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Pr…ying Mantis

DSC02587Look who showed up in my yard the other day. But is it a preying or praying mantis?

Found out that, even though it is a natural predator it is a—praying mantis. Also learned that “mantis” comes from the Greek word for “prophet” or “fortune teller” and that Mantises were considered to have supernatural powers by early civilizations of ancient Greece, Egypt and Assyria.

DSC02594Even though I’ve been a life long bug lover, only recall finding a mantis a handful of times (once on a sidewalk in Malaysia) which may have something to do with its ability to fade into the forms and colors of its surrounding.

Once again, had the sense that I was looking at an intelligent, slow moving and awkward alien, as it turned its huge eyes to look at me.

DSC02584One writer I Googled up spoke of the praying mantis as one of nature’s signature symbols of the connection between creature and Creator. Is that because of its prayerful posturing? Or because it reflects our fallen condition in its reputation for cannibalizing its own especially in its nymph stage, or during mating.

Can’t remember what the rest of my day was like. But for a few moments I felt like a child again—caught up in something so natural and yet (like the house fly, ant, or mimicked green leaf or brown twig) a wordless prophet of wonder.

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79 Responses to “Pr…ying Mantis”

  1. bubbles says:

    Good morning.

    It’s amazing to see God’s creativity. He could have made only one kind of animal, tree, plant, or insect. Vaguely I recall something Michael Card had written about creativity. I’ve seen a praying mantis the past three times I’ve mowed the yard. Perhaps this property has a food sources for them.

  2. poohpity says:

    I join with you bubbles in how amazing God’s creativity is. He seems to have given us much to learn about and in that learning we see how totally big our God is, full of wonder and amazement. So much to enjoy when we take the time to really look around. So much to satisfy our curiosity.

  3. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    The praying mantis is a wonder! Always feel privileged to see one. I believe they have only one year to live — about 6 months as an adult. Have come upon them in the fall — out on a walkway or path seeming to be warming themselves in the sun.

    The ones I have seen are at the end of their lives, am pretty sure. They will raise their amazing front legs in a weak defense, but they do not attack. Usually try to set the amazing bug out of the path of being squashed underfoot.

    The Lord has given us so many marvels to study!

    Blessings all day,

    14C this morning, forecast to reach 22C, no rain but very high humidity.

  4. street says:

    knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,

    For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.

    For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope

    that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

    For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

    3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” 5 For [a]when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

    8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and [b]its works will be [c]burned up.

    11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

    14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

    thinking about being set free from the slavery of corruption.

    John 8:36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

  5. street says:

    a wordless prophet of wonder….all creation pours forth speech to declare the Glory of God.

  6. bubbles says:

    The creation of God reminds of of His weightiness. He is an awesome Holy God. Stopping to look up at the night sky for a few minutes makes me feel small and God large. His creation compels me to worship Him. Standing on a cliff and seeing the land fold or standing beneath huge rocks not only reminds of of how big God is, but also makes me think of His holiness. Somehow His holiness and greatness are linked in my thinking.

    I think we are often preoccupied with who we are and not who HE is. Isaiah said, “Woe is me for I am undone.” I think it is easy for us to forget the mightiness of God and that He is awesome, terrible, and holy. When we stop to see what He has made, it will point us to who and what our Creator is. Even though we can come boldly before the throne, there should also be a healthy fear of God.

  7. street says:

    bubbles said,”I think we are often preoccupied with who we are and not who HE is. Isaiah said, “Woe is me for I am undone.” I think it is easy for us to forget the mightiness of God and that He is awesome, terrible, and holy.”

    i think “terrible” comes to mind when we think of our relationship with God comes to mind. in how terrible we have been to Him and the people who bear His image. thinking the terrible goes away in Christ Jesus. yet i know there is a day of great mourning ahead.

    10 “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. 11 In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land will mourn, every family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself and their wives by themselves;

  8. joycemb says:

    Like the mantis we do either bite and devour one another or pray for one another. Unlike the mantis however when we follow Christ we have a choice to do good or evil. What a marvelous gift we have been given to glorify God in our behavior when we love our enemies and one another. The gift of having free will so blesses the Father when we choose Him. So glad I’m human-I never have liked bugs :-)

  9. SFDBWV says:

    There is a popular adage that is the subject of songs, poems and philosophies that says to “Stop and Smell the Roses”.

