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How We Look

P1030461 (1)Is there a difference between what we see and how we see it?

For example, is there a difference between what we see in ourselves, others, the Bible, current events, personal circumstances, the future, etc. and how we look at it?

We’ve talked together before about the observation that we see things not only as they are, but as we are. What does that mean?

Does it have anything to do with what Jesus meant when he said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”, or what Paul meant when he said, “to the pure all things are pure?”

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126 Responses to “How We Look”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Oh no there is that jackass in a dry and thirsty land once again.

    The obvious answer to Mart’s question is of course we all see different things or see things differently.

    The famous “Rorschach ink blot test” is evidence of that. As well as every word heard in editorial comments, on the opinion page of any newspaper and most evident of all between Christians discussing Scripture.

    Even when we try our best to find commonality, it is with shades of individuality.

    Perhaps the pure in heart are pure in heart because they have Jesus in their heart.


  2. jeff1 says:

    I truly believe that Jesus can change hearts but the battle is in the mind but then I have had always struggles of the mind.

    I had an unstable mother and brother but God does compensate because I had a father that taught me more about God than all my religious friends or my church attendance ever did because he walked the walk but did not talk the talk.


    What must I do
    to insure peace of mind?
    Is the answer I’m seeking,
    too hard to find?
    How can I know
    what God wants me to be?
    How can I tell
    what’s expected of me?
    Where can I go
    for guidance and aid
    To help me correct
    the errors I’v made?
    The answer is found
    in doing three things
    And great is the gladness
    that doing them brings . . .
    “Do justice” – “Love kindness” –
    “Walk humbly with God” –
    For with these three things
    as your “rule and your rod”
    All things worth having
    are yours to achieve
    If you follow God’s words
    and have faith to believe!

  3. SFDBWV says:

    I am sorry Mart but after watching some news this morning I have to bring the overwhelming subject of Great Briton leaving the EU over to this subject of seeing things differently.

    The leader of “Brexit” Nigel Farage’s address to the EU Parliament, is worth the attention of any interested party. Everything about it is “telling” in as far as both nationality and the sight of things seen differently.

    If you watch the clip as did I watch the faces of the other members of the EU Parliament as well as listen to the insults thrown at them from Farage.

    Amazing, just amazing.

    A stone’s throw away from extreme hostility and we all know who threw the first stone in the Bible as he killed his brother.


  4. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    I’m inclined to agree with you, Steve, that is a mule (Jack or Jenny, take your pick). It is not a donkey, to my eyes. Some might wish to disagree — and that is always welcome. But to argue over which breed of animal is in the picture is absurd. (“That’s no moon! It’s a space station!”)

    Having an opinion is a reality of human thinking. Complications challenge when we proceed to act on the basis of opinion without facts. Millions are pouring out of Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq — and N. Africa. That is a fact. How we as the body of Christ treat these immigrants speaks volumes about our devotion to the Lord.

    It is frightening to think all the jobs, living space, medical care, food assistance and other social services will be taken by immigrants. Jesus continues to say, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.

    “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

    When fear is politicized it is ugly.


    12C here. Forecast for 27C

  5. street says:

    How We Look
    reconcile according to dictionary.com

    verb (used with object), reconciled, reconciling.
    to cause (a person) to accept or be resigned to something not desired:
    He was reconciled to his fate.
    to win over to friendliness; cause to become amicable:
    to reconcile hostile persons.
    to compose or settle (a quarrel, dispute, etc.).
    to bring into agreement or harmony; make compatible or consistent:
    to reconcile differing statements; to reconcile accounts.
    to reconsecrate (a desecrated church, cemetery, etc.).
    to restore (an excommunicate or penitent) to communion in a church.
    verb (used without object), reconciled, reconciling.
    to become reconciled.

    seems to me, there is more going on in us than meets the eye. i love the truth of accepting something that is not desired. we understand the second definition but struggle with the first one. the first one speaks to my of surrender, yielding, denial of self, taking up the cross, following Jesus. denial,an assertion that something said, believed, alleged, etc., is false. thinking i am false a lie, or nothing apart from Jesus, God. putting to death a lie is an everyday affair.

    8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

    5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

  6. street says:

    when i think of my last post i think of abrham setting out in the morning with his only son early. abraham came to the finale test of his faith here on earth. he disregarded everything he knew and followed God’s instruction because he came to the place he could trust God in all things. in sickness in health, for richer or poor, in good times and bad, in sorrow and joy in life and in death.

    thinking of being resigned to something not desired, similar to having fear, but not paralyzed, able to function. function correctly.

  7. remarutho says:

    Dear All —

    Nigel Farage’s address to the EU is the best thing on the internet this morning. Had been flossing around the house with the radio on, but listening with half an ear.

    Farage’s speech is bracing. He made good sense in the practical matters of tariffs and trade — still not addressing the root (spiritual) issue:

    The Lord has loosed millions of Middle Easterners and Africans to become part of the prosperity and opportunity of the developed world.

    What must the people of the developed world do?

    The anger and offense on the faces of the assembly in the Hague is a revelation, it seems to me.

    Joy all day,

  8. remarutho says:

    Correction, the EU Parliament is meeting Strasbourg, not the Hague. Sorry. Maru

  9. poohpity says:

    Mart asked, “We’ve talked together before about the observation that we see things not only as they are, but as we are. What does that mean?”

    To me it means exactly what it says, “we see things not only as they are, but AS WE ARE”. If we are one way then one normally sees things from that type of perspective and sees that in others whether it is really there or not. The old saying that fits is; “When pointing a finger at someone watch because you have THREE pointing back at you. The bible puts it another way, “You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things.”.

    Yesterday in ODB it was talking about drifting away from God. The further that we drift from God the more apparent the sins of others are but the closer we get to God the more apparent our own sins become and we understand we have no room to speak.

  10. remarutho says:

    Sheesh! EU’s parliament is in session in Brussels! Did have to look more than once! Maru

  11. poohpity says:

    Jesus also said, ““And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? 4 How can you think of saying to your friend, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye?”. We see “AS WE ARE”.

  12. poohpity says:

    But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

  13. joycemb says:

    We can be at peace with others easily by allowing them to continue down the wrong road in their blindness. Righteousness is to be sought after or else the result is death. And their blind way of evil will pollute, as the Israelites found out when they integrated their lives with other deities.

    Even as we all come from different places, cultures, ethnicities, we can seek to understand each other which tends to reduce fear. Yet we are to be wise in the way we live out our lives wherever we are. And that Way for Christians is the way of the cross. The cross is not just a “get out of hell free card”. It’s a lonely, narrow way of obedience, love and trust, trust in God alone. Yes, its not trust in ourselves and what we “know” or think we know but in God alone.

    Humility is accepting we may be wrong, actually we probably are wrong. I know I’m wrong a lot! To admit and accept we are wrong is a virtue that reveals Who is in control of our lives, :-)

  14. poohpity says:

    “I think the most compelling lesson about uncovering sin in someone else’s life occurs in John’s Gospel account, when a group of angry deacons shove an adulterous woman in front of Jesus while he’s teaching in the temple courts.

