes, as wisdom. Yet, all of the remainder of Scripture disproves his claim that “Everything is meaningless.” It seems to me Solomon cries out in this way because he has chosen the darkness of idol-worship.

    Perhaps he longs for the former times, when he prayed to our Creator God, the God of Israel. Solomon was younger, and he was showered with God’s favor in every way. He has wandered far from God over time — and is feeling the emptiness. His own thoughts have led him astray. He has been mistaken —

    Then, upon reflection, he is sees that “He (God) has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

    Solomon has “confused his own understanding with his thoughts of God,” as you point out, Mart. Solomon allows us to see that the cry of despair over meaninglessness is a cry in the dark.

    Agreeing with you Steve, the light of faith (like opening a door on a closed-up storage shed) brings real praise to God in the later chapters of life. Do we need to live several decades before we welcome the light? Repentance brings in the kingdom of Christ at any time, it seems to me.


    47F with high winds forecast (up to 50 mph on the coast)

  36. poohpity says:

    It seems when one comes to follow the Lord it could be possible they have not counted the cost of what that really means. Giving up our understanding, our rights reading it all in low light. One could be called to pick up their Cross to suffer for the sake of Christ, to be rejected and not placed on a pedestal for the praise of man, to go where you never thought you would go and do what you never thought of doing, to rejoice in God while going through circumstances that are dire, to give up anger and replace it with grace and mercy, desiring His will over what I want or my will. To trust and believe blindly not knowing what may lay ahead because we have chosen to follow.

    To enjoy life and give thanks for what we have rather than grumbling and complain over what we want but do not have. To give ourselves over to prayer rather than retaliation. To admit we are broken and in need rather than trying to get others to think we have it all together. Putting down pride to ask for help. Did David, Solomon or Job know what lied ahead when they made the choice to be in a relationship with God? (Luke 14:25-34 NLT) Their perspective as well as mine at times is confusion but in the end we KNOW we have something much better although we may never see it now (Hebrews 11).

  37. joycemb says:

    I personally have always loved the ‘low light’, or twilight; those couple of seconds between day and night. I interpret it as signaling the close of day (our labors) to the beginning of stillness, mystery, and a time to take a deep breath of God. Though I can’t see Him, somehow I always knew He was there in the gray and the darkness that followed even. When I had to work the overnight shift I would walk outside and absorb the quiet and feel God’s presence there, marveling at celestial lights glowing with secrets I will learn some day when I see Him face to face.

    We walk by faith, not by sight. Low light or bright.

  38. street says:

    thanks poo i needed that. i know how much it is going to cost me…..everything. it’s going to be tough but i know He loves me. paul said in Timothy 6: But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. sometimes we find too much contentment in the world. this causes friction with the Spirit. i guess this is why Dad tests us on things so we grow correctly. thinking david loved God so much God made Him a King, yet God also needed to make him know obedience through suffering. suffering in the wilderness of desert and affluence. Jesus said if you love me you will obey Me. i do know i need to know this love and joy that is in Jesus.

    i noticed on ODB website the last couple of devotionals were about receiving sight hearing and speaking. asking like the blind man for the impossible.

  39. street says:

    joycemb i know what you mean. like on a warm summer night were the windows are open and the sights and sound spill out into the darkness of the evening activities at the end of a day. yet God invites us in to His Home. gee which should i choose??

  40. jeff1 says:

    I am a cat lover and although I do not own one I give milk to a couple of my neighbors cats and they always come and sit on my window. I love to watch them washing themselves and play in the garden.

    I remember having cats as a child/teenager and there are two memories that stick in my mind. One time I noticed our cat had become very fearful and was hiding under the table and I can remember saying to my sister that its hair was almost standing it looked so scared, I remember I had just said those words when I heard a bomb go off and it was not very far from us close enough that an elderly neighbour died from the shock of it.

    Another time we owned a Siamese and my mum decided that it would be better on a farm for we lived close to the main road for we had a beautiful half Persian killed on the road. My father took the cat in the car to a farm about 10 miles away and you can imagine our surprise when it turned up on our doorstep the day after.

    It is times like this, moments that remind me that there is so much about this world and God’s creatures that I do not understand. Like Street I used to see everything in black and white, good and evil but I now see that good and evil are not black and white. Life’s experiences has taught me that there are grey areas. There are always those who will see life in black and white and I envy them because it is in the grey areas of life that confusion comes. It is where I find myself lost and in need of God’s guidance yet I am afraid to ask and just long to see life in black and white again because it was simple then!

    I am a simple person at heart, yet this world is so complex and I am so tired of complicated and there are others who are so much better at complicated!

    I stick to what I know and that not may be very much in the big scale of things but it gives me a purpose, those cats that come to me are well fed, I need them more than they need me.

    The Charities that I work for have many other volunteers and the truth is that not being able to work anymore I do it to give myself a purpose and it makes me feel better about myself.

    The truth is I know I need God more than He needs me for having failed at life I still need Him in death and in the resurrected life to come.

    I love your sense of humor narrowpathseeker, I am so often like those squirrels, in my behaviour, hiding out of God’s way, because of past failures but He sees my insecurities and my doubts which have stifled my growth in Him.

    God knows I am my own worst enemy, speed the day when I trust in Him completely.

    As you say narrow may we all be Blessed with sight, hearing,
    God given needs and a smile.

  41. joycemb says:

    Street that’s a good question and one I have to decide every day. Choose you this day whom you will serve…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

  42. poohpity says:

    Paul taught us in his letter to the Roman church what can happen when we put our logic and reasoning as if that is how God thinks and reasons. Romans 1:21 NIV Thinking up silly ideas of what God is like. Romans 1:28-29 NLT God just let them continue destroying themselves because as the truth is available to ALL people, they did not seem to care what that is, or to search for it as if their lives depended on it to live in peace and joy.

  43. street says:

    reading in low light is not as bad as living in low light.
    let me explain. i became a christian about 18. sure i knew i was a sinner and needed saved. raised catholic. anyway the joy was really great that day and i went on with life always interested in God’s word and became a non catholic. 30 years later after some pretty epic failures and sin i got a pretty good idea of how bad a sinner i really am. i think i could convince paul he is not chief of sinners anymore.
    mart is right, God is most Holy to those who are most sinful and a true Friend of sinners.
    gary sometimes God lets his children go so they will return. we can not tell them apart and it is foolish to think we can. ya ya i know you can tell a tree by it’s fruit but i wonder if this applies to spearheads. and my final thought in this train. is it possible that the tree we should be looking for is the tree of life that is in Jesus. not the fruit on other trees. remember dim light?

  44. street says:

    ops meant to say shepherds not spearheads.

  45. remarutho says:

    You had me thumbing through the concordance, Street!

    Can’t stand “self-correct” — it comes up with the oddest things!


  46. joycemb says:

    Yep you had me stumped also street! funny.

  47. oneg2dblu says:

    street… We can not tell them apart, it is foolish to think we can?

    I’ll bet you that if Eve did not see that the fruit was pleasing to the eye first, there would have been no reason to go any further.

    When I see rotting fruit, I’m done looking. I’m not trying to see the other redeemable parts that may not be showing, or may not also be low hanging.

    Where I work, when we see a speck of mold on a stored item, the entire item is immediately rejected, because the rotting has already begun, we need not look for what parts are not affected and try to save those.

    So, to us, one or two rotted apples ruins the whole bunch.

    I know that is to you, only the evidence of the physical world around us, presenting itself as self destructing.

    And, we all know that God sees beyond that realm into the heart, the Spiritual, the part He must judge and redeem
    or reject.

    We only see the physical evidence outside, the low hanging fruit, if you will, and that gives us a glimpse of the inner workings as well.

    I don’t have to dig up and see the roots of a healthy tree to prove to me, its health.

    Nor do I have to eat tainted fruit, to understand that the tree is not healthy, not producing as well as a healthy one.

    But, if that makes me judgmental, not loving, harsh, or to selective to be a Christian, then, that is what I am, that is what I’ve been taught, and that is what protects me as well.

    You story of course is different, but it is not mine.

  48. oneg2dblu says:

    I read what street actually posted, fruit of the spearhead, but, I was thinking more about a little green fiddle head, a tasty treat of the immature fern.
    They are quite pleasing to the eye and certainly the pallet once you get to know them.

    Such it is with sin, first it appeals to the lust of the eye, when the eye is tempted, then a closer approach or touch is warranted , and soon after, you find you are held captive, infected, or seductively poisoned by it, but you find it also pleasurable and so you return.

    Like a dog to it’s vomit! Like a swine into the mire.
    Or, comfortably numb, as some would agree.

    As Solomon soon found out, that no amount of wives or concubines, would bring him any lasting pleasure.

    But, he certainly gave it his best shot.

    What was his reward other than momentary earthy pleasure, living a life dimly lit by sin, that resulted in God’s ultimate displeasure.

    Or, did God not see his idol worship?

    Just thinking…

  49. remarutho says:

    Hello All —

    We are reading in low light in this world as much as the heroes of the faith you name — Solomon, Job and David. Yet, hope springs forth from these shadows!

    As you wrote, Mart:

    To “…all who are trying to see in low light, the words of Ecclesiastes show what happens when, in the burden, confusion, and limitations of human perspective, we get a hint of something far better.”

    The Lord has set eternity in our hearts. What joy!


  50. jeff1 says:

    I am an example of a person reading in low light Gary and living in low light and any pitfalls I have fallen into through my foolishness it was God who brought me out of them.

    I do not intend to sin Gary and I have often told myself that my sin is not so sinful as I have not committed the first two.

    It has taken me a lifetime to realize that telling myself lessor sins are acceptable because I realized I could not measure up to not sinning at all is not how God sees it.

    I am with Street a man/woman does not have to go out with the intention of sinning to find himself/herself sinful.

    What separates me from God with my notions that I am a lessor sinner separates the sinner that I look on as the greater sinner because he has committed (in my mind) what is the greater sin.

    It is I who am differentiating which sin is acceptable to God but no sin is acceptable to God but He looks at my heart and knows that I hate that I am sinful and that is what matters Gary that I am repentant for being a sinner.

    This makes me less judgmental to others knowing that I struggle not to sin myself because a person’s heart can change but they must first admit to themselves it needs changing.

    Be gentle with one and other for some have had experiences that requires it.

    If I find a animal that has been abused would I not be gentle and caring with it!

    I have also found from my charity work that helping others has helped me feel better in myself which means it works both ways.

    There are people who I know I can not help but I help those I can and hopefully I will become a better person in trying.

  51. poohpity says:

    Gary you said, “But, if that makes me judgmental, not loving, harsh, or to selective to be a Christian, then, that is what I am, that is what I’ve been taught, and that is what protects me as well.” thanks for being honest about looking for the fruit in others but I think one really important thing is what fruit do people see when they look at you? Do they see harshness rather than gentleness and kindness? Do they see judgement rather mercy and grace? Do they see you as unloving rather than loving? Do they see the things you have been taught from man or from God?

    Even reading in low light there is still light and it is God who sets that low light to a blaze if we keep looking to Him. Looking at what He has done for ALL mankind and that mankind has nothing to really give to God but their time and belief.

  52. poohpity says:

    Does one ask God for mercy for themselves then turn around wanting justice and judgement served to others?