    Very refreshing, very necessary is the time we spend away from worries, work and life’s pressures. Nothing else is like the joy of experiencing nature in its wonder and beauty.

    The trap is not to get caught up in letting the joy of nature become work or worse worshiped.

    As Bubbles has said when we experience observing nature as seen as the wonder of God and see Him in the beauty and wonder of His creation we begin to see our place in it all.

    Also already said we live in a very noisy and busy world whereas we no longer take the time to sit still watch and listen to the natural things around us.

    Our ancestors seen constellations in the night sky and so not only named them, but made up stories about them. They watched nature and learned that even the tiny little ant is wise enough to prepare for the dark nights of winter. That there is something eternal in trees and from nature’s bounty what we can eat and what we can’t.

    Even by observation they learned what plants and growing things have healing properties.

    I am glad Mart had a day off from his stressful life and was able for a time to watch the wonder of a insect the ancients named “The Praying Mantis”.

    64 clear and already beginning to smell the aroma of Fall approaching.


  10. jeff1 says:

    I do not care much for insects but I do love polar bears, lions, husky dogs, dolphins to name but a few.

    I can remember as a child our school used to take us on nature walks but I don’t think I paid much attention as I was too busy giggling with my school pals.

    These days I can enjoy the countryside and I particularly enjoy being the passenger on a drive through it.

    I remember two fishermen once telling me they felt nearer to God fishing then they did at church; and I understand where they are coming from, because, there is nothing more peaceful than fishing and I too feel nearer to God in the peace of the countryside than in a bustling city yet I was raised in the town and would not like to live in the countryside.

    I like people around me even though I may not know them I like to have neighbours.

    I feel lost in the remote countryside so I believe it is what we are used to that floats our boat.

    This Is My Father’s World

    This is my father’s world
    And to my listening ears
    All nature sings, and round me rings
    The music of the spheres

    This is my father’s world
    The birds their carols raise
    The morning light, the lily white
    Declare their makers praise

    This is my father’s world
    I rest me in the thought
    Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas
    His hand the wonders wrought

    This is my father’s world
    Oh, let me never forget
    That though the wrong seems oft so strong
    God is the ruler yet

    This is my father’s world
    Why should my heart be sad?
    The Lord is King, let the heavens ring
    God reigns, let the earth be glad

    This is my father’s world
    He shines in all that’s fair
    In the rustling grass, I hear Him pass
    He speaks to me everywhere

    In the rustling grass, I hear Him pass
    He speaks to me everywhere

  11. joycemb says:

    Viv I’ve always loved that song, thanks for sharing it :-)

  12. foreverblessed says:

    What a wonderful words to that song! I do not know the song. But I love the words!
    Unlike many here, I am not a bug lover, (except for the pritty ones). I have studied biology, and I remember that I did not like the idea that in the first year I had to study the whole of animal life, the big ones are ok, but all these bugs, and little strange crawling animals, little and weird creatures in the sea!
    And I felt bad about it, because they are all God’s creatures!

    Now I think that it is the fallen state of that animal that made him a cannibalist. It is not as God had intended them to be.
    That we as God’s children will have a part in restoring nature!
    As Street gave Romans 8:19-23, it actually starts with Romans 8:17-18.
    Suffering and glory! Who understands it? And that the Glory of the children of God will liberate nature

  13. SFDBWV says:

    “What are Folks Made of?”

    “What are little boys made of, made of?
    What are little boys made of?
    Piggins and pails and little tails,
    That’s what little boys are made of.

    What are little girls made of, made of?
    Sugar and spice and all things nice
    And that’s what little girls are made of.

    There is more to this anonymous poem, but this is enough to set the complexion of my thoughts this afternoon.

    I have known very few “ladies” who enjoy the company of bugs of any kind, but some who like to see the “Lady Bug” as long as it doesn’t land on them.

    No small wonder then why the ladies we have here have little else to say about “bugs”.

    While in nature everything has a purpose, it is hard to find a purpose for gnats or mosquito’s, other than even such “pests” are food for other more “likeable” insects. It is the Dragonfly larva that eats mosquito larva while both in the larva stage in the water.

    The granddaddy long legs as well as the ordinary house spider that look quite similar eat other smaller “bugs” and so we tend to like them. The house spider I refer to is responsible for those dust bunnies you find under the bed or in hidden corners of the house.

    Even “little girls” tend to like butter flies, but not moths, yet without either there would be plenty of flowers go without being pollinated.