    One simple statement from our Savior left those mean-spirited men—who up until that moment had been hurling insults—mute. His words illuminated their own ugly flaws, which made shaming someone else much less appealing. One by one they dropped their rocks and slunk away.

    There is a big difference in confronting sin, going about it gently and with humility restoring them to a right relationship with God. Jesus said, Matt 18:15 NLT and then Paul taught Gal 6:1-3 compared to having a critical spirit just because one may not agree with another or may not like them personally.

  15. poohpity says:

    It is who we are before we start looking at others which shows “How We Look”.

  16. joycemb says:

    The Bible is not a weapon. It is a God breathed history of Whom we follow, and why. To use it as a weapon is to demean our great God.

    Trying myself to stop using it to shoot others down; as I too was once falsely taught long ago.

  17. foreverblessed says:

    How we think, that’s how we interprete facts.
    Yes, I do agree!
    When I was younger, I was very apprehensive of Europe, I was in a bible church, focussed on prophecy, endtime prophecies, and waiting for Jesus to return.
    Fear was the main thing in my life. Fear of the future!
    I do agree, Maru, that when people only have fear for the refugee, how terrible our State is.
    But I have to admit, I was the same!
    I saw Europe as the resurrection of the Roman Empire! So I was against it!
    The European thoughts developed right after the War, with visionary people who thought that France and Germany would do better working together then making

  18. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry, it just posted itself, then making War. So in 1951 a treaty was signed in Paris, it was on coal and steal trade.
    Benelux also had come alongside ( being Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg, who already had a treaty together)
    In 1958 it became the European Economical Community, and more countries were added.
    But still there were customs, and long lines at the border. And all these trucks waiting to be checked. What a slowdown for trade. We traveled lits to Belgium, and Germany, and England. So I have seen customs a lot as a child.

    I now see the advantage of free travelling of people and goods.
    And the single currency, we had lots of different moneybags, German money, Belgium money, French etc.
    So I see things more positive now, besides now I discipline myself to look to Jesus, and not on the waves as Peter did on the water. Jesus Kingdom is amongst us, He is in me, what can man do to me.

  19. foreverblessed says:

    So now I may still think europe is the roman empire, but I am not afraid anymore. Besides, when the iron curtain fell, I saw that there was an eastern europe!
    They had not been freed after the war, and we were free since 1945. (Street, Spain had their own internal war, they had their own dictator, right until the 70s).
    I looked at Germany, and the western part incorperated the eastern part, and for 20 years they were in recession because of that. But they still did it! Now eastern Germany is doing better. I saw it as a plight to be solidary with eastern europe, I would have liked if a sort of Marshall Plan was initiated. But instead they look for economical binding. And the richer countries bleed for the poorer ones. Just as the US has bled for us.
    One member of my parliament said, we do not feel european, we like the give money to the poorer parts of the Netherlands, but not to the poorer parts of Europe. So, where is the problem? With Europe, or with the state of mind of the person who said that?
    We do want our borders back, and our fishing seas!
    About the fishing seas, the codfish was getting less and less in the North Sea, so it was decided that it was prohibited to fish codfish any more. And many small fishing families in the Netherlands went down.
    You could say, well, these awful regulations. And that is only part of the story. You would have told only half of the truth.
    Would these regulations not have been, the codfish would have died out, and gone. And the fishing families would have gone down with it anyway. From then on for more then 20 years, maybe 30, no codfish at the local market. Since a couple of years it is back! So the codfish population in the North Sea has recuperated from all the fishing. And then the english say: we want our fishing back. I see that as only part of the story telling.

    I live in a very small country, dense populated, and many many cattle (too much in my opinion, we have more pigs then humans, more chicken then humans) What do you think must happen to all of the dung they produce. So we have many many regulations, and they are needed, to keep our country clean. It could be much much better, I think there is too much intensive acriculture and livestock.
    What I am trying to say is, that I am already accustomed to lots of regulations. And I see the good part of it. I do not resent it.
    I once worked with a steal company, they would get rid of their extra paint by throwing it away in the canal at the back of the company! That was the cheapest way for the company, better profit! Profit is not all that counts! Respect for the environment is another thing.
    I am babbling away.
    But solidarity with eastern europe, is a main thing for me now. Not fear of a roman empire. Besides, it would be clay mixed with steal, so not the harsh steal roman empire it was 2000 year ago. If it is true that europe is about the roman empire.

    When Angela Merkel said: wir schaffen dass
    It was like: he, we humans are learning what Jesus was teaching us in the beautitudes!
    But now when I hear the politician of today, I see, we still have to learn some more, Jesus cannot come back. We have work to do folks, teaching Jesus, and what He stood for.

  20. joycemb says:

    Forever that is so interesting to hear your life in Europe. Yes, no matter where on the globe we live if our life is hidden in Christ we have overcome the world!

  21. street says:

    maru asked,”What must the people of the developed world do?” set them free! two ways come to mind. first freedom in Christ and second seek righteousness and justice where they came from. it is sad to think they risked life and limb coming to the modern world looking for righteousness and justice. i think of the refugee who fled their homeland and has not heard the gospel, will they find it? thinking further of the refugee who rejected Christ in their homeland. will they have a change of heart in a foreign land?

    Matthew 11:28
    28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

  22. joycemb says:

    Whether my next door neighbor or newly moved in travelers our vision is that all the world would be saved. I have friends that just returned from Cypris (sp)? being trained by YWAM to minister to refugees there. Their youthful exuberance and health are used by God, just as my not-so-youthful loyalty is used by God to further His kingdom. Christian worldview trumps a National worldview any day or time.

  23. Rocky says:

    Mart, That’s a great question we all have blind spots, but before we are aware of them, we tend to deny them because how can anything possibly be different than what we are seeing? Is what we ask ourselves.

    The bible teaches us not to lean on our own understanding, but often times this is what we end up doing. In addition We tend to take the path of least resistance, we enjoy our comfort zones, change is not always fun, exciting or easy.

    We also become creatures of our environment, if a message is being taught by a respected person, and the people that we respect believe the message that is being taught, we accept it, even though the teacher says do your own research.

    Doing the research is hard work, Satan was able to deceive Adam and Eve, by twisting the truth just a tiny bit, do we really believe that we are more superior than Adam and Eve that we won’t or can’t be deceived like that?

    It’s vitally important to seek and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit daily, if not what we are seeing could very well be an illusion.

  24. street says:

    rocky said,”if not what we are seeing could very well be an illusion.”

    thinking r c sproul catching his reflection in a mirror and thinking what if he had deceived himself?

    my reply, don’t thinking those’s who seek the God of the Bible will find themselves in the dark when the Son returns. it may get dark, but i don’t believe they will dissapointed….we are warned not to fall away or give up. Jesus did not and neither did job. both were righteous and both were found faithful. abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. adam and eve believed the devil….i think they changed their minds later about him.