  53. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… It is not so much what I want, it is what God says He will do. He will judge, He will serve up His justice on all mankind.
    If that means to you the His only judgment is always Mercy, than you have not understood what His word says.

    What I say, does not alter what God has in store for all those who love Him, and for all those who do not.

    I can judge the fruit because He has given me discernment for the protecting of myself.
    He has shown me the pitfalls of being a part of a wayward lifestyle, and He has shown me the benefits of not living a wayward lifestyle as well.
    That is the fruit of the past, verses, the fruit of the present. Each having their season, and life experience as the teacher, but, and after knowing Him, and after trusting Him, then, surrendering to Him and allowing Him to teach me instead, that changed me.
    So far, He has not allowed me to walk again, where He once found me. That direction is the other wider way, and I am now following Him along the Narrow Road.
    If that is seen as wrong minded, or prideful, or boasting, or grabbing the spotlight according to others, so be it.
    To me, it is staying attached to the vine, being fed by it, ever ripening, ever growing, and keeping in way that He allows me to bear.

  54. oneg2dblu says:

    For the last several weeks now, God has placed me in a position to be a friend to a homeless, alcoholic, drug addicted man.
    We meet three or four times a week, to share each other’s a stories, one of which is our faith in God.
    Our common denominator…
    The human condition.
    Our common denominator…
    Our knowing the God provides.
    Our common denominator….

    So, I see that behind all the outward mess, also lies a heart for Him.
    Do I condemn him for his afflictions?
    Do I judge Him to be worth less than I, to His Heavenly Father?

    I don’t judge that part, it is not my place.

    Who or what other people see or think about that relationship, is according to what they want to see, but, God makes the rules, God puts them is His word, and God serves up his Judgment on Judgment Day.

    If God says a particular lifestyle is unacceptable/ detestable to Him, who am I to try to say otherwise?

    There is only one mediator between God and myself, Jesus Christ!

    So far, Christ has not asked me to walk backwards, or to live a lifestyle that is not pleasing to His Father.

    Your story may be different, but, that is mine.


  55. joycemb says:

    I’m blessed to recognize that we are never too old to grow in grace.

  56. SFDBWV says:

    Looking through the news this morning I ran across a story about a newly discovered spider that lives in some caves in Brazil; its discoverers have named it “Smeagol” after the character in “The Lord of the Rings”.

    It is a rather ferocious and scary looking thing.

    However it is blind and lives in total darkness there in its environment totally unaware of the world outside of its cave.

    Though it exits and survives there in its cave it most likely has no concept that the cave it lives in is part of an unseen world and subject to that unknown world’s actions and movements.

    It only “sees” what it has to in order to survive.

    Nature can show us a lot if we take the time to, not just look at it, but do some thinking about it as well.

    20 degrees and snowing.


  57. poohpity says:

    John 3:17-18 NLT; John 8:15 NLT; Notice that Jesus mentioned we judge by human standards just as our topic suggests it is through our perspective also that we understand God. When in actuality taking the stance we just do not have a clue would be better served as we live this life. The best I thing I can do is believe and in doing so I will leave the rest in God’s mighty hands.

  58. joycemb says:

    In reading Luke 4:17-22 NLT this morning I am struck by verse 22 where it says “they were amazed by the gracious words that came from his lips”. GRACIOUS!

    Yes Mart I do think the writer of Ecclesiastes was hinting at something far better to come, the Messiah that Isaiah talked about. We can only speak through our own circumstances; whether rich or poor can’t we.

    I noticed also how they tried to make Jesus prove Himself by doing miracles. I’m thinking it is our job to proclaim through our lives/words-works Gods grace available to all who will believe and accept it.

    Thank you for this powerful teaching!

  59. foreverblessed says:

    So they were dumbfounfed by what Jesus spoke, the Grace.
    I have noticed that man has a focus point, something where he looks at and then wants is differently. With that I mean:
    A negatieve point of focus.
    We might look at a sinful lufe, and then make a resolution: I want my life NOT to be like that!

    It is what my way of being was.
    For me it was, and is, a disciplining of my thoughts, to look to our most positive focus point: Jesus!
    With all the bible verses that you all gave this morning about Jesus!
    That’s our focus, the positive!
    How gracious Jesus was talking!
    That my speech, and behavior might be full of Grace, that people may see: She has been with Him, Jesus

  60. foreverblessed says:

    Lufe is life

  61. oneg2dblu says:

    foreverblessed… that’s me, when a see someone living in jail, I say to myself that is not the life for me.

    When I see people beheading others, I say, that is not the life for me.

    When I see another motorist running a red light, I say, that is not the life for me.

    And when those who do not know God, and do not know His word, see the Christians outside on a cold winters morning scraping the ice of their windshields so they can drive to church, they might just as well say, that is not the life for me.
    That is our human nature, a nature which sees only what it knows or wants to see, saying to itself, All my ways seem right to me.
    Do any of those scenarios seem to be positive thinking, or negative?
    Or, is any thinking or way, which is not about Christ, a negative?
    Is any debating biblical issues a positive or a negative, is expressing ones views with opposing ones, a negative or positive?
    Just thinking…

  62. oneg2dblu says:

    I guess it all depends on which side of the issue now you support, which perspective you have from where you currently walk, how you currently live, or your selective preference.
    When I think of Saul, becoming Paul, I realize he was just as zealous, no matter which direction he was going.
    So, are we…

  63. oneg2dblu says:

    Whether you are the Jew, obeying your God, and living according to His law, or if you are the Christian who says to himself, there is no longer any law for me to stumble through, I live free, away from any of the restrictions of God’s law.
    Both are law focused, both are thus faulted, for our focus is to be about God first, not whether bound or free of His Laws, but serving and loving Him through our daily relationship, which of course is a law unto itself. :0

  64. joycemb says:

    Jesus is my example for how to live, move, and be in this world. Period. Always learning:-)

  65. poohpity says:

    Gary, reread your three posts. Everything about them is saying your ways and understanding seem right to you. The ones that say how Christian’s view the law is your understanding also so isn’t that putting you first not God? Even when people copy and paste God’s word you do not believe what it says because you twist it and replace words and meaning to suit what seems right to you? Look at your tree and the lack of fruit. Then maybe you will allow God to graft you into His vine, to grow deep into Him to draw up nourishment from Him so that He will produce His fruit in your life. Then it will not make much difference what others see in you because you will know who’s you are and there was nothing you could do to be grafted into that place because it all comes from and is due to God.

  66. joycemb says:

    Gary you said Paul was just as zealous after his conversion than before. Yes he was but his messages were night and day different. Before conversion he spoke of death, after he spoke of life! The message makes the difference, doesn’t it? Fruits are good when they are alive but not so good when they are getting ready to die. Or am I misunderstanding your statement?

  67. joycemb says:

    BTW, I am so sick about the election coming up. Lord have mercy.

  68. joycemb says:

    It IS very important whether we live under law or not. Thinking of times like when Peter was shown in a dream that the dietary laws were not important, or Paul’s own laborious teachings to the Romans about law and grace. Many many more but they all originated with Jesus message of grace.

    I just read this from Guy Finley: if we hold someone’s feet to the fire it’s our own feet that are going to get burned. (Not an exact quote but you get the drift).

    Preach grace!

  69. street says:

    jeff said, “I am an example of a person reading in low light Gary and living in low light and any pitfalls I have fallen into through my foolishness it was God who brought me out of them.”

    thinking of low light activities of david where God insighted him to number the people. i know God is blameless in all He does. this brings to mind this phrase i heard awhile ago, ” you seduced me Lord, but i let myself be seduced. low lighting builds dependence. look where the devil use to live in all that light and he fell. we can never lean on anything, but God or lean into this Unapproachable Light. i understand the sin is payed in full at the cross but this dross is, thorn in the flesh is driving paul and christians closer to God. hang in there your Redemeer Lives

  70. street says:

    gary said,”Both are law focused, both are thus faulted, for our focus is to be about God first, not whether bound or free of His Laws, but serving and loving Him through our daily relationship, which of course is a law unto itself. :0″

    i see you added a new new word to this discussion on law and works. the word “love” this is a good step that needs to be threshed out. i am presently working on it. the problem is uprooting all the bull accumulated over the years and all the lies. i keep coming back to the phrase, “for nothing”
    you will find the phase in job. in other words disinterested religion, or loving for nothing. sin seems to have a pay off God loved us when we had no value and nothing to give. meaningless comes to mind when there is no love. just thinking

  71. oneg2dblu says:

    pooh… you and I can not have a decent conversation, so please do not expect another one.

  72. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… yes, I fully know the Road to Damascus conversion, and my point is that a man’s zeal alone, is not the defining attribute to one being on the right track.

  73. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce…I remember my old pastor telling us a story of an experience he had when he was going to seminary. He came out of the school one day and saw a person shivering in the cold, so he gave him his new jacket and left the scene praising God.
    He put on his helmet got on his motorcycle and headed down the road singing praise all the way. About a half an hour later with tears of joy still rolling down his cheeks, he noticed a sign, which clearly showed him he was going the wrong way the whole time..
    Not exactly a road to Damascus experience, but a teaching moment which he felt he should share.
    “All a man’s ways seem right to him.”

  74. oneg2dblu says:

    street… yes, sin has a payoff.

    It is momentary pleasure, if it was not pleasurable, it would not be so seductive or tempting to us.

    But, it has a pay back also. A cost if you will.

    Either we pay it back, or someone else pays for it, for us.

    If as you say, Christ has paid your sin debt in full.

    That is true, because all your confessed sins are forgiven you.

    All the sins you have repented from in the past, are in your past.

    However, you can not repent or confess your future sin,
    for it has not yet occurred.

    There is no debt for that on future sin on your tab, so no payment required, no forgiveness is given to that which has not yet happened.

    Would you agree?

  75. oneg2dblu says:

    Either we pay it back, or someone else pays for it, for us.
    Or both!
    For sin has more consequences than just to the one who commits it.
    There is a ripple effect.
    If not, then, sin would have been totally taken care of in the Garden, on day one.
    But, it still thrives and strongly pervades the world we live in.
    Does it not?

  76. joycemb says:

    Gary sorry, I wasn’t thinking of Paul’s conversion but of his teachings on grace vs law he wrote about in Romans. (A very lengthy argument for the grace of God).

    Conversions are tricky. I have learned over time that it’s about God reaching down to us, and not us demanding a meeting with God that results in conversion. He makes the first move. I know some preach otherwise, but when God arranges a meeting it is always on His terms. Why? Because He is sovereign and will not be anyone’s puppet. But He does want ALL to be saved!

  77. street says:

    joycemb asked,”It IS very important whether we live under law ”

    thinking yes, since sin character is revealed by law. the sin was not imputed to them prior to, but they still died. would make you wonder why people died. people failed in passing on truth and made up their own plus throw in their own idolatry on top of that. gets pretty confusing real fast.

    thinking we are kept under law till we are mature. thinking a lifetime is needed for maturity. don’t want to be immature forever. i think coming to the light and leaving the dark has a lot to do with it. gray just doesn’t get it.

    oh by the way i am not saying dietary law of the Old Testament should be kept or the old sacrificial system. they were done away with. the top ten will never change. i find it interesting Jesus nailed it down to two new ones. even harder to do. thinking He wanted us to surrender to love. you know the love Jesus showed at the cross.