    I always wonder what secrets we haven’t learned from the gifts of all of these “bugs” that enable us to live better lives as well as unlock some part of the mysteries of God.

    But then I am a “little boy”.


  14. street says:

    “Stop and Smell the Roses”.

    thinking that to believe we have cause and effect over creation is problem-matic. it’s good to sit back wonder about what God has done, continues to, and what He is going to do in the future.

    thinking about fishing, working, planing, cooking, eating, and just about everything else we do, i ask does it cause us to worship? thinking a lot lately of the phase, “watch with Me,” said Jesus.

  15. jeff1 says:

    This is a very beautiful poem by “Helen Steiner Rice”.

    I Meet God in the Morning

    “The earth is the Lord’s
    and the fullness thereof”-
    It speaks of His greatness,
    it sings of His love,
    And each day at dawning
    I lift my heart high
    And raise up my eyes
    to the infinite sky…
    I watch the night vanish
    as a new day is born,
    And I hear the birds sing
    on the wings of the morn,
    I see the dew glisten
    in crystal-like splendour
    While God, with a touch
    that is gentle and tender,
    Wrap up the night
    and softly tucks it away
    And hangs out the sun
    to herald a new day…
    And so I give thanks
    and my heart kneels to pray-
    “God, keep me and guide me
    and go with me today.”

  16. SFDBWV says:

    All who have been here long has seen the pictures of mine Mart was gracious enough to put up for all to see of the many varieties of critters I have fed and still feed in my back yard.

    I have so many “critter” stories it is hard to just pick a few to talk about. Though most of my stories and all of my pictures involve animals, not insects.

    With the exception of spider webs that appear late in the summer in the lawn. Noticeable because of the morning dew that illuminates them as being white against the green grass. They only appear for a week or less and always as several in various areas of the yard.

    They appear almost transparent but all have the telltale signature of being a trap for ground level insects. They all have a conical center that leads to the hole that the spider waits in for its dinner.

    It reminds me of an almost invisible world that exists around us with the struggles of life and death that go on constantly without our even being aware of. Though I am guilty of on occasion watching as sometimes I do see one insect trying to get its prey. If I ever do interfere it is always to aid in the escape of the prey from the predator. Knowing I really should not interfere, but feeling guilty if I don’t.

    My most amazing insect story isn’t about anything here in my yard, but rather one I seen on a nature story on video. It is about those termite structures you may have seen in pictures of Africa that stand 8 or 10 feet above the ground. These structures would amount to structures being over a mile high to our construction. They have ground water ventilation systems that give a cool air conditioning airflow throughout the structure and the structure itself inhales carbon dioxide and takes in oxygen. Amazing as these tiny little insects are totally blind as we understand blindness and are after all just a bug.

    There is a lot to see and learn about ourselves, and our Creator if we just watch and connect the dots.

    62 with a little ground fog this morning.


  17. foreverblessed says:

    Lo and behold… today in the newspsper it says the a duo of american and australian biologists have studies the male praying mantis. Its behavior, so stepping into his final fate, without of fighting it. It turns out that his seed is used for future eggs. His seed, and so not from other males.
    His self sacrifice is for offspring!

    That sounds like a type of Christ!

  18. joycemb says:

    Forever yes! The Creators ways are wonderful aren’t they and truly show up in plant and animal life. We human species could learn a lot from everything around us. Thanks for that and have a blessed day/evening! Love, Joyce

  19. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    Pray all is well in your lives… *LOVE* this blog topic and pics, Mart! Have *always* loved the Praying Mantis, and, like you, I’ve been a bug lover (with one exception) since I was a child… Can only think of one insect that I don’t like… roaches! Hate them…especially the really huge ones… Seems to me that my love for the Praying Mantis is mirrored by my (great) disdain for the cockroach… Pondering the fact that both were created by God, both serve a purpose on this planet, and one is beautiful and the other is not (at least in my opinion). Chuckling a little bit now because I’m thinking… if a Praying Mantis was hungry and noticed a cockroach who was equally as hungry, which one would be ringing the dinner bell? Both are very tough insect animals…
    Am also thinking that both can provoke me to prayer… the PM because of its beautiful prayerful posture and the CR because I don’t want to see one… My thoughts for now…

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

    Love to all,

  20. cbrown says:

    Good afternoon all! I am blessed by your comments. When I pray I do not always kneel but sometimes I do. This morning as I felt the need to kneel and fold my hands in prayer to God I thought of the praying mantis. Should I fold my hands in humble adoration or lift them in praise to God?Today I folded my hands. Love in Christ, Chris

  21. Regina says:

    Coinkydink, cbrown! :-) We logged in at the same time! *Happy* Saturday to you and all!