  25. phpatato says:

    Thank you Rocky for that great insight. I agree! And it is good to see you dropping by to share! It has been awhile. Welcome back!

    Street – “don’t thinking those’s who seek the God of the Bible will find themselves in the dark when the Son returns. it may get dark, but i don’t believe they will dissapointed”….

    I am thinking that the hard part is from now to when the Son returns. It is in that space of time that we can very easily be deceived. Satan is a roaring lion looking for those who have let their guard down even a tiny bit, so he can slip in and begin to devour them. Like Rocky said, It’s vitally important to seek and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit daily, if not what we are seeing could very well be an illusion. Prayer, discerning and comparing everything to the Word of God is part of actual research and doing homework. These are very important, especially in these rapidly deteriorating times. We can’t be complacent “if Pastor so and so says it’s right, it must be true” yes-men. We shouldn’t be lazy armchair Christians.


  26. jeff1 says:

    For someone who believed that people can change people I soon discovered that it just is not so. You can preach all you like but if a heart is not willing to listen then there will be no change in a person.

    My father preached to no one but was active in helping people when they needed help but I noted that he never expected people to appreciate it because often they did not.

    Serve but do not expect to be served is what I have found because human nature is exactly what God said it is.

    I am in PART ONLY the body of Christ so what I lack another believer does not lack.

    It is God who knows where we lack and so He uses us where we can serve just as He uses others to their strengths.

    If only we could do the same then we would see others very differently.

    It takes a younger generation to break that cycle because they see us for what we are and not what we think we are.

    I listen to my children because they often relay to me just how big a hypocrite I can be in my observations of others.

    I agree with God there is none other who can make me right with Him than Christ Jesus.

    O soul, are you weary and troubled?
    No light in the darkness you see?
    There’s light for a look at the Savior,
    And life more abundant and free.

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus
    Look full in His wonderful face,
    And the things of the earth will grow strangely dim,
    In the light of His glory and grace.

    Through death into life everlasting
    He passed, and we follow Him there;
    O’er us sin no more has dominion
    For more than conqu’rors we are!

    His word shall not fail you He promised;
    Believe Him and all will be well;
    Then go to a world that is dying,
    His perfect Salvation to tell!

  27. SFDBWV says:

    Well gee where to begin??? The jackass, as I refer to it that Mart puts up is to me symbolic of unreasonable stubbornness. And yes as my friend Maru has pointed out it could easily also be a female ass as well.

    I think the terms have become synonymous with stubbornness worldwide.

    And yes sometimes the truth does sound vulgar.

    When we stand fast on a principal or on a belief we can be seen as stubborn as an ass, or as a principled champion of faith.

    It is going to be seen from the character in the viewer, not necessarily by what it is being viewed. After all once again the old saw says “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.”

    I view ISIS as cowards, murderers and void of a purpose to live among the rest of humanity.

    I view Islam as a religion of death.

    Yet I would imagine that Muslims and particularly those Muslims of ISIS would strongly disagree.

    As I have slowly digested the story of “Brexit” I have come to an observation that Mrs. Thatcher thought that the EU would fail, that just over half of Briton wanted out and that it is about their business not mine.

    We here in the USA fought a war for our independence and then went about forging a nation from coast to coast with a common language and common religion. Now that commonality is under attack by those who think a mixed bag of nuts would be a better country, devoid of any religion at all.

    I have often said of my own beliefs that science proves the existence of a creator and that history proves mankind’s inability to govern itself.

    Good luck to Briton, good luck to the remainder of the EU and prayers for those affected by the murderous cowards who have invaded their lives in Turkey.


  28. poohpity says:

    Here there are people who wish to go down into the Grand Canyon and the animal in the picture is used because they are sure footed and are not spooked easily. They can carry heavy loads not only the people but all their supplies.

    That kind of animal tried to protect Balaam from cursing Israel even though it was beaten severely to continue on it’s journey when the Lord tried to stop him. So it was loyal not only to God but to Balaam.

    That type of animal carried Joseph and Mary on their journey to Jerusalem and carried Jesus on His entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

    So I guess it is true that we look at things as a reflection of how we are or as we are. Seeing a glass of water as half full or half empty or beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  29. poohpity says:

    What is going on in our country at this time is people are tired of politics as usual and some are looking to someone who is not a politician. Our government has prevented job growth by rules and regulations, has caused our debt growth by spending more than it brings in through taxes and what they do bring in has been misused and wasted. People are mad as Hell with what seems to be normal and want change.

    Our country was established so that people had freedom to worship as they pleased whatever that maybe but not to taking the freedoms of others away. Our government was to protect the people who live under our flag and who were given certain rights life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness but now that same government is taking over our rights and freedoms. The people are raising their voices as it seems they are within the EU to be heard. From the news recently it seems France and the Netherlands may be the next to pull out.

    Oppression of the government will not control those freedoms, people will revolt if they have that freedom. Look at the Apartheid as an example.

  30. jeff1 says:

    Perseverance is sometimes difficult when I see what happened in Turkey.

    Then there are those who say they believe in democracy yet when the people vote differently to them then they are stupid people who were led astray and do not know what they are doing.

    What makes these people believe they have voted right when even all the politicians put together do not know!

    Quote from Martin Luther King Jr.

    Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power.

    We have guided missiles and misguided men.

    Nothing much ever changes.


    He was born as little children are
    and lived as children do,
    So remember that the Savior
    was once a child like you,
    And remember that He lived on earth
    in the midst of sinful men,
    And the problems of the present
    existed even then;
    He was ridiculed and laughed at
    in the same heartbreaking way
    That we who fight for justice
    are ridiculed today;
    He was tempted . . .He was hungry . . .
    He was lonely . . . He was sad . . .
    There’s no sorrowful experience
    that the Savior has not had;
    And in the end He was betrayed
    and even crucified,
    For He was truly “One Of Us”–
    He lived on earth and died;
    So do not heed the sceptics
    who are often heard to say:
    “What Does God Up In Heaven
    Know Of Things We Face Today” . . .
    For, our Father up in heaven
    is very much aware
    Of our failures and shortcomings
    and the burdens that we bear;
    So whenever you are troubled
    put your problems in God’s Hand
    For He has faced all problems
    and He Will Understand.

  31. poohpity says:

    America would not be here if people did not revolt against the government in England. A that time the government controlled the church and here in America the founders developed separation of church and state.

    The church only wanted the church leaders to have access to the bible but the people revolted and that lead to having bibles available for all to read.

    If all the people around the world would revolt against the horrors of Radical Islam things may be different. Our leaders here will not even use the term “Radical Islam”. This administration has taken those words out of the FBI handbook and other parts of the government like the CIA, the military and seem shy to address that ideology. People are beginning to revolt.

  32. poohpity says:

    Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” But sadly many Americans are not even educated about the country they live in and it seems most people everywhere stay unaware of what their governments are doing or just do not care enough to educate themselves.