  78. street says:

    gary said,”But, it still thrives and strongly pervades the world we live in.
    Does it not?”

    yes gary and it is pervasive in you and i too. it’s presents is clearly here.

    i really think this is the thorn paul wrote about. sure we are forgiven and our account is cleared, but this presents of evil is so nasty…..this grace explained in Romans is the grace that is sufficient for paul. wish we all could be super spiritual giants at conversion ,but that’s not the way God wants it to play out. humility obedience and depth in love are things God is deeply interested in. just thinking

  79. joycemb says:

    Just thinking, what if Paul’s blindness, which I believe really happened, was a metaphor for the change in how Paul understood Gods’ grace after being so hell-bent on preaching law? Wouldn’t it be nice if during conversion we were ‘blinded’ momentarily and all or our past misunderstandings about God were erased? It would make things so much easier, but this is just me being silly.

  80. joycemb says:

    …all of OUR past…

  81. poohpity says:

    street, read 1 Chronicles 21. re; 6:05pm post

    Gary, we always have a good conversation when I answer your questions because both are participating but it does go bad when you make a choice not to answer mine and then get defensive. Any conversation works both ways but if one does not participate then it is one sided and those usually do not work very well at all. ;-)

  82. poohpity says:

    Jesus died on the Cross once for all sins past, present and future. 1 Peter 3:18 NLT; Hebrews 9:26 NIV

  83. street says:

    gary said,”There is no debt for that on future sin on your tab, so no payment required, no forgiveness is given to that which has not yet happened.

    Would you agree?”

    nope…where is grace? if no grace then Christ would have to die again. Christ died once for all. i guess it is how you look at the word all. if i follow you right if you sin one time your toast if you don’t repent? ok fine what if you sin and not know it? santan will own you then. fun stuff to think about. more profitable to think about the severity and mercy of God. we are worst than other people think we are, charlse spurgon. he is absolutly right and we are far worse than we ever can imagine.

    if God cancels the certificate of debt of a sinner how can you say otherwise? what is the basis of your unbelief?

  84. street says:

    poo i stand corrected. God tempts no one.
    i was deeply intrigued by that story because some how i understood God was behind it. He is Sovereign. have you ever noticed God sends satan places to do things. like after he fell God sends him to eden/earth before mans fall. satan speaks our natural tongue after the fall. we definitely need to be able to distinguish the difference very quickly.

  85. poohpity says:

    Yes I have noticed that God allows Satan to do things but don’t you think that if David would have even listen to Joab or prayed before he acted(pride) things may have been different but David did accept responsibility for his behavior then went to God to ask for mercy that seems to be a couple of reasons that God called him a man after God’s own heart. I wish I could share more of the ways I am learning in my current bible study about how Satan does work. When we are aware we tend to live a less defeated and more productive Christian life.

    That seems to be another faucet of God’s character that we see regarding free will for ALL his creation. Satan is a created being as well.

  86. street says:

    gary do you remember all those great promises to david? where they given before or after david sinned? Who made the promises? did david’s sin nullify them? God is more than able to fix us and humble our pride.

  87. street says:

    if i remember correctly somewhere in the scripture God is mad at israel and sends satan to get david to number them. God is mad at israel before the sin. i was looking for the verse and have not found it yet.

  88. poohpity says:

    With all God’s power He still does not try to control. He let’s us make choices of who we listen to and who we don’t. God does not seem to push Himself on anyone or it really would not be love at all. Look at the dictators in other countries they force their will and thinking on others. If you do not agree with them you get killed or punished or put in jail or refused food or housing.

  89. poohpity says:

    street, I think it may be in 2 Sam 24

  90. street says:

    2 Samuel 24: 24 Now again the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, and it incited David against them to say, “Go, number Israel and Judah.”

  91. street says:

    thanks poo i am glad you reminded me that God tempts no one. it is a snare to think that way or give that impression.

  92. street says:

    poo God does enforce His will on evil. He is Just and Holy. He will confine evil in hell. even demons know it is coming. remember the herd of pigs?

    i need His Righteousness really bad. do i work for it? i think not. didn’t work for the pharisees and scribes.

  93. poohpity says:

    That seems to happen at the end of times when he forces His will over evil until then God has provided other choices to chose from. It seems to be up to us which one we will follow evil or God. James 1:13

    Two different authors for the 1 Chron and 2 Sam about the same event. But always remembering we are looking at these things and God from a place of low light.

  94. poohpity says:

    street, thank you for the good conversation. :-)

  95. street says:

    7 “Which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come immediately and sit down to eat’? 8 But will he not say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; and afterward you may eat and drink’? 9 He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he? 10 So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’”

  96. street says:

    he who does not gather with Me scatters.

  97. foreverblessed says:

    Street, 10.50 pm: just to add to your thoughts here:
    When we would have done everything that is required by the law, what is the outcome? We are unworthy slaves!

    God does want our heart! He wants us, our inner being. Just like a newly wed couple, who can’t keep their eye from each other, they do things with each other and for each other out of the love of their hearts! A burning love!

    If we just obey because it is required by the law Q:”why do you not steal?”
    A: “Well, because the law says so!”
    Then we are unworthy servants.

    It is our hearts that counts, the live of our hearts!

    When I have to do household chores, and I hate it, I am talking to God about it “Lord, I want to do this with a happy heart, with the love of my heart! As a song to You!”
    Then I sit and pray, read the bible, meditate, till my heart is changed, at least a bit!
    Now when I am dusting, it occured to me, that I am doing the same job as Jesus is doing! He is cleaning up our mess all of the time, and then He cooks a dinner for us, and He sits down with us and eats a lovely meal, with good wine. And we have a Feast together!

    This is what God looks for:
    Song of Solomon 8:6-7

  98. foreverblessed says:

    The love of our hearts!
    Gary, I very much liked your testimony of being a company to a drugaddict! God bless your meeting together, may it be a true love meal, a Godly love.

  99. SFDBWV says:

    “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” (Isaiah 65:17)

    Certainly makes one wonder what all the work and effort is for.

    Nowhere in Scripture does it say we can find peace by creating a god in our mind who matches our dim view of reality.

    Nor by working so hard to convince others you are right about what you believe will give you peace.

    Only by accepting that Jesus of Nazareth is Lord and laying all of our questions and worries on Him will there ever be any real peace.

    Accept the fact that there are some things you will never know and some things you can’t see clearly and trust that God does and be at peace.

    In the meantime always be humble and kind and do your best to show love, but be warned, false love and evil motives are easily seen and fool only other fools.

    13 degrees under a half moon and starry sky.


  100. jeff1 says:

    Pooh 10.45 pm

    It seems to be up to us which one we will follow evil or good.

    That was fine when I seen the world in black and white, but life has taught me that I have to live life in grey areas for good and evil is not that cut and dried.

    It was my wrong beliefs that left me believing that I was doing God’s will, my father tried when I was wandering from the truth to get me to see this but I was blinded by the fact that I thought I was right but it took an intelligent man like my father to know that I was not thinking straight because my heart was not being responsive to God!

    It has taken me 40+ years to see what my father was trying to tell me. I believe I have to learn from my own mistakes or I do not learn at all. God has to work in me and then I see what a righteous man like my father was telling me but my heart has to be responsive to the indwelling spirit or I will justify my wrong choices by false beliefs.

    The truth is I can go on believing a lie because it is not a lie in my mind, until my heart is responsive, for only then will I see as God sees.

    My heart can be responsive in one situation and not in another and that is where love comes in because that is where I struggle loving my enemies.

    If I truly believed that me loving my enemies would make a difference to whether my enemies would continue to be my enemies then I believe with God’s help I could forgive them.

    The truth is I believe the change has to come from within their hearts in order that trust can be restored.

    For a relationship to work there has to be a balanced relationship and that only comes with trust and love.

    Love alone will not make for a balanced healthy relationship, it takes trust and love, they go hand in hand.

  101. poohpity says:

    Isn’t love treating someone else the way we want to be treated? I know God loved me and died for me while I was still His enemy. It seems we are all faced with temptation to do evil all day long but there also seems to be an alternative present, another way to go, another way to act, another way of talking to someone or another way to react to situations or people but the hard part comes in taking the time to step back from whatever it is to seek and pray for a different approach or solution.

    That is what is so neat about the bible even reading in low light it gives us options and guidance in a different way to go, to learn from those in the past their mistakes and successes. Any relationship takes two people to make them work.

  102. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… Yes, I agree God always makes the first move.
    I always say, “There are no accidental meetings.”
    When two peoples paths cross, God has orchestrated.
    So, I do hold Him as the one who moves first.
    I know when I am going to an important meeting, that God arrives before me, He is there with me during that meeting, and He remains as a fragrance long after.
    He touches people in ways we could not ever imagine.

    How blessed are those who know they have received the touch of God in their lives.

  103. oneg2dblu says:

    street… Yes, the ten never go away, because if you follow Christ, you will be abiding also within the ten, which He abides under, while you are receiving their character building and maturing.
    Very good points!

  104. poohpity says:

    The ten were given to show us our sin and Jesus came to show us His grace.

    “Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; 20because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. Rom 3:19-20 NASB. Acts 13:39; Romans 7:7; 1 Cor 15:56; Gal 2:16; Heb 7:19

  105. narrowpathseeker says:

    Jeff1/Vivian…I so love your honesty!!

    I’ve heard the bible referred to as Life’s Manual. Like any manual, it is not just for reading, we are to act on it.. if I buy a cook book, choose and read a recipe, I then need to go purchase the ingredients, then I need to do what the recipe tells me. I can’t leave out half the ingredients and call myself a great cook just because I read the cookbook. I may fail to perfect any of the recipes, but I have to keep trying if I am ever going to learn anything about cooking that I need to know if I want to make good meals.

    Also, I am wondering for real…how does tempting and testing differ?

  106. oneg2dblu says:

    street says… “if i follow you right if you sin one time your toast if you don’t repent?”

    Not exactly, we never reach perfection while here living in these earthly tents.

    That is my position.

    We are sinners not because of one trespass, for many do so unknowingly every day, we are held to this other standard though, how we lived our lives after our conversion.

    So, I am talking about living a lifestyle of recurring disobedience and unbelief.

    That to me, is not a one time event.

    Nor is repentance, confession,or our receiving Forgiveness, Mercy and Grace., a one time event, it is a continuum.

    An ongoing relationship, if you will.

    But, you may see things differently.

  107. poohpity says:

    If we abide in Christ the law has no power over us, Jesus does. To abide in the law is to abide in sin because no one has ever been able to follow the law but Jesus.

  108. oneg2dblu says:

    There is a song that reiterates my premise with the words, found in, Great is Thy Faithfulness
    “Grace for today and bright hope for tomorrow…”
    It seems each day has its own portion of Grace.

    Each day, we only get a portion of the Daily Bread.

    Perhaps I’m twisting words, so please look them up for yourselves.

    You all have a blessed day.

  109. oneg2dblu says:

    street says… “gary do you remember all those great promises to david?”

    No, they are not all immediately remembered,or off the top of my head.

    I would have to refresh, reread those things, just like our daily relationship with God, takes a constant work/blessing of refreshing.

    Would you agree?