  22. street says:

    17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

  23. SFDBWV says:

    It is written that no one escapes judgement concerning not knowing that God is because of His creation around them.

    We, his creation in His image, spend vast amounts of time, money and energy trying to understand God or even prove that there is a God. Yet look around you at the natural world and take a peek into the great abyss of the heavens above us, there found in its unending wonder are glimpses of our creator and of His persona.

    All throughout the earth we see that everything exists at the sacrifice of something else.

    The more we learn of the great cosmos, the more we learn of its eternal existence of renewal and rebirth.

    We are given the senses that are necessary to our being, if we quiet our souls and take the time to stare into the eyes of even the smallest bug, we may yet recognize we are looking into the face of God.

    A cool 60 degrees this morning in the mountains, an enjoyable relief from this summer’s heat.


  24. jeff1 says:

    Walk with me, Lord! Walk with me!
    Walk with me, Lord! Why don’t you walk with me!
    While I’m on this, this tedious journey,
    I need You, Jesus, to walk with me.

    Be my friend, Lord! Be my friend!
    Be my friend, Lord! Why don’t you be my friend!
    While I’m on this, this tedious journey,
    I need You, Jesus, to be my friend.

    Don’t leave me alone, Lord!
    Don’t leave me alone!
    Don’t leave me alone, Lord!
    Please don’t leave me alone!
    While I’m on this, this tedious journey,
    I need You, Jesus, to walk with me.

  25. joycemb says:

    7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; 8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. 9 Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? 10 In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Job 12

  26. poohpity says:

    I know that a Pr.ying Mantis isn’t really praying but it can not help but to be in what looks like a prayer stance. I wonder how different our lives would be to be in a prayer stance always? In constant communication with God.

  27. joycemb says:

    Viv I know you are an Elvis fan, do you remember the song “Put your hand in the hand of the One who stilled the water”? It is so comforting to know isn’t it how God cares for each of us just as He cares for bugs and animals. Blessings to you with love, Joyce

  28. street says:

    Wisdom has built her house;
    she has carved its seven columns.
    2 She has prepared a great banquet,
    mixed the wines, and set the table.
    3 She has sent her servants to invite everyone to come.
    She calls out from the heights overlooking the city.
    4 “Come in with me,” she urges the simple.
    To those who lack good judgment, she says,
    5 “Come, eat my food,
    and drink the wine I have mixed.
    6 Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live;
    learn to use good judgment.”

  29. jeff1 says:

    Yes Joyce, God puts people in our pathway and He put Elvis in mine from I was a child. My sister, her friend and I went to every Elvis film that was ever made.

    We where very young and I would put pictures of Elvis all over my bedroom walls and I was heartbroken when he got married and everyone laughed at what they seen as a school girl crush.

    I knew everything about his life, he was a Baptist and his gospel music was influenced by his attendance at church from a child.

    To me he is the rags to riches story who could not cope with his popularity but he loved Jesus and was reading his bible right up till when he died so tragically.

    Michael Buble said Elvis’s voice had been kissed by God and I think he sings gospel music like a person whose heart has been touched by God.

    He was influenced greatly by other Southern gospel artists and no one sings gospel quite like they do in my opinion.

    Put your hand in the hand of the man
    Who stilled the water
    Put your hand in the hand of the man
    Who calmed the sea
    Take a look at yourself
    And you can look at other differently
    Put your hand in the hand of the man
    From Galilee

    My momma taught me how to pray
    Before I reached the age of seven
    When I’m down on my knees
    That’s when I’m closest to Heaven
    Daddy lived his life, two kids and a wife
    Well you do what you must do
    But he showed me enough of what it takes
    To get me through, oh yeah

    Put your hand in the hand of the man
    Who stills the water
    Put your hand in the hand of the man
    Who calmed the sea
    Take a look at yourself
    And you can look at others differently
    Put your hand in the man
    From Galilee oh yeah

    (x 2)

    Put your hand in the hand
    Of the man from Galilee, oh yeah
    Put your hand in the hand
    Of the man from Galilee, oh yeah

  30. street says:

    “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts,
    The whole earth is full of His glory.”