    People seem to be OK with what they are fed by the media as more often than not it is filled with snip-its of truth enough to make a good story line. Like taking parts out of a conversation to suit their own agenda. That happens with God’s word too.

  33. joycemb says:

    Mart said:
    “Does it have anything to do with what Jesus meant when he said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”, or what Paul meant when he said, “to the pure all things are pure?”

    I’ve been thinking about this. Jesus said not to be afraid of things going on in the world because He has overcome the world. I’m thinking when we have a Christian worldview we are done with anger, strife, dissention, criticism and outrage even.

    Why? Because this world is not our home, we are only passing through as the old song goes. Purity can only come through focusing on Jesus– his death, burial and resurrection through which He overcame governments, terrorists, and fear. So much power there that changed us and the ‘world’ more than we commonly understand I think. Why we need to make sure our focus is pure. Giving credit where credit is due.

  34. jeff1 says:

    I agree Joyce we keep saying we are followers of Christ but we do not behave like we are conquerors.

    It is not about this world, men will not change the world, and we are helpers here whom God works through, and we should not feel overcome when we hear the evil people do because we will be reunited with those whom God knows are His when He finally calls us home.

    When I take my eyes of Jesus then I lose my way and fear sets in again because the flesh is weak so it is about keeping our focus on the one who is pure as this strengthens our resolve to survive in this world until our time on earth is over or God has transformed the earth into part of the Kingdom.

    Looking at the powers in this world only confuses me because they do not behave like they know what they are doing, for if they behaved like proper leaders, the people would not be confused and unsure of what is going on in the world.

  35. joycemb says:

    Viv my experience is that turmoil causes me to look to Jesus more, than a sunny day with flowers all around. I’d rather see more sunny days and flowers, and I do which is wonderful, but eventually the flowers die and sun goes behind clouds. But the Word of the Lord stands sure, never changing. So blessed we are!

  36. street says:

    Is there a difference between what we see and how we see it?

    Matthew 7:2
    For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.

  37. street says:

    Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”

    by implication we are equipped to judge correctly. if we were not equipped then we could not be morally responsible.

    John 6:30 “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

  38. joycemb says:

    Interesting street. Judging according to what is God’s will for a persons life vs judging to tear down.

    It’s true we can’t not judge. Yet there is a difference. When we know what is God’s will and we rescue them, according to James, we are saving a life.

    It reminds me of the well-used story with multiple versions which basically tells of 3 nuns who were stuck in a tree during a flood. They decided God would deliver them and no human was going to intercede for them. They refused several attempts to be rescued saying God would come. The ‘story’ goes they died. I feel sorry for anyone who thinks only God can help them along in their humanity/spiritual life. Like some who refuse medical help for children, waiting for God to come and heal. They may die in the process of either waiting for God while their fragile self-estimate (pride) leads them to doom.

    Lord may I be open always to accept reproof knowing it always comes from your Good Hand for my good.

  39. joycemb says:

    Humiliation comes from God also.

  40. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    Mart, you write, “We’ve talked together before about the observation that we see things not only as they are, but as we are. What does that mean?”

    It seems to me, “seeing things as they are” is a rare talent. For example, what we read or hear in media often has a strong slant of opinion, or even judgment (along with all the words of accusation, contempt and resentment that go with it).

    Instead of constructive criticism, we are hearing opinions that amount to “shooting from the hip” — by this I mean hasty, mean-spirited and playing fast and loose with the truth.

    Name three people you are hearing from now in public life who seem to think “Ready, Fire, Aim!” is the way grown-ups communicate.

    “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45; Matt 12:25)

    “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

    Jesus offers us this warning:

    “…Your words show what is in your hearts. Good people bring good things out of their hearts, but evil people bring evil things out of their hearts. I promise you that on the day of judgment, everyone will have to account for every careless word they have spoken.”

    If your question could be answered, Mart, it seems to me we each must ask ourselves:

    “How do I wish to answer for my words and the thoughts and feelings that produced them when my whole life is examined at the great culmination of history?”

    (Many fiscal years end at midnight tonight — and the final report on all transactions will be permanently recorded.)

    Joy all day,

    11C and partly cloudy here

  41. remarutho says:

    Typo in the Matthew reference. It was meant to be Matt 12:35 (not 25) Sorry. Maru

  42. cbrown says:

    Maru, the media knows that the flesh is filled with the desire to satisfy “the pride of life”. That is why they are constantly saying this is the worst ever, hottest ever, coldest ever, most hurricanes, etc. It feeds the fleshes desire to be the most important judge ever.Today’s devotional in “Our Daily Bread” gives the “Door” to eternal salvation. Love, Chris

  43. SFDBWV says:

    I suppose for us in the somewhat modern world the historic awakening of misinformation may have been when Orson Wells broadcast H.G. Wells “The War of the Worlds” over the radio and started a panic.

    People believed what was on the radio to be the truth and as followed believed what is on the TV as truth as well. Now we have the “Internet” and as most of us have “learned” not all we see or hear is true at all.

    Lying and manipulation has caught up with the technology of today and I am certain already making plans to be involved in any more modern communications as well.

    I don’t know of a worse news communication now than the instant social networking people do. As falsehoods and misinformation quickly gather steam and snowball into public opinion immediately. Causing riots and maelstroms at the push of a text message.

    We want instant everything and show little or no patience in not getting it.

    Time to take a minute and read what the Word of God has to say about common sense. According to Solomon only one person in a thousand is said to be wise, that doesn’t say much for the majority does it?

    It was 42 this morning, but has risen to a pleasant 68 as I write.


  44. poohpity says:

    The media is a good example of this topic. They deliver news from the vantage point of their beliefs, as they are and how they look at things. They pick and chose, then deliver what suits their narrative which most often is only a glimpse of the whole story. If they do tell the whole story and allow the listeners to use their brains to come to conclusions it would simply amaze me. They withhold information if it may shed a bad light on who has their loyalty. They know how to use just the right words to withhold truth and skirt the real issue.

    After the Orlando murders the FBI came out the first day and said it was due to Radical Islamic terrorism but latter after the news got done with it and the administration added their views, that narrative all changed to it being about the need to regulate guns. The people then followed.

  45. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Joyce for your June 29, 12.45pm comment I so do agree with it, and what Jeff answered to that. Yes, I do have trouble too, in not looking to Jesus all the time. We had a church gathering last night, and it was God telling us to come at His table, and be at peace, He is with us, and all around us!

    That knowing full well, all the time, that is what I desire.

    Chris, you are so right, the worst this or that ever.
    Just saw a comedy on our tv, a few weeks ago, it was about the roman empire, and the worst sports riot ever was discussed. I had never heard of it, it happened in Constantinopel (now Istanbul, terrible thing happened in Istanbul, my prayers for them, may God have mercy on them), before the empire was divided in east and west. The Hippodrome riot in 532 AD, wagon races. And the death toll was 30 thousand, by the army in putting down the riot. After that the wagon races were prohibited.
    Sometimes it also helps do read some history, and get some nuance.