  110. poohpity says:

    Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
    For His mercy endures forever.
    Oh, give thanks to the God of gods!
    For His mercy endures forever.
    Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!
    For His mercy endures forever:

    To Him who alone does great wonders,
    For His mercy endures forever;
    To Him who by wisdom made the heavens,
    For His mercy endures forever;
    To Him who laid out the earth above the waters,
    For His mercy endures forever;
    To Him who made great lights,
    For His mercy endures forever—
    The sun to rule by day,
    For His mercy endures forever;
    The moon and stars to rule by night,
    For His mercy endures forever.

    To Him who struck Egypt in their firstborn,
    For His mercy endures forever;
    And brought out Israel from among them,
    For His mercy endures forever;
    With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm,
    For His mercy endures forever;
    To Him who divided the Red Sea in two,
    For His mercy endures forever;
    And made Israel pass through the midst of it,

    For His mercy endures forever;
    But overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea,
    For His mercy endures forever;
    To Him who led His people through the wilderness,
    For His mercy endures forever;
    To Him who struck down great kings,
    For His mercy endures forever;
    And slew famous kings,
    For His mercy endures forever—
    Sihon king of the Amorites,
    For His mercy endures forever;
    And Og king of Bashan,
    For His mercy endures forever—
    And gave their land as a heritage,
    For His mercy endures forever;
    A heritage to Israel His servant,
    For His mercy endures forever.

    Who remembered us in our lowly state,
    For His mercy endures forever;
    And rescued us from our enemies,
    For His mercy endures forever;
    Who gives food to all flesh,
    For His mercy endures forever.

    Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven!
    For His mercy endures forever.

  111. poohpity says:

    Many of the promises that God gave David are the same promises He gives us although some were pertinent to David at the time and circumstance he was going through but the majority of the others were based on God’s attributes, character and will applicable for us today.

    There seems to be a difference in testing and temptation. Testing helps our faith and trust grow or to show us we have no faith at all(1 Peter 1:7 NLT) and temptation causes us to do things the satisfy the flesh and our pride.( Matt 6:13; 1 Cor 10:13 NLT)

  112. joycemb says:

    Good morning all,
    Can’t stay long but My Utmost March 3 makes an excellent point about how we see ourselves and others in the dim light of life.

    Have a God blessed day, or evening!

  113. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    We must read in low light here — much is obscured in this world. Yet, as you say, Mart, we still receive “a hint of something far better.”

    Ecclesiastes himself says, “Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” (Ecc 12:12) Some here at BTA have stated the truth — we must lay mysterious matters at the foot of Christ’s cross/throne.

    An attitude of gratitude and being generous with the grace we are given are disciplines of following Jesus, it seems to me.

    Lenten Blessings,

    53F with showers here in the valley

  114. oneg2dblu says:

    Yes, we read in a dim light now, and even what little we read we may still find a challenge.

    In reading even this one promise that God gave to David, I saw this old principle applied, one that still has value for us today..

    “The Lord has sworn to David, A truth from which I will not turn back.”

    Then it goes on to say…

    “Of the fruit of your body I will set upon your throne.”

    What a blessed promise that God has given.

    Then,the very next verse completes the context…

    “If your children will keep My covenant and My testimony which I shall teach them, their children shall sit upon your throne for ever.”

    We may be reading in a dim light now, true, but even in the dim light, one still finds that many promises are also conditional upon how one lives ones life.

    That old law of, “Reaping and Sowing, is still alive and well.”

    Just thinking…

  115. joycemb says:

    Did Paul reap what he had sown? Or Peter? Must be grace, huh?

  116. joycemb says:

    Reaping a blessing comes from sowing a blessing also. If I focus on sowing good things I shouldn’t have time to return to the worries and fears of doing something wrong. Jesus’message of grace is the most positive for believers and unbelievers alike! Too many are so fearful of messing up they don’t really enjoy their walk with Jesus. That’s not how it’s supposed to be.

  117. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks for pointing to my Utmost of today!
    It is indeed very good, about God changing our hearts.
    And of course, we do what He asks of us, and the first thing He asks is to come to Him!

    The one of February 29 is also very good, it is about receiving sight, being able to see Jesus! And that requires Trust, as Jeff said this morning too!

    Anyway, in the topic of Gods consuming fire, I had been looking for the Utmost, about Jesus piercing questions to Peter, that is like a consuming fire,it was March 1 and 2!
    Thanks for pointing to my Utmost Joyce!

    God’s ways are upside down, what does the consuming fire do? We might expect, as in human thinking, devour us.

    But…. it brings out the best in us! The true depth of our love for Christ.

  118. street says:

    reading in low light
    thinking about reading and abiding in low light. it’s much different than living in the light.
    thinking of marriage when 2 sinners get married. yes there is love and hope. yet 50% fail stat wise. i understand God’s love never fails. getting a proper view of this love is a most difficult thing with dim eyes. a dim or dark heart would make it impossible. God talks about a sower and different kinds of soil. that last soil the good soil is broken up, rocks removed, and competitors removed. it yields to the seed planted in it and over time clings to it. yes we are very familiar with the cross and the miracles of Jesus life. my thoughts turn to Jesus today in 2016. what does he look like now? what does the Bible say about Him now? what is our relationship like? could there be a stronger closer relationship? what part of us clings to darkness? thinking of job and God’s question to him

    38 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said,

    “Who is this that darkens counsel
    By words without knowledge?

    i think i see where the darkness comes from.

    perfect love cast out fear.

    looking forward to knowledge being done away with. thinking it’s better to know than think.

  119. poohpity says:

    From David’s seed came Jesus who sits on the throne at the right hand of God the Father forever and ever, eternally. Who now for those who believe sits on the throne of our hearts too. There is not room for anyone or anything else to occupy that throne although people try putting idols there. Idols come in many shapes and forms, some made of flesh, some made of the things created and some from imaginations of the mind.

    Through one man’s obedience which was impossible for any other person we have been made righteous. Romans 5:15, 18, 19 Praise our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who has made us right with God because of His obedience.

  120. poohpity says:

    Romans 5:19

  121. remarutho says:

    Good Afternoon BTA Friends —

    Even as we “Read in Low Light” — we get

    a hint of something far better:

    For God so loved the world

    a hint of something far better:

    that He gave His only begotten Son

    a hint of something far better:

    that whosoever believes in Him shall not die

    a hint of something far better:

    but will have eternal life!

    “For as many as are the promises of God, in Him (Jesus) they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God…”

    If what we are able to hear and see in this world are so hopeful and encouraging, only imagine how great when we meet Him face to face! Good News indeed!


  122. joycemb says:

    Yes and Amen!

  123. street says:

    gary said,”We only see the physical evidence outside, the low hanging fruit, if you will, and that gives us a glimpse of the inner workings as well.

    I don’t have to dig up and see the roots of a healthy tree to prove to me, its health.

    Nor do I have to eat tainted fruit, to understand that the tree is not healthy, not producing as well as a healthy one.”

    thinking has God not said?

    i remember the tree of the knowledge of good and evil produced death even though it looked quite appealing. i would not think a dead tree with a dead man hanging on it would be able to give life. to some great folly. my understanding of the story is not my own, like paul i had to learn it from God. there is no way a man could figure it out.

    i had a purple maple in my back yard that girded it’s self. the arborist told me the two summers of drought hastened it’s death. girding itself is when one root grows over another and the weight of the tree cuts off the supply of water. common in maples.

  124. foreverblessed says:

    Thinking or knowing, knowing Jesus is the best.
    Getting to know Him better!
    This morning I was reading about David, from 1 Sam 23 onwards.
    Mart tells us that Jesus is everywhere in the bible. But I find it hard to see that. All the disagreements, that become so bitter, they kill each other by the 10 to 100.

    If I want to know Jesus better, it is better to read the Gospels over and over again. Till I am so filled with the knowledge of who Jesus is, and how He deals with His fellow human beings, that I can stand to read all the bittereness if the Old Testament.

  125. foreverblessed says:

    Then I start reading in Matthew 1, and all these names stare me at the face! Jesus affiliates Himself with all of them, sinners and all! Everything can be turned around through His Cross!

  126. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Street – just read your comment about your maple tree that had girded itself. That is very interesting to me. Right now I’m looking out to our backyard to a tree that has been slowly dying for a few years, and yes, indeed, it has a large root wrapped around the base of the trunk. I noticed that a couple of years back, but did not think anything of it.

    Of course, then I have to think of the parallel – roots must run deep into the living water, but if our roots come back to our self and we start trying to find strength and sustenance out of self, it is a slow death.

  127. oneg2dblu says:

    street… yes, no doubt that the tree of the knowledge of good and evil looked appealing, just a sin also looks appealing.
    Like I said, if it did not look that way there would have been no need to go near it, touch it, or taste it.

    But, when God speaks to us and His Word is not believed or obeyed, there will be Consequences.

    There will be separation. There will be a casting out, if you will, just like in the Garden.

    Even more, God judged and sentenced them both, rightly.

    Today, as in the past, all who hear God’s word and do not believe it or obey it, are already separated, or automatically cause themselves a separation from God.

    Now, before the people bring to the table, their opposing remarks, saying, “Nothing can separates us from the Love of God, I am not saying that God did not also Love them, and continue to love Adam and Eve, but, He did pass righteous judgment on them, and He did cast them out.
    Can we agree on this?

  128. oneg2dblu says:

    According to the word we also are to gird ourselves, gird ourselves with the Armor of God.
    Just thinking….

  129. oneg2dblu says:

    As today’s, 3-4-16 message from Two Listeners, God at Eventide, there is a pat for us to do, as it clearly says, “Do all your work, and leave your salvation to God.”
    Putting on daily the Armor of God is surely part of our work.
    I like the sound of March Fourth!
    It is a good day to listen and be ready for battle.
    Just thinking…

  130. poohpity says:

    Here is what it actually says about the garden rather than a dark, clouded explanation.

    The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. 22Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever “– 23therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

    The purpose then seems to be to keep them from eating of the Tree of Life which offers eternal life and God seemed to not want them to live eternally in their fallen state. Sounds pretty merciful to me. Once we know the difference in what is bad and good then do bad we tend to hide from God and He seems to want a relationship with us for all time. So there seems to be reading in low light or with no light at all.

  131. joycemb says:

    Gary you said to be ready for battle. I think I know what you mean as we are told to put on the full armor of God. Brings to mind a song from way back:

    The battle is the Lords,
    and He will conquer all your enemies,
    with His right hand, and His holy Word,
    He will attain,
    He will attain,
    He will attain the Victory!

    Street that is so interesting about a tree girding itself-to death! We ARE in a fallen world, aren’t we. Seems like we do the same to ourselves when we rely on human wit to thrive apart from God. But God! The alpha and the omega, beginning and the end!

  132. jeff1 says:

    I watched a programme last night on restorative justice where the parents met the perpetrator who had killed their son.

    I noticed how their was healing for both parents and perpetrator after the meeting. The young man had not intended to kill but drink and anger had caused him to strike the victim and he died as a result of it.

    I believe the perpetrator showed remorse and the parents could see that and where able to forgive him. I believe the parents needed to know why he killed their son and while it did not restore the tragedy it restored their mind to know it was not done from malice.

    I am thinking about my own struggle in loving my enemies and how different it is when they are faceless. Also the fact that there is malice for their’s is out of hatred, hatred that has been handed down in history.