  31. SFDBWV says:

    I have no conscious memory of God standing the sun still for me, but even on the busiest day somehow things get done. It has been a string of busy for me and isn’t letting up. However I wanted to stop in and say a few things.

    One of my most cherished moments are when I can set on the swing and watch the clouds in the eastern sky wander by.

    Without exception I always see something in the shapes of the clouds, in fact when Glenna is with me we both can see the same forms that we attach to other things.

    Interesting that the praying mantis is identified as praying, by every culture and people familiar with seeing it.

    More interesting is that there is a universal recognition of what praying looks like.

    I admit there are more times when I don’t fold my hands or kneel or bow my head when I call out to God then when I do. But then when I feel the need to I do.

    Wondering if seeing prayer in the mantis says more about we who see prayer than any other observation of this “bug”.

    Do you suppose we find what it is we look for from what it is found deep within our hearts as well as there on the surface?


  32. foreverblessed says:

    Hi Steve, hard to answer your question, in our language he is also called: praying locust. Even though it is not a locust.
    We do not have this animal in nothern europe.

    I was thinking: praying mantis to praying mantis.
    That is the transformation for every human who turns to God.
    I read an article in the newspaper yesterday, that every child turns into a slamming person at the age of about 1, and that by the age of 3 it unlearns it, because it is taught not to hurt other people.( When it is properly educated)

    So we humans are born in a lost state, preying state

    When a person is touched ay heart, as Street said, the mourning, and turns to God, the praying state.

    About the mourning Zechariah 12:10-14
    And about repentance: Psalm 51:1-18

  33. foreverblessed says:

    I meant to write from preying mantis to praying mantis,
    but auto correct changed preying back into praying, sorry for not proofreading..

  34. street says:

    “Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
    my chosen one in whom I delight;
    I will put my Spirit on him,
    and he will bring justice to the nations.
    He will not shout or cry out,
    or raise his voice in the streets.
    A bruised reed he will not break,
    and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
    In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
    he will not falter or be discouraged
    till he establishes justice on earth.
    In his teaching the islands will put their hope.”

    This is what God the Lord says—
    the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,
    who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,
    who gives breath to its people,
    and life to those who walk on it:
    “I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness;
    I will take hold of your hand.
    I will keep you and will make you
    to be a covenant for the people
    and a light for the Gentiles,
    to open eyes that are blind,
    to free captives from prison
    and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

    “I am the Lord; that is my name!
    I will not yield my glory to another
    or my praise to idols.
    See, the former things have taken place,
    and new things I declare;
    before they spring into being
    I announce them to you.”

  35. street says:

    “Can’t remember what the rest of my day was like. But for a few moments I felt like a child again—caught up in something so natural…”

    kinda like being in heaven….the thought of the good ole days will not enter your mind, like the rest of your day. also the idea of sin will be done away with and everything related to the corruption. no emptiness no loneliness vacuum or darkness. everything made new and perfect and will remain that way. why would anyone want less? i am so glad i am not making the calls and that God can make sinners perfect.

  36. joycemb says:

    I can’t sleep as I got a cat who thinks he needs to be outside but I can’t let him out where I live and he is very vocal about what he wants. With a few adjustments to the environment, which I’m working on with zeal and hope, he should come around to my rules. This is day 3 and guess what! He’s asleep in front of me! Yay! Hopefully I’ll fall asleep too so I can get up for Bible Study at 8, the first since July.

    But what I’ve been thinking about is what God has been teaching me lately, that love is a choice we make based on nothing but how we choose to live out our time in this world in preparation for the next. Powerful stuff, for me anyway. Everyone is moving along at their own pace so I’m sure most here grasp that concept much better already. (Always been a slow learner). It makes so much sense though given its the greatest command Jesus gave us. I’m still shocked at how I can deceive myself into forgetting that and instead focus on my own comforts, or lack thereof.

    No behavioral conditioning in Gods economy. I sometimes think it would be easier if God just pulled some strings, changed the environment and changed our thought patterns like I’m doing with my cat. But He does use our environment to change us, if we will let Him. Thinking that getting out of my head and practicing loving more is one step closer to being obedient to Christ.

    Thank you to all my praying friends. I couldn’t live this life without you.

  37. foreverblessed says:

    I Hope you mean: you couldn’t live without Jesus!
    Ha ha, but talking things over with each other is encouraging. As long as we point to Jesus.