    (and thanks Maru for your bible verses, and Steve, nice that weather is better.
    I do find it hard though, the temperature in Fahrenheit. When it is 20 to 25 Celcius, it is nice weather, that must be around 70) Above 30C for a few days, means tropical weather. 37C is body temperature.
    Anyway, totally out of topic, all though this is a matter of how we view things.)
    How do we view, it takes the dying of the old self, and the risen life of Christ in us, to change us into a new man, and a new view. I hope that will be done in me before I get very old. I do voluntary work in old peoples homes, and the very old people can do nothing more than sitting in their chairs. How great life would be, if the spiritual sight had grown very strong, and that time would be a wonderful time with our Lord together, praying for all who would come by, praying for all the people they talk about. Seeing in the spiritual realm what is accomplished in those prayers. I know Corry ten Boom was bedridden the last 5 years of her life, but apparently everybody that visited her, came away blessed!

  46. poohpity says:

    In seeing things “as we are” which effects how we look at things but it can also be “who’s we are” effects how we look at things. Unity within the body of believers shows who’s we are.

    Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. 2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. Eph 4:1-3 NLT

    Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Col 3:12-15 NLT

    Putting on the sandals of peace from our Spiritual Armor one can put every effort into unity because any holes in that unity Satan will use it to divide, destroy and break apart the body. Dealing with others has to come from a supernatural means. That effects how we look and how we see everything. The terrain of Christian living can be rough, up hill and rocky especially when dealing with others.

  47. jeff1 says:

    I think the way I get over how I look at others is by being honest with myself and because I struggle so much myself at being a good Christian then I understand the difficulties of others.

    There are people who to my way of thinking being a good Christian comes naturally to them but I am not that person and being a good Christian comes with great difficulty to me.

    I have though started to stop beating myself up about it and learned to take refuge in Christ in the hope that in time I will decrease and He will increase in me and I grow into the person He wants me to be.

    It is about trusting God more and myself and others less because I have learned that it is God who changes us either here or when He takes us home and there is great peace in knowing it is all about His love and mercy and not mine or anyone else’s because I have always come up short and I cannot say that I know of anyone who would say they can equal God’s love and mercy.

  48. poohpity says:

    Viv, I do not know one person who is really honest with themselves who could have any equality in God’s love, grace or mercy. I know for myself it is a battle sometimes just to not return name calling and sharing my opinion of others like they do with me. Relationships with human beings are rough, tough and at times antagonistic. We each can choose to do our part and it is God’s work in us that can bring peace, when we let Him.

    I agree it is about His love, grace and mercy and not ours but we can make an effort with His help to work on it. Like taking time to stop and pray before we interact and ask for help in looking at things differently. We can also walk away. I also think that this Christian life is a process with successes and failures but always knowing that God never gives up on us.

  49. joycemb says:

    Viv I’ve known atheists and agnostics who behave better than Christians, including myself. I think overall it’s our faith that separates us from them. You certainly can’t always assume those who say they are Christians yet act like the devil aren’t, but until they grow in character a bit of their leaven can ruin a whole fellowship. I’ve seen that also. Being wise while understanding may mean separating for a while, or longer even. I’ve run into some pretty toxic Christians in churches and on the Internet even. We can bless but I wouldn’t want to spend any significant time with them. Pooh referred to the letters Paul wrote while in prison for his faith in Rome. Perhaps in those circumstances when the church was fearful they needed to learn to get along to keep their faith and the Faith alive. Some apply these instructions to today, however in our time when there are several churches in even the smallest of towns the options are to move to another church–which is done constantly. I’m sure the underground Church in China work harder and joyfully at keeping peaceful. Pressure tends to do that.
    I’m babbling but it’s good to remember who we are now and accept our own responsibility and pray Gods help to be more loving and accepting while we work to change our own minds and mindset concerning others.

  50. poohpity says:

    Viv, coming to the point of comparing ourselves with other Christians is never healthy for our self or them. If we want to compare with anyone, compare up against Jesus then we will sure find we have no room to compare at all because He is our example. That is the point of what Paul was saying in Eph and Col about making allowances for each others faults because everyone has them.

    There is no such thing as a perfect church because imperfect people go to every church. Usually when people hop churches it has nothing to do with the church but the person doing the hopping. Could be the inability to deal with interpersonal relationships and rather than work on them just run away but the problems will happen in the next church as well.

  51. poohpity says:

    The problems will happen where ever that person goes. I think it is also fits with “How We Look” or again “as we are”.

  52. street says:

    thinking of what poo said,”The terrain of Christian living can be rough, up hill and rocky especially when dealing with others.”

    thinking of pilgrims progress where christian ducked into the house on the way and ran into faith hope and charity that encourage and strengthen him to continue his journey.

    2 Corinthians 5 was encouraging and distressing.
    the distressing part is,”6 So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord.” all these things are from God for our good and the exaltation of His Son

  53. poohpity says:

    street, “We can often see the process by which God works. If we need to learn patience, God may allow situations that test our patience. If we lack faith, God may allow situations that we cannot handle in our own strength so that we have to depend on him. If we need to learn love, God may bring into our lives people who are difficult to love. If we want to be victorious, we will have to fight battles. Many more examples could be given. God uses testing and difficulty to develop strength and maturity in his people. The process is seldom easy or pleasant, but the result is worth it.”

  54. street says:

    Granted comes to mind.

  55. joycemb says:

    Pooh you said, “Could be the inability to deal with interpersonal relationships and rather than work on them just run away but the problems will happen in the next church as well.”

    Not necessarily. That is a quote that’s been around a long time, used to condemn and belittle those who have already been victimized. Victimizing a victim has been around along time also. (talking here about mindset again). Since the garden. The enemy is good at doing that. The minute we judge another’s journey oh how the enemy loves that!

  56. poohpity says:

    No Joyce, just a study in human behavior. No matter where one goes, there they will be. I know you are familiar with AA they call it a geographical change but it does not change a person when one moves locations, one usually brings their problems with them no matter where they go. So if they have problems in one church they will have them in another church. Just logical. It is used not to condemn or victimize but to get a person to be aware of their behavior and rather than blame it on others to take responsibility.

  57. poohpity says:

    I look at church as a hospital for broken people looking to God to heal their brokenness together.

  58. jeff1 says:

    I think it is because that Churches are so divided today that we do not represent God well because we are not showing an example of unity and are dividing the body of Christ rather than building up.

    History repeats itself and we are doing what happened in the apostle Paul’s time. Nothing changes because we don’t change but it is us who changes what God looks like by our divisions.

    In the end it is God who is faithful to us and no one can boast of one church being better than the other because all have failed to do what is right or the world would not be in such a confused mess today if we had got it right.