    What I have come to understand is how hatred can get a grip and how my mind can justify it because I am hurting.

    It is in understanding emotions like this that I want to forgive my enemies because I understand it but I also understand that it is wrong and I have never acted out on it but struggle with it in my mind.

    Perhaps they (my enemies) struggle with it too for like myself their history has been handed down and they have been told how their ancestors suffered and how they must fight to reclaim what is rightfully theirs.

    The trouble in the world always comes down to territory and who owns what and fear of our enemy taking it from us.

    God sees it differently, He wants to share His Kingdom with those who want what is right in His eyes and that is why I want to see through God’s eyes and not my own for then my enemy whom I fear will become a neighbor who just wants to share God’s space with me.

  133. joycemb says:

    I misquoted a line in the song I posted. It should be ‘and He will conquer all HIS enemies’.

    Thinking that the weapons of battle are love, grace, and mercy. That’s what the word says.

  134. joycemb says:

    It’s so great how the written word dispels the low light AND the darkness. We can never understand it all, which to me makes the Bible so exciting and interesting!

  135. street says:

    reading in low light.
    i came cross this verse and wanted to post it for gary,

    55 “‘But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live. 56 And then I will do to you what I plan to do to them.’”

    then a read here of the armor of God we are to put on as many have recently mentioned. thinking that israel was defeated many times because they harbored things that were unclean or not brought before God to be dealt with.

    God asked job if could ……Unleash the fury of your wrath,
    look at all who are proud and bring them low,
    look at all who are proud and humble them,
    crush the wicked where they stand.
    Bury them all in the dust together;
    shroud their faces in the grave.

    the answer is of coarse no. yet God in His love and wisdom drives out all this foolishness by the One Who died for us so He could save us. exalted Christ, gracious and merciful. looking for His return.

    think of that for a moment, He is coming back to this cursed ground from heaven again?!! amazing love!!!!

  136. oneg2dblu says:

    To steal another’s cunning, by using their picking and choosing of only their clouded version of the verses, it seems they too are trying to hide, as they left out a few as usual.

    Here is their version…
    Here is what it “actually says” about the garden rather than another dark, clouded explanation.

    but, here’s the rest of the story…

    You’ll have to read it for yourself, I am away from my
    full version bible.

    Genesis 3:17,18,19 and let’s not forget,

    Genesis 3:23,24

    Funny how they are all connected.

    Heck, maybe we are all guilty of picking and choosing
    the things “we” like.

    So, some of us only prefer to share our partial version.

    Go figure….

  137. oneg2dblu says:

    So, apparently by the shedding of blood, God killed the innocent, to get those coverings for their nakedness, and that act may well have been used as the receiving of forgiveness, for the original sin.
    But, they did not walk away Scott free, they were each given a punishment as well, a lifelong suffering as a result of their actions, and they were both also banished from the Garden.
    Where they would never be able to also eat of the tree of life, according to what I have read.
    Just thinking…

  138. oneg2dblu says:

    There is a time when there will be no more weeping, no hurt, or pain, here it is in a song by Hillsong.

    “You Hold Me Now”

    On the day when I see
    All that You have for me
    When I see You face to face
    There surrounded by Your grace

    All my fears swept away
    In the light of Your embrace
    Where Your love is all I need
    and forever I am free

    Where the streets are made of gold
    In Your presence healed and whole
    Let the songs of heaven rise to You alone

    No weeping
    No hurt or pain
    No suffering
    You hold me now, You hold me now
    No darkness
    No sick or lame
    No hiding
    You hold me now, You hold me now

    In this life I would stand
    through my joy and my pain
    Knowing there’s a greater day
    There’s a hope that never fades

    Where Your name is lifted high
    and forever praises rise
    For the glory of Your name
    I’m believing for the day

    Where the wars and violence cease
    All creation lives in peace
    Let the songs of heaven rise to You alone

    For eternity
    All my heart will give
    All the glory to Your Name


  139. poohpity says:

    Gary, I have read it myself many times the whole book not just Genesis and Revelation but all the book in between that is why it is so easy to discern when another hasn’t when they falsely lead others to believe they have. Has your heart desired to know God better to see the low light we are given rather than just guessing or picking out parts stumbling around in darkness?

    There isn’t anything wrong with a person who has not read it because I believe that God will speak to them however He wants to get His message to them but to deception is sin, that is number 9 of the 10. ““Thou shalt not bear false witness” forbids: “1. Speaking falsely in any matter, lying, equivocating, and any way devising and designing to deceive our neighbor. 2. Speaking unjustly against our neighbor, to the prejudice of his reputation;

  140. oneg2dblu says:

    “deception is sin, that is number 9 of the 10. ““Thou shalt not bear false witness” forbids: “1. Speaking falsely in any matter, lying, equivocating, and any way devising and designing to deceive our neighbor. 2. Speaking unjustly against our neighbor, to the prejudice of his reputation;”

    “Do not be deceived folks.”

    “I have read the entire bible several times now, every word, and with no skimming!

    Prayerfully and with meditation, and yes, the Holy Spirit has illuminated it for me, many ,many, times.

    So, those that now accuse me, claiming I am to be found guilty of not doing so, are bearing a false witness against me.

    Anybody who brings that charge against me, is bearing a false witness.

    Speaking falsely, and lying, equivocating, and any way designing to deceive, speaking unjustly against me, to bringing their low light thinking, hoping to darken my reputation.

    Praise God, that He will no longer tolerate this absurd conduct,or allow me to be feeding into it any longer.

    God always speaks to me in uplifting tones, so I know that this persons self-serving opinions, are not from my God.

    Beware of false prophets, who speak only from the flesh.

    No further comment will be made by me on this low lighted ever festering problematical and recurring behavior.


  141. poohpity says:

    Aawwww Gary, c’mon. Then why is it there is no understanding of grace or mercy only trying to convict others of sin, following the 10 commandments and all your so called warnings?

  142. street says:

    gary said,”To steal another’s cunning, by using their picking and choosing of only their clouded version of the verses, it seems they too are trying to hide, as they left out a few as usual.”

    dear gary what i posted and clearly said was the thought progression of the things i was exposed to over the later part of a day and what i remembered in scripture. at no time did i ever claim to be moses or anyone else for that matter. in your judgment of me on this matter are you claiming something about yourself i am not aware of? these were my thoughts. i guess i made a mistake of bringing them here too. if they lit you up you have to ask yourself why? my self righteousness lights me up all the time. i hate it. it means i have let down my cross again and need to go back and pick it up. oh i just love carrying that thing around. i have to and God keeps reminding me that it will be much worse if i don’t. live by the light you have gary not by my light. i would let you down.

    you are on my mind gary. i am concerned about you and the things you say. they disturb me. i must understand why and respond correctly. no one likes walking around disturbed unless they are nuts or God is trying to get their attention or they are trying to get some else’s attention. i guess you could say i am lashing back in a most primitive way. i am not writer who can weigh every word or a comedian who knows his audience, but i am a human who is required to love and speak correctly. what you do with what is said is your responsibility not mine. i remind you the prophets and Jesus were not received to well by many. make sure you are not one doing the killing. that takes places when He returns.
    the thief and the liar rest. yes i am guilty of those too. i told you earlier i beat paul in the sin department.

  143. joycemb says:

    Street thank you for your post to Gary. I learn so much from you about humility and grace. Blessings.

  144. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    Notice this morning in the photo of the storage shed, the photographer’s shadow is cast on the treasures as the sun is streaming in the door. Makes me smile. We are mere human beings — reaching and longing for an understanding of our God and His Christ — yet we may block the light as we are searching. I know I do. We cannot avoid casting a shadow unless we are facing the light.

    Jesus said, “The good person brings good things out of a good treasure, and the evil person brings evil things out of an evil treasure.” (Matt 12:35)

    As spring approaches, it is time for me to clear out (literal) stuff that has piled up. Lent (meaning the “lengthening of days”) is time to knock down cobwebs and sweep out the dust of un-examined ideas about the Lord, myself and the world.

    Joy all day,

  145. SFDBWV says:

    Maru I enjoyed your posting this morning and thought it a very good observation.

    I had strained to say exactly what was on my mind this morning and decided to say nothing at all, but appreciated yours as well as understanding street’s frustrations as well.

    We all hope for a better thread of thought, but the shadow of endless repetition is what dominates every conversation.

    27 and cloudy


  146. poohpity says:

    Maru, street, thank you for being the change you want to see in others. Cleaning our own house takes much patience and determination and when we look away we tend to want to tell people how to clean theirs. Guilty! Every morning we wake up with fresh new mercies and we can either sweep them under the rug or share them with others.(Lamentations 3:22-23)

  147. poohpity says:

    It seems human nature to shine a bright light on the faults and failures in other people yet when looking into our own lives we put a soft, low light that barely illuminates anything. Wouldn’t it be so very neat if we did that the other way around?

  148. poohpity says:

    When I am down 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.

  149. poohpity says:

    If the only thing we need to know for certain is that we need God then we have all we really need. He supplies everything else as we depend and trust in Him to give us a glimpse of eternity and that effects how we live our lives, how we treat others and the good things we are privileged to do in His name. The warning is people are valuable to God and one day His supreme justice will be served, do you want to be covered by His Son or a recipient of that justice?

  150. oneg2dblu says:

    street… in response to your last post to me, I can only say it was not addressed to you.
    Also your reaction to it, means that you have unfortunately laid claim to it.
    I must say, I would probably respond not very much different than you have.
    Today’s ODB teaches us all, there is another way, but we must choose to take it.
    Perhaps, I will take that message to heart and allow it to make a change in me for the better.
    I take no offence to your words…
    Sorry for the confusion which is very common when using this method of communicating.
    Be Blessed,

  151. oneg2dblu says:

    I know I have mentioned this before, but, I had person working for me, who lived by recycling.
    He was working with us when we would demo a project and did a very good job of cleaning up some pretty tough areas.
    When we were getting to the finishing up the closing of walls and sheet
    rocking and plastering, he and his friend offered their services to help paint.
    They did a really good job.
    One day, some tools came up missing and although he did not take them, he said he immediately felt guilty, having lived a life as a thief, to support his habits in the past.
    So, he laid claim on himself, just hearing the allegation.
    It actually took him off his game to the point that he was mixing primer into the final finish coats.
    We were painting everything white and the primer was white also, so an easy mistake when rushing through the fog of war, or suffering from white-out, but, he later told us why he thought it happened.
    I wonder how much we all tend suffer ourselves because of our past?

  152. remarutho says:

    “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12

    Repentance is real, Gary, and faith is counted to you as righteousness. Please do not recycle guilt — rather, haul it to the landfill.


  153. oneg2dblu says:

    maru… thanks.
    Yes, repentance is real.
    So is guilt, but, I do not carry any guilt.
    I confess and am forgiven, the guilt is gone, taken away by the Lord.
    I can’t take it away or carry it again, after it is removed.
    May be good advice for someone else though!

  154. street says:

    gary said,”Where they would never be able to also eat of the tree of life, according to what I have read.
    Just thinking…”

    “25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

    seem to me some have been eating from the tree of life.

    what is the basis of unbelief?

  155. joycemb says:

    May be good advice for someone else though!

    Said Jesus never.