    I have been thinking a lot about the greatest command Jesus gave, that loving your neighbor as yourself is the summary of the ten commandments, the second half that is.
    But that Jesus came, and at the end of His life gave us a new command:
    Love each other as I have loved you.

    That is a total new thing, going deeper, and far beyond loving the other as yourself.
    As I write, again I have to say, this is for those whose identity in Christ is secured, who know that they are loved by God Himself through Jesus.
    So not for those who are recovering from abuse.
    They should not read further, but remember that they are loved by Jesus, and that He was with them always, and going with them forever.

    So now I talk again about the great command of Jesus, He started to say, that everything is coming from love, and going out in love. as John wrote in 1 John 4: It is not us who loved, but it is Him who loved us, that is the starting point of everything in our walk with Him.

    But when we follow Jesus, we have to give up on loving ourselves alltogether! Isn’t that what is meant by Jesus saying,
    counting the cost
    He who loses his life shall find it

    When we give our lives to Jesus, we say in fact: I do not have to worry about my own life, because You have pledged Yourself in doing that. You take care of me. I do not have to worry about loving myself, as I am focussed on Jesus LOVING me.
    And the more I focus on how He loved me, as I was unworthy of His love, but He loved me anyway, so I love my neighbor, and even my worst enemies.
    Not is hating myself, but in seeing that God’s Kingdom will be advanced, by saving my worst enemies through Love, His Love, because He first loved me.

    As I said before, that is advanced christianity, from being recovered as a lost child, into not minding to be persecuted, as were the apostles, they deemed it an honor to be persecuted, and rejoiced because of it. They knew they were glorifying God.
    Bringing Glory to God, God’s glory is His character:
    Unending love, great mercies, unsurpassed forgiveness, long patience, heavenly joy Gal 5:22-23

    From a preying mantis we turn into a praying mantis,
    praying: worshipping God, being still before Him,expecting everything from Him, knowing that it is Him who works, and as I am focussed on Him He works through me, in ways I cannot understand, it is a spiritual force. His Life flowing,
    instead of preying on our enemies, we pray for them, and so work in advancing the Kingdom of God.

  38. poohpity says:

    Mart, to have that childlike wonder in our relationship with God. Knowing we can’t but He can we live in a vital connection through prayer which shows our dependence on Him to work in not only our own lives but in the very world around us.

    It is really a topsy turvy, upside down, inside out thing to understand the more mature one is in their faith they more childlike in dependence they are on and in God. The relationship between the creator and the creation achieved through just talking with Him (prayer).

  39. street says:

    thinking about what poo said…..the more child like, Christ like, the better our prayers.

  40. jeff1 says:

    I am weak but Thou art strong
    Jesus keep me from all wrong
    I’ll be satisfied as long
    As I walk, let me walk close to Thee

    Just a closer walk with Thee
    Grant it, Jesus, is my plea
    Daily walking close to Thee
    Let it be, dear Lord, let it be

    When my feeble life is o’er
    Time for me shall be no more
    Guide me gently, safely o’er
    To Thy kingdom’s shore, to Thy shore

    When life’s sun sinks in the west
    Lord, may I have done my best
    May I find sweet peace and rest
    In that happy home of the blessed

    Just a closer walk with Thee
    Grant it, Jesus, is my plea
    Daily walking close to Thee
    Let it be, dear Lord, let it be

  41. jeff1 says:

    When you are asking God to walk close to you? Do you ever here Him say, ‘I ALREADY AM’.

    Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
    in light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
    most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
    almighty, victorious, Thy great name we praise.

    Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
    nor wanting, nor wasting, Thou rulest in might;
    Thy justice like mountains high soaring above
    Thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love.

    To all, life Thou givest, to both great and small;
    in all life Thou livest, the true life of all;
    we blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
    and wither and perish, but naught changeth Thee

    Thou reignest in glory; Thou dwellest in light;
    Thine angels adore Thee; all veiling their sight;
    all laud we would render: O help us to see
    ’tis only the splendour of light hideth Thee.

  42. foreverblessed says:

    Beautifull song Jeff, thank you very much!
    May God bless us this day!
    May we pass this blessing unto others, knowingly or maybe even more: unknowingly! ( or in others words: that we are not conscious about the blessing that flows from us to others)

  43. poohpity says:

    I most often do not ask God to walk closer to me, I ask Him to help “me” walk closer to Him. By that I mean He can not get any closer than having His Spirit live within me, it is just me who tends not to listen to His guidance or walk in His salvation.