  59. joycemb says:

    No not familiar with AA but I see your point. Yes it takes real self-examination before a change can begin to happen along with a willingness to accept responsibility for our part in it. However it’s not always about us, sometimes it’s just being in the way of another’s inability (at the time, hopefully that will change) to be loving and non judgemental of others. It takes real grace some times to move on and let God deal with them, so as not to be harmed needlessly again.

  60. jeff1 says:

    I do not see the church as a hospital because there is too much animosity among believers and broken people do not thrive in a hostile environment and I have seen how hostile Christians can be to each other.

    The only person I am keeping right is myself but those on the outside looking in do not see the love of God but more the wrath of God.

  61. jeff1 says:

    I think as a Christian I have to accept that the reason people are looking elsewhere for answers, like Science, is because as a Christian I failed to show the love of God but focused more on the wrath of God and in doing so non believers think God is not merciful and loving but full of vengeance and wrath.

  62. joycemb says:

    Viv I used to think the same way, but over time it changed and so did I. Be patient with yourself as God is with us. We ALL are in a process here of learning and growing in our faith.

  63. poohpity says:

    How can we as imperfect people expect a church to be perfect when it is run by people? Or have expectations of other Christians when we fail so miserably at it our selves??? If we expect others to be perfect where would that leave us when we are not?

  64. joycemb says:

    I don’t think anybody expects perfection from others–maybe from ourselves at times :( –but to be able to get along as best WE can using scripture as a guideline for correct behavior is what we strive for. But only God can truly change a heart, if a person wants His help. “Lord change me” is a favorite prayer when scripture points out to me how I need to act. It’s not a weapon but a tool. Grace to the hearer.

  65. jeff1 says:

    It is not about being perfect but until Christians have a united front and treat each other with love and mercy they will not be taken seriously by non believers because they see us as people who talk the talk but cannot walk the walk.

    You cannot tell a non believer you know a God of love on the inside but then at the first signs of disagreement with your neighbor you are behaving in an opposite manner.

    Who makes God look like He is an angry God? It is not non believers because they have no allegiance to Him, it is imperfect people like us.

    Asking a person to hold their tongue to show a God of love instead of a God of anger is not asking us to be perfect but just to put our brain into gear before our mouths.

    If we practice it then we will eventually get there but if we do not have expectations of ourselves then how can we expect non believers to believe what we say.

    Words are just not enough these days when the modern world has drifted so far from God. I do not believe I can call myself a Christian these days unless I can behave alike one.

  66. joycemb says:

    I don’t think non believers judge Christians on their behavior so much as the spirit of God judges them of their need for a savior.

  67. joycemb says:

    When I am around non believers–which is most of the time–if not with words I know the Holy Spirit in me is actively interceding at that moment for them. It’s Gods will that all would be saved.

  68. poohpity says:

    It was not other believers that drew me to God, it was God who drew me to God. What pushed me away from other believers is their self righteous attitudes but it did not push me away from God. I know how many times I fail and I know my faults and short comings and admitting to those will show non-believers the grace and love of God I embrace. But if I act like I do not have any and that I am a good person not admitting to any faults, that seems to make people think they can not come to God just as they are.

    I know how broken I am and how much I need God but people that are self sufficient, self righteous looking down on others are not those who love God very much nor embrace His grace. Luke 7:47 NLT When one understands the greatest gift of grace then often they will not expect anything from others but embrace what God has given them.

  69. poohpity says:

    I guess it is all about how we look at it.

  70. joycemb says:

    Even those who as you say “look down on others” are in need of as much grace as those they appear to look down on. Look how gracious God was with Saul of Tarsus. The way to get out from under the glares of othersothers

  71. joycemb says:

    is by looking to Jesus.

  72. joycemb says:

    Did God expect the woman to walk in grace and mercy, or to stay the abused, broken cripple the rest of her life?

  73. joycemb says:

    Speaking to myself here as well. Praise God!

  74. poohpity says:

    Jesus heals those broken and contrite in “spirit” as well as physical ailments. Sorry I did not make that clearer that is what I was referring to as broken not meaning cripple. Those who admit they are not perfect, admit their own faults, failures and shortcoming rather than looking at others and picking out theirs.

    If you want to know how Jesus/God treated the self righteous and those who look down on others read Matt 23. I do not think you are getting what I am referring to or how I look at it but rather from as you are. Which is way different.

  75. poohpity says:

    Psalm 51:17 NIV; Psalm 57:15 NLT

  76. poohpity says:

    Tha is showing Psalm 57:11 NLT not Psalm 57:15

  77. poohpity says:

    The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts. That is what verse 15 says

  78. joycemb says:

    What I am getting at is that SINCE the cross we no longer need to look at others as Jesus did trying to show them the difference between law and grace. As I said, the scriptures are not to be used as a weapon against others; they are a history of our faith.

  79. street says:

    been thinking about discussions and disagreements.
    thinking of job and his 3 friends. i think it is critical we understand what is going on between them. to study and understand what they are saying and not saying. when you get to God’s interview with job what is not said speaks as loud as what is not said. as for disagreement, i think of division. division from what???

  80. poohpity says:

    Joyce, again great example of the topic.

  81. joycemb says:

    Yep I agree!

  82. joycemb says:

    Ezekiel 33:31 a description of those who are not “pure in heart”. It’s rather simple really, we are to leave our old way of living behind and live Christ-like in our daily lives. Read Mathew Henry’s commentary on Titus 1:15 on Biblegateway.

  83. street says:

    been thinking about what we see. totally unreliable. like watch a movie or reading a mystery. i marvel at Jesus not judging by what He sees, but by what He hears. thinking you can see things but you can not tell what the motive was behind the event. thinking that God used violence in the past to accomplish His will and keep His promises. yet we know His motive is love.

    following Jesus is a tough act to follow. looking for the easy and light burden.

  84. street says:

    nice post joycemb lose everything in order to gain Christ, true riches.

  85. poohpity says:

    From what I have learned Jesus does not judge by appearance or what he sees externally as you said street but He does see inside our hearts and knows our motives. He said that what is really in a persons heart will come pouring out their mouths, is that what you mean by what He hears?

  86. poohpity says:

    I have a prayer request. Will you pray with me that our one true God will show that He is the only God and put to shame those who call on Allah.

  87. joycemb says:

    Street a devotional I just read says that we must also lose ourselves as far as when we complain or even confess to others just how wretched we are. That it is SELF still on the throne.
    Lead me on Lord.

  88. joycemb says:

    Psalm 78:35-39

  89. joycemb says:

    Pooh I’m thinking do we want others “shamed” into turning to Jesus or do we want them to find freedom as we did? It’s Jesus we all need, no matter how we see or understand God.
    There are reports coming from the Middle East that Jesus is appearing to many.
    Lord seek your people.

  90. joycemb says:

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding what you mean by “put to shame” ?