  156. street says:

    gary said,”Today’s ODB teaches us all, there is another way, but we must choose to take it.
    Perhaps, I will take that message to heart and allow it to make a change in me for the better.
    I take no offence to your words…”

    dear gary as i read this my mind thinks of paul in Acts 24. i think of felix hearing the gosple from paul day after day like i did for a long time. it was interesting and frightening. felix never came to Jesus and he left paul in prison. i think he figured he did not need him, he himself was good enough.

    you said,” I take no offence to your words…” i can understand that, but understand filex was frightened and rejected pauls words i hear your words and i am disturbed and you are not the least bit affected by the people who write to you about the same things?

    you have said there is another way. i only no of one way. there are many other ways, but they lead to the same place. the world sees many ways, but they can not see the outcome. the deception as blinded them.

    25 But as he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened and said, “Go away for the present, and when I find time I will summon you.”

    i don’t think that future time ever came for filex. he like herod left john in prison and found himself in his own prison and their hearts were revealed to the world.

  157. oneg2dblu says:

    “Lord help me to continue to pray for my accusers.”

    Street… I did not say I rejected your words, or find no value in your contributions.

    I may see things differently.

    Although, sometimes I do find your words fit into the realm of, “Where did that comparison come from?”

    But, that is just me.

    What I was trying to convey to you today, was that my comment, about what was made by others about me, whereby accusing me of my not reading the bible but claiming that I have, or making me out to be a liar, was not meant for, or directed at you.

    Now, it seems you would like to make another claim, as you continue this growing discussion about my disturbing words.

    Please do your favorite thing, and copy and paste, which disturbing words you would like to further examine.

    Perhaps there is a teaching moment for both of us in them, which apparently needs further illumination.

    Let’s take them one at a time. Please!

    Just you and I, trying to find some type of greater understanding, as we do not currently seem to see eye to eye.

    My reference about today’s ODB lesson, is a good place to start, unless you already agree with what I had said.

    We can all learn from that lesson can’t we?

    I truly think we are accidentally mixing up several different peoples thoughts/conversations here.

    As we keep the main thing, the main thing, lets relax take a deep breath, and reread first, before we lash out into another disturbing, or comical bunch of words, for all to see.


  158. narrowpathseeker says:

    Gary, I understood your comment and truly believe your heart is bent towards love and serving Jesus. I think you trip over the stumbling blocks of accusation thrown before you…if you don’t take the bait and ignore any further attempts to trip you up I think the others here might see things differently… When the baiter questions anything you post, you might want to just recognize the intent, smile, ignore, and stand tall. :-)

  159. joycemb says:

    Dear Gary,
    I’m taking a deep breath here and offering a recently learned insight about relationships on a blog. I am guilty of referencing unnamed people to speak my piece about how another might be causing me distress here. No more! I will make sure the persons name is on a rant so that person will know it’s directed at them and that I wish for clarification to improve my distress or accept that I’m going to have to accept the differences. Theologians have been fighting for centuries over interpretation of the Bible. We are NOT going to make history here by getting another to agree with us. I’m thinking we should just focus on Marts topics and try as best we can to agree to disagree about the basics of our faith,

    Baiting should just be ignored with prayers for all, is my hope.
    Please forgive me for my past and current snipes here.

  160. joycemb says:

    Oops: agree to disagree EXCEPT for the basics of faith.

  161. street says:

    joycemb said,”Theologians have been fighting for centuries over interpretation of the Bible. We are NOT going to make history here by getting another to agree with us.”

    i think you are right. job struggled in dim light before his theological friends. we know how that turned out. now, where is my cross? and where is Jesus? lets go from here if the Lord permits. don’t be dismayed.

  162. joycemb says:

    Street my cross is myself. Some days I wish I could put it down. In my younger days of drugs and alcohol I loved the feeling of being outside of myself. But we all know that’s a temporary trapdoor leading straight to hell. Carry on. :-) We’re all in this trip together! Puns intended.

  163. oneg2dblu says:

    narrowpathseeker… thank you for your comment and your wisdom.

    I’ve already made my stand by saying, “No further comment will be made by me on this low lighted ever festering problematical and recurring behavior.”

    “Praise God, that He will no longer tolerate this absurd conduct, or allow me to be feeding into it any longer.”

    So, it is a done deal, there will be no more trying to do the dance of continuously explaining myself to another’s deaf ear, or give any more response to being asked to answer the absurd string of questions that constantly flow out another’s flesh.

    I trust we have now covered that issue well enough for any sane person to get the message.


  164. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… I can not address by name the person with which I said, I will no longer answer, or be played with, by them.

    There does not need to be a name attached to my open ended statement of, “no longer replying.”

    I am sorry that someone else thought it was addressed to them, but, I think that has since been cleared up.

    Hopefully, there are no longer going to be any direct questions with my name on them from that particular party.

    So, now that their personal attack style, which was so amusing, has been thwarted for the time being, and all their future attempts will also go unanswered.

    “Help us Lord!”

  165. poohpity says:

    If we are not ready to give an answer to questions about our faith and our hope then how do we share the gospel because people will always ask us questions about it and we need to be ready to answer or what is the point.(1 Peter 3:15 NLT) However our attitude when asked questions and how we answer show a lot about who has our heart and if we are standing on the firm foundations of our beliefs or even if know for sure what we believe.

  166. oneg2dblu says:

    joyce… I will however, use a proper addressing of names when I do respond to you and others here, who actually show some respect and allow others to have some degree of dignity.

    But, outright personal slander and degradation to my witness or character, will no longer get any response from me.

    Thank you all for your understanding…

  167. poohpity says:

    We are all students learning together hopefully because all we have is the Low Light or a glimpse into the character, attributes and wisdom of our infinite God. I learn something new every day and I hope always to be open to new things but I always compare what others say to scripture because there are a lot of people out there that do not have others best in mind. That is what is referred to in scripture as wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing. (Romans 16:17; Matt 24:11; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 John 4:1)

  168. joycemb says:

    Gary you are very wise.

  169. narrowpathseeker says:

    Gary, good job! Keep praying and smiling. Hang on tight…and keep on resisting…it’s not going to go away without a struggle.. Have a Blessed day.


  170. poohpity says:

    Joyce, if Gary is so wise then what makes him consider my questioning of the things he wants to teach as personal attacks rather than just on the teaching? I do not have any negative thoughts or feeling towards Gary or anyone else but I am very confused about what it is that he actually believes that is why I ask questions. Why are my questions seen as a personal attack while yours, forever, street, Maru or even Steve’s are not considered that? I guess because it is me who asked them, right? Double standards?

    There are many others on here who attack a person’s character when they disagree what stops anyone from saying anything to them. Oh right cause it is me and I actually do not go for the character, name calling or any other derogatory statements just the teaching it’s self.

  171. poohpity says:

    This topic is about looking at God, his Word and others through the very shadowy lenses of our own perspective. Often failing to read what it actually says but infusing it with human thought, reasoning and what we think it says but people seem to pick and chose parts out of the whole to make their point and fail to see the lessons God is trying to teach each of us personally. It is used as a weapon rather than a mirror of our selves and a reflection of God.

  172. phpatato says:

    Pooh – “but I am very confused about what it is that he actually believes that is why I ask questions.”

    You have been confused by what Gary believes for years. You only get confused when you are in one of your moods. Give it up!!! Go somewhere else to peddle this explanation. Your behaviour on here has been exposed long ago. You fool no one anymore.

  173. narrowpathseeker says:

    Pat…smile!! LOL..the bait is getting more tempting, but knowing that most of us KNOW the intent, the source, and the darkness that envelopes it all, helps tremendously to ignore it. Keep smiling Pat

  174. poohpity says:

    Pat, thank you for an example of what I saying.

    For those who feel that suffering through life’s trails or illnesses whether mental or physical or any of the things that life brings then attributing that to bearing your cross I think may have missed the point of the saying, “pick up and your Cross and follow me” that seems to mean to deny oneself and there will be suffering for the sake of Jesus and sharing the gospel. i.e. 2 Cor 11.

  175. poohpity says:

    narrow, you know my intent, lol but I can say without a doubt you do not the source which is the very reason that these conversation take a turn for the worse. What do I do everyday? What is going on in my life? What are my thoughts? What do I do to share God’s Word everyday? What do I do in service to the Lord? What do I wear or eat everyday? How many people do I touch in the name of Jesus every day? What is my service for the church each week? How many hungry people do I feed each week or give water to or blankets to the homeless? How many homeless that I do not know have I offered them a roof over their head until they can get on their feet? How many support groups or bible studies am I responsible for each week in sharing the hope we have in Christ? How many people come to me for comfort and prayer? What is my passion in life?

    You guys have no idea what my intent is for living my life. All you have is your perspective which most often comes from the way “you” think, feel and act, nothing at all to do with me.

  176. foreverblessed says:

    Our daily bread of yesterday, it has been mentioned here already, tells us to be like King Hezekiah, spreading the accusations before God, instead of reacting defensifely.
    Being on a blog like this is a very good training ground!
    When we surrendered our hearts to Jesus, we gave up the right to defend ourselves, we actually handen that over into Jesus’ Hands.
    Anyway, most of the time we are not being attacked, but we feel that way, it is our old self. You know guys, that that is excellent training in killing the old self!
    Christians discussing together is mostly: crucify the old self!

    Gal 2:20
    Paul stated that it has already happened, we need to realise that.
    So good luck to all of us!

    Instead of defending ourselves lets sing praise together, and that happens to be the topic of todays ODB!

  177. SFDBWV says:

    I spent a little time this morning writing a comment that as it went along I realized I needed to erase it back off and back out so I did.

    Pat and Pearl you both know I love you and am always on guard when either of you are maligned here. I can add that I am equally upset when anyone here gets their feelings hurt intentionally.

    It is a shame that whatever subject is put forth the issue of grace versus obedience to the law takes it hostage.

    It can be said that both sides of the issue are not properly argued by people who only can see them in a lessor light. However that is the way they see things and any opposition to it is seen as being wrong.

    I can and do agree with Gary that we have an *accountability* to Jesus for being His followers. That we are to live a holy life and in so doing be a living example to others.

    Also that we are given stern warnings if we don’t.

    I also agree with others that Grace trumps law and that we are forgiven for our sins. However I must ask for forgiveness and give it liberally to those who ask of it from me.

    Also given reassurance that we are kept by Jesus’ sacrifice.

    I also believe that there is more to the matter than I see/understand because at this time in my relationship with God the little light or dark glasses that I see through is all that God wants me to see.

    What troubles me is the back and forth, back and forth arguing that goes on trying to change the mind of another that just is never going to happen.

    Pearl you are right, we need that “ignore” button. It is internally set in our hearts but is called “longsuffering”, a fruit of our Spirit.

    The Scripture areas Mart gave reference to are all about *Wisdom* let us all be wise in how we respond and what we say, always showing the face of Jesus when we do.

    One final comment, Jesus scolded some for their lack, but He also died for them. Tough love is still love.

    A snowy, but wet morning. One of those that makes you take pictures as the snow clings to everything and showcases it all in a brighter *light*.


  178. joycemb says:

    To deny oneself- thoughts, feelings, and desires- is carrying your cross as the sensual things of this world and our fallen nature are contrary to the new creation we are in Christ. Sometimes even denying conversational traps that only lead to death/destruction are wisdom. Jesus came to give life! Abundant life! As Oswald Chambers says, when Jesus hurts us for our good it is a deeper pain than anyone could inflict yet leads to life through change. Pain inflicted by ourselves or others doesn’t. I know this well. Especially pain inflicted by other Christians-as has been done to me and by me.

    Gary is wise to not attend to your questions, Pooh, just as he stated why he shouldn’t. Perhaps you are blind to your own direct style of questioning that creates disharmony, just as I too have blind spots in my relational style and have caused disharmony within my own family. There’s plenty of blame to go around though I think.

    Shalom to all.

  179. street says:

    Colossians 3:12-17

    thinking the dimmer we are the brighter Christ is.

  180. oneg2dblu says:

    It is so much easier to see the clearing in the midst of the forest, when the trees are not falling your way, or onto you.
    But when nothing but the broken sharp edged branches are whipping at you, you may also be inclined to strike back, when your humanity kicks in just to momentarily protect you.
    When the forest fire is advancing on someone else though, I too am thinking, why don’t they just drop what they are doing and run into that clearing which I see?

    We all don’t always just sit and wait for the Gardener to come by and do His pruning first, instead we throw back a few barbs of our own.

    Just thinking…

  181. street says:

    55 “‘But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live. 56 And then I will do to you what I plan to do to them.’”

    who’s barbs are they?

    God did do this to israel and all His promises are still good.

    i remember when i am going to pass through the flames they will not harm me. it’s not if but when i do.

  182. joycemb says:

    Every time I read Marts last sentence an old song comes to mind from the 70’s I believe. I can’t think of her name now but she was a very popular sultry performer (but getting older) and published I believe her last song called “is That All There Is”. The lyrics I remember go like this:

    Is that all there is?
    Is that all their is my friends?
    Then let’s keep dancing,
    Let’s break out the booze and have a ball,
    If that’s all there is…

    This came out just before I became a Christian I think and remember feeling very disheartened, especially because it came during a period of my life when I had it all, so to speak. But it did make me begin searching for something more. Praise God He does not leave us alone in our misery!

  183. joycemb says:

    Speaking of forgiveness I was reading Job 42:8-10. God commanded Job to pray for those who spoke wrongly about God. Powerful.

  184. street says:

    living in low light.
    thinking of david leaving jerusalem as civil war breaks out in his family. i think of shimei cursing david and pelting him and his followers with stones. shimei was right in that david was a man of bloodshed and a scoundrel. his big mistake was thinking God could not save him or deliver him. david did not let them raise a hand against shimei. he was later dealt with by the Thrown of David.

  185. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve…thank you for watching out for us. Inasmuch as I joyfully observe creature behavior daily, I understood your noisy bird analogy the other day and thought it right on target. I have found that even the very annoying ones can be quite comical and entertaining…especially the crows!

    The crows are very intelligent..they have the same size brain as a monkey. We have chosen to feed them and they love the suet, but they were eating 2 cakes a day, so Frank took 2 perches/hooks off the pole where he attached a log for the wood peckers to get the suet comfortably. They learned to get at it pretty good with the 2 hooks, so he removed those( 2 b put back next month for hummingbird feeders)He thought he had beat them. I told him that I didn’t think so, that they had gone to find a hack saw to cut down the log to get that suet. Well, we left for a few hours and when we came back, the log was DOWN. We don’t know HOW they did it but we laughed all night about that. NOW the crows are actually working at holding on to the log like a woodpecker!!! They get better at it daily.

    In that same way (after much prayer) I can now find the humor in the continual mal-behavior of one here even when it is directed towards others. I pray for the victims and try to get them to smile and ignore.

    Sometimes, I see it in such a humorous manner that I laugh out loud now whereas I used to get very angry. Today I imagined a wolf in a $4.99 sheep costume from Walmart with the plastic mask off to the left, exposing his big sharp teeth. He was standing in the midst of a flock of sheep accusing some of them of being wolves in sheep’s clothing among other things. I found it very amusing. I know it is far better to laugh than get angry and this works for me. :-) I hope everyone has a Blessed evening.

  186. cbrown says:

    Mart said, “what happens when, in the burden, confusion, and limitations of human perspective, we get a hint of something far better.”I have been taught that when under attack by the evil one rebuke satan and proclaim, in the name of Jesus Christ and the power of His blood I rebuke you. Today when under attack I instead rebuked satan and said in the name of Jesus Christ and the power of His Love I rebuke you.

  187. remarutho says:

    Good Evening BTA —

    The agenda at Been Thinking About is set by our host, Mart DeHaan. The well-worn easy chair in the header of the blog site is an indicator, a hint. We are invited in as dear guests to muse, share and respond to what Mart freely offers. We are invited to park our personal agendas outside.

    To step over the threshold of the study is to agree to terms of hospitality. Here, Christ-like civility is welcome — unlike so many other places. BTA is the furthest possible thing from a public house or a bus stop, it seems to me.

    Have to agree, Steve, the pattern of “back and forth, back and forth arguing that goes on trying to change the mind of another” makes weary work. If someone is persuaded here of God’s love in Christ, what a good thing. If not, we cannot remedy. I for one am never persuaded by being condemned.

    Thanks, Mart, for inviting me in. Hope to make a contribution to the topic, rather than making all here cringe to hear my voice. We all stand in our own shadow — most especially when we turn our back on the Light of the world! :o)

    Grace & Peace,

  188. SFDBWV says:

    There is a term I use, have heard used, and likely will continue hearing used by people trying to explain something *almost* supernatural.

    “Seeing through the vail”

    I would imagine most of us have had those little glimpses that last only a millisecond whereby we experience something beyond ourselves; where we can almost see beyond the vail.

    A vail is usually something sheer enough to see through, but not clearly.

    A bride wears one and only removes it just as the marriage vows are made to expose her radiant beauty and happiness that was partially hidden only moments before.

    In the temple the vail separated man from God and only specially selected priests were ever allowed to enter into the holy of holies.

    At the moment of Jesus’ death the temple vail was torn removing the barrier between man and God giving us all the opportunity to come before God one on one.

    Yet being able to clearly *see* remains clouded by many things, including all the *baggage* and *junk* we keep in view, illustrated by Mart’s picture.

    Meditation should clear out your mind well enough to let God’s light in, but far too often when we try to quiet our mind all we hear or see are the things that overshadow our ability be still, see and hear God’s voice.

    But sometimes in those very special moments God shouts loud enough to open up our eyes and ears to Him, and it is in that moment when I can “almost see through the vail.”

    23 degrees under a starry sky, it won’t be light for another hour, but I like it best when I have my private time with God there under the stars with the cool morning air before all of the critters awake so I am off to my quiet time and maybe God will give me another glimpse of “something better to come” and maybe I will be required to hold that hope in a heart of faith and trust instead…today.


  189. jeff1 says:

    This is the words of a song I love:

    Talkin’ is cheap, people follow like sheep
    Even though there is nowhere to go.

    “If” that little word that has so many repercussions.

    If only I thought about what I said before I opened my mouth but the truth is at the time I said it I was angry and wanted to upset.

    The hardiest part is having to say “your sorry” and mean it!

    I can usually justify my anger for usually another person has given me reason to be upset and that is why I find it so hard to call myself a Christian and believe it because I often act so much like an non Christian.

    I need God as much as a non believer because believing God exists does not mean that I find it easy to follow Him.

    It is perhaps why Paul is my favorite apostle because I can understand where he was coming from in that he always felt unworthy of God’s love for he had not always loved God’s children and knew he did not deserve it but he also knew God loved him despite the fact.

    It is God who is faithful to me and though I may believe I am faithful to Him, the truth is I do not count the times that I failed Him.

  190. oneg2dblu says:

    I wonder how we can all gather together here to openly and freely discuss any topics, or explain what we have been thinking about, and not bring our opinions with us, thinking there must be a sign somewhere that says, “Check your humanity at the door!”
    Lets face it, we all get what we get in this life and in this life there will be troubles.
    Thank God we don’t get what we deserve, but we do get what we don’t deserve!
    That can be a blessing or a curse, all depending on which veil/ perspective our humanity chooses to look through.

    The human condition can not be checked at the door, it comes with us, and each one here has had their stuff, ruffled, tempted, or challenged, or well watered and changed, as we continue to grow, or we’ve been stifled, as we refuse to be corrected and changed.

    But, that is just my opinion…

    Yes, we all see dimly as through a veil.

    But God can and did, and still does, rip that veil from top to bottom, and give us a full view access.

    Sometimes it is but a moment or prayer away.

  191. narrowpathseeker says:

    Vivian, I can’t begin to tell you how much you Blessed me this morning. I was feeling totally unworthy of God’s love this morning and your post was the first thing I read after I got up off my knees in prayer this morning. Once again your beautiful honesty and humble spirit has touched me more than I can express. God
    Bless you.

  192. oneg2dblu says:

    Thank you Mart and Friends, for giving us a place with a voice to share, what we have all, Been Thinking About.

  193. foreverblessed says:

    Finally I can see the picture! Is it junk, or useful electronics?
    Can’t see.
    I would like to share something personal. I had received an angry letter, and had spread it before God, just like king Hezekiah had done. 2 Kings 19:14-15
    What to do, stop seeing the person, or what else, writes an e- mail, or what
    Then Gary gave the God at eventide of March 4:
    Just like Moses, to the edge of the water we must go.
    And I asked God, what would going to the edge of the waterside mean in this case? And the thought developed in my head to phone the Person, and ask to visit him.
    And I asked a few people to pray. And realised that God is the Only One who can divide the waters. I am helpless
    Then Cbrown gave his advice, in the case the meeting would explode.
    I visited this morning, and God was with us! Peace! And I am sooooo thankful.
    Psalm 34 is the Psalm of the week in the protestant churches overhere!
    But thanks be to God! And you all for posting!

  194. joycemb says:

    Wonderful posts this morning! So far all are pointing to God and His great love! Thank you I am blessed!

  195. foreverblessed says:

    I am also following Discover the World, on Mercy, the seconden week now.
    What a thorough discussions, and asking questions, that we may ask: Is God only forgiving us when we repent and turn to Jesus as our Savior, but does He not take away the consequences?
    So Christ’s Cross cannot make everything new?

    This topic is about that everything is way much better than we could ever imagine!
    And that is true, but hard to imagine.

  196. remarutho says:

    My thanks to all who have posted on Reading in Low Light this morning — especially you, Gary, with your refreshing and honest bit of self-examination:

    “…as we refuse to be corrected and changed.”

    Amen, brother! Hold to your solid principles — you are not moved by what you see or hear! You can be counted on to keep steadily to your amazing agenda.


  197. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you Gary for correcting the spelling of “veil” for me. Admittedly spelling is not one of my best talents.

    Also Gary I would agree with you that our personalities are exposed by our thoughts expressed here. Unfortunately that personality is often the real person we are not the person of Jesus Christ that we would rather see represented in us. And why there are so many disagreements.

    Pearl, crows are the smartest bird I know of and some are even taught to talk as does a parrot. I don’t have the problem of them now that I only feed on my rock and on the back porch of the old house next door to me. Instead of up at the old stump farther up in my back yard, also I quit putting out corn and crows like corn a lot.

    The suet feeder is up under the eaves of the back porch next door and crows would not be able to get to it at all.