  91. jeff1 says:

    Personally Joyce, I believe that is why there is so much division, in that we do not keep our focus on Christ and His teaching, but try to figure out God, and when we try to figure out God we come unstuck, because God said the way to Him is through Jesus, so you are so right,it is Jesus everyone needs regardless of how they see God but those who see God as a God of love and mercy are in my opinion nearer to God than those who see a God of wrath.

  92. poohpity says:

    Yes Joyce as usual you did misunderstand the intent of my heart in my prayer request. I meant put to shame those who think they are following God by killing the innocent and that God would make Himself known to those who really have a heart to following God by whatever name they may call Him. I in no way will shame anyone into following Jesus. Jesus does not need my help when He calls anyone, He alone will make Himself known to those who seek Him.

    I know how it feels to have someone shame or guilt me so I would not inflict that on anyone. Shame does not help anyone grow it breaks them down further than they already are however grace does encourage and build others up.

  93. street says:

    poo asked.”He said that what is really in a persons heart will come pouring out their mouths, is that what you mean by what He hears?

    no poo i am thinking he is listening to his Father. even before He listens to another speak. some people think of filtering what is seen and heard by the Word of God. i think Jesus took it further than that. Jesus thinking was devoid of I and Me, even in gethsemane and on the cross.

  94. joycemb says:

    Thanks pooh. I like your second post better. What comes out of your mouth doesn’t always clearly reveal your intent. I’m sure I do the same thing at times.

  95. joycemb says:

    I’m glad you were referring to extremists.

  96. joycemb says:

    Although they need more grace and probably divine intervention as Saul got.

  97. joycemb says:

    Meta communication is so good for understanding the meaning behind our words. It doesn’t have to be personal at all.

  98. joycemb says:

    Viv I couldn’t agree more that the closer we get to God we see Him as merciful and loving because we really see ourselves as we are; sinners saved by Gods grace.

  99. joycemb says:

    Street said: “following Jesus is a tough act to follow. looking for the easy and light burden.”

    Isn’t it interesting that we have to lay down our own burdens in order to be yoked with God in fellowship? We can go through any calamity or diseaster and come out of it with our souls intact, even if our mind and body perishes. It’s even more than following (which can easily be interpreted according to our different mindsets), its being literally melded to Him by the a Holy Spirit. Which is why it’s so important to have the Holy Spirit.

  100. poohpity says:

    street, you spoke of Jesus judging not by seeing but by hearing did Jesus’s Father send Him to judge? John 3:17 NLT

    Joyce, as to what is said, as the topic suggests we still will read it from the view of “as we are” and that may not even be what was said. Good communication comes from listening to others and hearing what they say while taking ourselves out of the equation and focusing on them.

  101. joycemb says:

    Sorry I assumed you knew what meta-communication is. But yes you are right also.

  102. poohpity says:

    How can we do meta-communication on a computer?

  103. street says:

    poo i believe Jesus will judge the next time He comes back. His first mission was/is to save that which was lost.

  104. joycemb says:

    By meta I mean talking about how we talk with each other. While non verbal cues are important in direct communication they can also be important in how we perceive what others are trying to communicate through the written word. The only way to know on a blog is to question. To decide whether one is sincere or not is still up for the readers interpretation though. Time and fruits will tell, or maybe not. But it never hurts to talk about communication style and delivery.

  105. street says:

    thinking of “meta” / communicating…..and jobs three friends and myself. no one, adams seed, gets it right all the time….but one thing to look for and seek is to speak correctly. job did….and he was/is a righteous man.
    he had less to go on than us. what an amazing man. yet the least in the Kingdom is greater than john. His grace and mercy indeed are great.

  106. street says:

    mart you are sneaky…..how we look? maybe how He looks should be the question?

  107. joycemb says:

    Yes “how we look” and linking to Jobs friends; perfect! Just a bit ago I was praying for our country and the elections after reading a post from Ravi Zacharias. What came to mind is that we all, no matter what party we follow the most, sincerely believe we have the correct candidate for doing what’s best, just like Jobs friends were sure they knew how to help him. The reality being that we really don’t know for sure, just educated guesses mostly. But God!! He knows and so am praying He will be working out His purposes behind doors that are closed to most of the populace in the highest eschelons of the country. I’m very encouraged now and will keep up the prayers more often.

  108. poohpity says:

    street, aren’t we told How He looks at us by the things He did, does and will do? We have proof.

    Joyce, I so agree that rather than assuming, accusing, judging or condemning asking questions will help better our communication.

  109. poohpity says:

    Job told his friends how they would be of help to him and it was not looking whether he sinned or not to get in the condition he was in but to just sit with him to listen and comfort in his great time of loss and grief. His friends also were assuming not only about him but God as well.

  110. joycemb says:

    “Only speak words that make a heart grow stronger”

    Ann Voscamp

  111. joycemb says:

    apologies, Ann Voskamp

  112. jeff1 says:

    How we look is very much how we feel, if I feel sad then I will look sad and if I feel happy I will look happy.

    Feelings are fleeting and so are we and focusing on Christ is the only solution to it, not being how I look, but how I should look if I am following Him.

    Personally I have spent more time wandering than following until God awakens me to the fact that I day dream my way through life rather than focus on what is true and pure.

    I guess I spent my younger days believing I was better than I was and God has awakened me to the fact that I fall short of the expectations I set for myself and others.

    I put on my best face for the world but the truth is I feel miserable knowing I have not served God but a set of rules that have left me unable to live without instruction.

    I depend on others to instruct me, for my motivation is at an all time low, and my expectations have gone from obsessive to non existent.

    The trouble with having mental illness is striking a balance in life and even my view of God is unbalanced because I do not know where I stand with Him in that the God of mercy today can look like a God of wrath tomorrow.

    The God on the mountain is still God in the valley and the God of my good times is still God in my bad times because it is He who never changes while I am weary of my wandering He never wearies of carrying me!

    “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
    Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
    When you saw only one step of footprints,
    It was then that I carried you.”

    How can one feel so cursed and yet so blessed all in one breath.

  113. SFDBWV says:

    On July the 1st I emailed Pat and expressed to her a happy “Canada Day”. She and her family are all very proud of their Father’s military service and sacrifice.

    Today in the United States it is July the 4th and in spite of some here I too am proud of the USA in forming a nation conceived in liberty.

    A nation forged by Christian principals and as a result blessed in all of her 240 years.

    We are the envy of the rest of the world and as a result hated by, not all of, but much of it.

    Happy Birthday USA.


  114. street says:

    jeff said,”Personally I have spent more time wandering than following until God awakens me to the fact that I day dream my way through life rather than focus on what is true and pure.”

    dear jeff we have all wandered away and gone our own way. even after coming to an understanding of who Jesus is. as for dreams, God made us dreamers. He gave us the ability to dream create chose. He made us i His image. if we look at what He has done we just marvel and just go ah! when we look at what we do it just makes you want to cry and die. we don’t because of His grace and mercy. He sustains us through His Son. i am thinking the more difficult it gets the closer to Him we get. yet this doesn’t happen without change from within, that comes from above. not only do we need God’s instruction we also need His Spirit. thinking in the end God will be living with us personally forever. sort of like being married but with one body. i think of a bride and all she has to do to before she gets married. God does it a little differently He gets her ready. when she is done she will be awesome! learning to rest in His arms, in His peace, and in His love. did i mention grace and mercy?