    Ravens though are my favorite of the two as I love to hear their guttural sound as they glide silently through the timber.

    I always imagined that Adam could communicate with the animals, or at least something in me wants to believe he could; the lack of which is attributed to the fall and introduction of sin into the world.

    Like our topic of reading in low light there is something that occurs when we look into the eyes of an animal that is looking into ours, as if we could almost understand each other without a single word spoken.

    We have enjoyed a spring like day with the temperatures reaching 60 and all of the snow almost gone, but no Robins yet.


  198. poohpity says:

    Maru, thanks for the chuckle but coming from you even tickled me more. ;-)

    Hopefully people will look to Jesus to represent Himself. He does a so much better job being Himself and the people He loves the most, it seems, see their own sin and ask for His pardon and His righteousness as He shines a light within our minds, hearts and souls. Because when His light shines within us He is the one who can heal, mend, restore and cleanse.

  199. poohpity says:

    It would seem the only way we can correctly represent Jesus is by showing grace and mercy to those we feel are undeserving and even enemies, acting in a manner that is a reflection of what He did by giving up His rights and privileges for the good of mankind.

  200. jeff1 says:

    Gary 9.18 am post

    Narrowpathseeker 9.18 am post, thank you for your blessing and understanding.

    Gary you said: “as we refuse to be corrected and changed”.

    I do not believe the reality of being changed is as black and white when lived out as the words imply.

    I can want to be changed but struggle in the flesh. Should I give up because I struggle or should I persevere in the hope that practice makes perfect!

    When I get angry now it is usually because I see injustice but my anger will not change injustice in this world as I have discovered for injustice has been around longer than I have.

    It is difficult to rest in ‘Christ’ in this world because times change and faces change but man’s injustice to man does not!

    Only God can correct me to what is truth and this world will always get in the way for I walk by faith not sight.

  201. poohpity says:

    Otherwise it is all meaningless chatter.

  202. remarutho says:

    Good Afternoon BTA Friends —

    Holding onto the topic, I reflected today upon your opening sentence, Mart:

    “The book of Ecclesiastes, like the books of Job and Psalms show how easily we confuse our own understanding with our thoughts of God.”

    It seems to me you hope to direct the discussion toward wisdom — or the wisdom literature of Scripture. Light, as some have noted in the course of this conversation, enters our hearts and minds — even in the face of our obtuse and self-absorbed thinking. A miracle.

    Mortals swim one direction in time, as fish swim with the river current. Because we must.

    The blessed Holy Spirit has His way by the divine means of grace even as we hold as tightly as we can to the shadows. The irresistible force impacts the immovable object — and by Divine Providence the sparks produce light!

    You wrote, quoting Solomon:

    “He (God) has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” We get only brief glimpses, it seems. Faith is an wondrous, God-given thing!

    Joy all day,

  203. joycemb says:

    Psalm 1:1-2 NLT

  204. oneg2dblu says:

    jeff1… To me, all change is started in our minds first, and after many trials, then the reluctant body follows.
    I like to think about my past love/hate relationship with cigarettes.
    First, I thought it as a right of passage into adulthood, because so many adults did it. Commercials glamorized it, and they were attainable everywhere to everybody, even kids.
    So, in my teens, probably more like twelve and on, I had to keep trying to inhale, finding a first that I would only cough and choke, but after several failures, came success.
    I learned how I could tolerate even a poisonous substance, first rejected, to be finally being accepted. Then, I though I had become a man, I learned how to handle my smoke/drink/ you name, like others before me.
    My new friend was a pack of Lucky Strikes, turned up into my sleeve on my t shirt. Along with sideburns, I had finally attained the all desired cool image.
    But, underneath that facade was an ugly dirty habit, growing and becoming a part of me, whether I wanted it or not, it was soon controlling me.
    If I was hungry, only a butt would satisfy.
    If I had just eaten, only a butt would satisfy.
    If I were cold, only a butt would satisfy.
    If I was hot, only a butt would satisfy.
    Get the picture, any time, any place, and for any reason, a butt would satisfy, that missing something.
    But, there came a day, when I no longer wanted to continue putting poison in my body. Something in my mind changed first.
    Then, another battle began, first in the mind, and after many trials, success came as I knew that I knew, I had finally after years of failure, gotten that twenty plus year monkey off my back.
    Was it easy, absolutely not!
    Was it impossible? Absolutely not!
    Because, I never gave up trying, and trying, and trying.
    So, it is with our faith, first our renewed mind is where the walk starts, and after many trials, the reluctant body follows.
    So, the message is the same, “Set your mind on things above,” and through all life’s trials, never give up.
    That principle can be applied to all things.
    All things are possible with Christ!
    Habitual behaviors can be broken…conquered.
    Be Blessed, Gary

  205. oneg2dblu says:

    Maru… I am sorry you’ve stooped to another personal attack, but, you just could not help yourself. PUN

  206. oneg2dblu says:

    Steve… first a compliment, then, an agreeing statement.
    I just can’t argue with that.
    Thanks Brother!

  207. oneg2dblu says:

    Maru… Yes, faith is wonderful God given gift.
    But, without the works, without the testing, without the trials, and without walking in it, the gift is without proof, or dead, and so are we who take it for granted and do nothing with it.

  208. oneg2dblu says:

    By faith Noah built the arc.
    By faith Moses crossed the Red Sea.
    By faith, so many other great deeds were done, that by doing nothing, or faith without works, we would have to change the entire chapter on faith.
    Just thinking…

  209. oneg2dblu says:

    Is my agenda showing? :)

  210. street says:

    been thinking of the 23 Psalm.
    not much work on our part in the Psalm.

    as for preparing a table before me in the presents of my enemies, i understand God doesn’t do away with them, but uses them to accomplish His will.
    what a mighty God!

    also been thinking of isaac and ishmael and abrahams relationship to them.

  211. street says:

    there is tyranny in the law.
    and great freedom in trust in God’s love.
    love is the end of the law.
    the cross made an end of sin for the saint.
    it also made an end to the idea there was something in me of merit.

  212. jeff1 says:

    Gary your post 7.14 pm

    For me Gary change has started in my heart, I know in my heart that what I am thinking is not Christian. It is my mind that struggles with the truth for I have difficulty in knowing the truth anymore.

    My earthly father had wisdom that I never had for I am so much more like my mother who abused as a child and had mental issues.

    Yes, Gary many do conquer their habitual behaviors but many like my mother do not and die broken because of them.

    I do believe ‘Jesus’ died for the lost because many do not conquer but I do not believe that failure to conquer in life means hell in death.

    Jesus over turned hell at the ‘Cross’ and that is the foundation of my faith.

    I do not know what works God is doing in others, the new IRA have broken the peace agreement in my Country and an attempt on the life of a member of the Security Forces was carried out.

    Even my enemies God uses to accomplish His will so when it comes to my enemies I must trust God, Jesus had to die on the Cross and look at what happened Peter and Paul.

    You are telling us what your walk has been but everyone’s is different.

    Today I have to accept, that men, who where terrorists, (and may still be) according to the Security Forces, but hidden by the Government, because they do no want to derail the Peace Process, are governing my Country.

    Have these men changed their mind Gary, I do not believe so as they have never admitted they where involved in terrorism and they have justified their acts by using history to do so.

    I know too well what you speak of when you say wolves in sheep clothing but just like Paul changed on the road to Damascus, I do not know what God is doing in these men’s hearts!

    He is working in mine so, he could be working in theirs and that is my hope, Gary, more hope,than faith here, because I struggle to love them and the reason is they are killing for the same reason man always kills for, ownership, territorial.

    They criticize the Governments of the past for doing exactly what they are doing using intimidation, violence and lies to obtain their goals.

    Man’s ways are man’s ways but thank goodness God’s ways are not.

  213. narrowpathseeker says:

    Vivian, Gary……………… when I read Gary’s analogy of failed attempts to quit smoking to our failed attempts to rise above ourselves in various areas(my own interpretation)it clicked with me immediately as it took me almost 50 years of failed attempts to quit smoking….BUT I finally made it and while there is plenty I still have to rise above, there are also victories because I kept trying and praying and am still trying and praying about the many remaining failures.

    When I read Vivian’s honest and humble message the other day about feeling unworthy, it also clicked right away.

    I was thinking about a cookbook…baking, boiling, frying….pastries, sauces, meats, veggies….all different ingredients and different directions in the same book. Different situations, different directives in the bible? Anyway, I tend to be able to relate and be moved by both of your views at times as well as relating and being moved by most here. Maybe because I have been on both sides of so many fences while walking in many different shoes. Different situations…different recipes? We don’t bake Jello? May ALL have a Blessed day

  214. oneg2dblu says:

    jeff1… I do not know if those men changed their mind, by I do know that the way of the flesh for all mankind, is controlled by what he in his mind allows his body to do.
    “All a man’s ways seem right to him.”
    To me, Repentance,or true repentance, is a turning of the mind first, and then the body.
    Because, if the body continues to do wrong, who then controls their own body, but the mind which tells it what to do?
    Now, if the mind is not right, do to a chemical imbalance, or some type of developmental disorder, or PTSD, or the like, then, the body surely suffers as a result.
    Is it a hopeless situation?
    Or, has God provided something or someone to help those who now suffer?
    I trust He has, “Come Jesus!”

  215. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Narrow for the blessed day!
    About conquering evil, -overcoming to the end-
    Rev 3:5,12,21
    It is important that we hold on to the faith to the end, even if for years, failure is around-
    But…. If Jesus had not conquered evil on the Cross, we could try what we want, but we would still be lost.

    It is not to gainsay anybody, I hope nobody is hurt by what I write, I only want to add, that it is in the Cross all is solved, and we have to keep believing in the message of the Cross, especially when we keep on failing for years and years.
    Do not give up in believing the saving Power of Jesus.

  216. foreverblessed says:

    Jeff, I am always thinking: in graven only those will be, that are truly repentant and have changed hearts. There, in heaven we would not have to worry, who is honostly true or not.

    But my prayer is that all evil and violant people in your country will come to repentance! Just as apostle Paul did, you mentioned that too!

  217. foreverblessed says:

    Heaven instead of graven (Graves)

  218. foreverblessed says:

    I have had a battle with stage fright! It was so powerful, when the fright grabbed me I was petrified, and my body frozen. It was stronger then me. I kept playing piano, on stage, and that was possible because there was a whole group of musicians!
    God gave me just enough strength to go on. I did my part at home of enough practice, so that the thoughts: -you have not practised enough- could be sent away immidiately.
    But… the fear kept coming when I was on stage.
    And as I said, it was stronger then me.

    The only thing we christians can do is keep trying, keep believing that someday God will free us! But we cannot save ourselves.
    And indeed, one day, a dear lady prayed for me, at the church housegroup, about letting go, and giving myself totally in the hands of God. And such a peace came over me! The next Sunday, when playing at church, I noticed the fear was gone, things went wrong, mistakes in musical chords, and I kept praising God!
    I though this an absolute miracle: God had set me free of stage fright, of fear!
    For more than 35 years a struggle! Praise God for His Salvation! He saved me from fear. Without Him, it would still be there.

    Now, why did God not free me earlier? Maybe I did not have enough faith, maybe God wanted to build perseverance in me as well!! Maybe both.

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