  115. joycemb says:

    Dear all,
    Agree Steve we are truly blessed to live in a nation where freedom is law and even criminals have rights under due process of law. Where prisoners can be ministered to by Christians and many organizations can and do help the homeless.

    When I was growing up we were taught in public school the US was a “melting pot” of those coming from different countries to escape famine, persecution, and war. That has not changed and I hope never does, may we all continue as strangers and aliens to live in peace.

    “How great Though art” comes to mind, also thinking of how God led a group of sincere believers to a place where they could be free to practice faith as they wanted, Yes though young we have still kept those early cries of freedom of religion. May we continue to hold to the values our fore fathers put down and fought so hard for. And may our great God be the One we trust in, always.

    And not to forget our fellow Native Americans who suffered and still suffer because of Christian zeal and arrogance. May they also find strength and grace in Jesus, the hope of the whole world and all nations. And may they be given grace to forgive us for our trespasses.

    My father was Irish and Cherokee Indian. I did not grow up in the Indian culture but I knew of my fathers’ and his fathers’ backgrounds. Horrible to say the least, yet today I and my children thrive because of this great nation!

    Yes Happy Birthday USA!

  116. poohpity says:

    “Proud To Be An American”

    If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d worked for all my life,
    And I had to start again with just my children and my wife.
    I’d thank my lucky stars to be living here today,
    ‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away.

    And I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.
    And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
    And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
    ‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A.

    From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee,
    across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea,

    From Detroit down to Houston and New York to LA,
    Well, there’s pride in every American heart,
    and it’s time to stand and say:

    I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.
    And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
    And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
    ‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A.

  117. poohpity says:

    But even prouder to belong to the Kingdom of God which teaches me to respect ALL people and not think of myself as better than anyone else. God puts us in the places He puts us in to be His light and my loyalty will always belong to Him first, foremost.

  118. joycemb says:

    “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their CREATOR, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.–”

    Declaration of Independence. July 4, 1776

  119. street says:

    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

    i find it interesting you could not be happy without God. like trying to keep the law. now it’s learning how to love.

  120. jeff1 says:

    Street says learning to rest in His arms, and in His peace, and in His love, did I mention grace and mercy.

    Sometimes I find it difficult because this world can be a scary place to be!

    The news came to Jesus, please come fast.
    Lazarus is sick and without Your help he will not last.
    Mary and Martha watched their brother die
    They waited for Jesus He did not come.
    And they wondered why.
    The death watch was over; buried four days.
    Somebody said He’ll soon be here
    The Lord’s on His way.
    Martha ran to Him and then she cried
    Lord if You had been here-You would have healed him. He’d still be alive.

    But You’re four days late; and all hope is gone.
    Lord we don’t understand why You’ve waited so long.
    But His way is God’s way.
    Not yours or mine
    And isn’t it great, when He’s four days late- He’s still on time!

    Jesus said, “Martha show me the grave.”
    But she said. “Lord you don’t understand-he’s been there four days!”
    The grave stone was rolled back.
    Then Jesus cried, “Lazarus! Come forth!”
    Then somebody said, “He’s ALIVE! He’s ALIVE!”

    You may be fighting a battle of fear
    You’ve cried to the Lord “I need you now!” But He has not appeared.
    Friends don’t be discouraged
    He’s still the same.
    He’ll soon be here, and He’ll roll back the stone, and He’ll call out your name!

    When He’s four days late and all hope is gone
    Lord we don’t understand why You’ve waited so long.
    But His way is God’s way, not your’s or mine
    And isn’t it great when He’s four days late-He’s still on time!
    Oh, my God is great! When He’s four days late- He’s still on time!!!

  121. SFDBWV says:

    In agreement that how somethings are presented can influence how we may perceive it. However there are some things that are immediately obvious to the most untrained of observers.

    Seen a couple days ago of a 19 year old Palestinian man who sneaked into a 13 year old Israeli girl’s bedroom and stabbed her to death.

    Now to see the circumstances clearer we have to know the facts surrounding the incident and perhaps the motive.

    The young teenage girl’s offence against the Palestinian was that she was an Israeli and living in what he considered his territory.

    His motive seems to be to rid the world of one more Jew and perhaps to cause fear among others living in what he considers his territory.

    How do you see the incident? Is it clear? Cloudy? Complicated?

    To be perfectly clear, what I have given as facts surrounding the matter is only what I have read from the news service. So I can only attest personally to that and nothing else.

    Having read that does it change your view of the matter?

    Watching the news these past few days it is filled with suicide bombers killing hundreds of innocent people, and in one case the patrons of a restaurant being hacked to death by people who held them captive.

    The facts and motives surrounding each case having a common connection. Need I say what that is?

    So what then is your view of such people and of their “cause”?

    I have to admit for me it is difficult at best to see anything pure in such terrorist’s except “pure evil”.

    To some here that may make me seem as not pure in heart, nor living up to their standard of being Christ-like.

    How then does that make them appear?

    Paul also said we see through a glass darkly, but that someday we would see clearly.

    Plenty of wet weather in the mountains but none of the flooding they warned us could occur.


  122. poohpity says:

    I see as a cause what those in the middle east are taught since birth about hate. But Jesus even taught even with hate or anger in our hearts it is the same as murder. A pure heart does not say something is good when it is evil rather it looks within and thinks how many times have I hated. A pure heart puts those kinds of horrible acts in God’s hands who is the only One who can bring about change, so we pray for them and trust God.

    Our hate or anger does nothing but poison us and causes our hearts to become hard and then that would be no different then they are.

  123. street says:

    We’ve talked together before about the observation that we see things not only as they are, but as we are. What does that mean?

    Does it have anything to do with what Jesus meant when he said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”, or what Paul meant when he said, “to the pure all things are pure?”

    Psalm 138

    Isaiah 1:5

    Isaiah 30:14

    Jeremiah 9:26

    Acts 13:22

  124. street says:

    was thinking of the office saul and david held. same office different origin of rule. david loved.

  125. jeff1 says:

    God looks at the heart of a man and knows He can do a good work through him while we are more concerned at his reputation.

    My mother use to say when you get the name of being an early riser you can lie to dinner time. Reputation can be deceptive but God sees all and not just in part.

  126. joycemb says:

    Jude 1; 23
    Amplified: [Strive to] save others, snatching [them] out of [the] fire; on others take pity [but] with fear, loathing even the garment spotted by the flesh and polluted by their sensuality.

    There is a clear demarcation between good and evil; no gray areas here. As we seek we find. Yet we do operate out of love with caution that what we love doesn’t come between us and God. Jesus said we are to even hate our families (by comparison) if they become of more importance than God,

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