  44. street says:

    thinking about the command to watch with Me. i know i can do nothing apart from Him and that Jesus only does what he sees His Father do. looks like a question of will to me. His will is way better than mine. He came in order that we would have life, abundant life. thank you Jesus.

  45. joycemb says:

    “Not my will but thy will be done” is a good response when faced with ugliness in the heart, mind and spirit; whether mine or others. It’s a prayer I pray often, knowing that ultimately His will is best and good. Even and especially when walking through the valley of the shadow of death. Jesus knew this and finished His walk. I can do no less.

  46. street says:

    thinking of Psalm 95 from a child’s perspective. seems as an adult it impossible to enter His rest. the distance between creature and Creator is great, to say the least. yet is close to the humble and broken.

    My eyes will be on the faithful in the land,
    that they may dwell with me;
    the one whose walk is blameless
    will minister to me.

    returning home, as great an event as that is, so much greater to abide in His presents.

  47. joycemb says:

    And now abide faith hope and love, and the greatest of these is love. These describe to me the perfect relationship of a child to a parent. A child can live in fleshly confidence if they have these 3 things with parents who like God know how to take care of them. But we are no longer children.

  48. poohpity says:

    I will always be a child of God.

  49. jeff1 says:

    Thinking at heart we are always children, this world takes its toil, I am too much of a wanderer so will be much better for me returning home.

    When you walk through the storm
    Hold you head up high
    And don’t be afraid of the dark
    At the end of the storm
    There’s a golden sky
    And the sweet silver song of the lark

    Walk on, through the wind
    Walk on, through the rain
    Though your dreams be tossed and blown
    Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart
    And you’ll never walk alone
    You’ll never walk alone

    When you walk through the storm
    Hold your head up high
    And don’t be afraid of the dark
    At the end of the storm
    There’s a golden sky
    And the sweet silver sound of the lark
    Walk on, through the wind
    Walk on, through the rain
    Though your dreams be tossed and blown
    Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart
    And you’ll never walk alone
    You’ll never walk alone

    Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart
    And you’ll never walk alone
    You’ll never walk alone

  50. jeff1 says:

    Thinking what you said about parents Joyce but in this broken world parents do not always do right by their children and I can tell you I am guilty as the next parent.

    I pass down my insecurities as did my parents to me. It was my mother who often said to me how she had observed that families with alcohol problems had inherited them from either their parents or grandparents.

    I know people who could fall into a sewer and come out smelling of roses and it is not always because they are righteous people so in this world it does not always seem like justice is served.

    My mother would always say ‘one person’s meat is another person’s poison’ and history tells us that is correct.

    It is God’s truth that matters as every nation, culture and religion has their own truths but they are half truths told by one side or another.

    As my son pointed out to me when I go on vacation I go to the nice places as recommended to the tourist but every country as its ghettoes but they do not advertise the fact.

    An elderly friend once said to me that in her day and also in mine we where made to believe that life was a fairy tale and she is correct that in our culture it was the done thing for a woman to get married, have children and live happily ever after.

    As she said no one mentioned ‘living in the real world is not a fairy tale’ and living happily ever after does not apply in this world.

    I cannot change other people as non believers see me as weak for needing God and I see them as mad for not needing God.

    There is truths to both, I am weak when I wander from God and also there is madness in not wanting God to control this world when in our humanness we have played a large part in destroying it.

    Our Father, who art in heaven,
    hallowed by Thy Name,
    Thy kingdom come,
    Thy will be done,
    On earth as it is in heaven.

    Give us this day our daily bread.
    And forgive us our trespasses,
    as we forgive those
    who trespass against us.

    And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.

    For thine is the kingdom,
    and the power, and the glory
    for ever and ever. Amen.

    I need to forgive others, and to do that I may also need to forgive myself because I am aware that each time I see flaws in others they mirror the flaws that are also in me.

    The truth hurts deeply because it is God’s truth and not mine or another’s but the source of the God who dwells in me and you.

    I thank God for it because it transforms me from the inside where the depravity in me lies.

  51. poohpity says:

    Good message Viv!!

  52. street says:

    taking a second look.

    Look who showed up in my yard the other day. But is it a preying or praying mantis?

    Found out that, even though it is a natural predator it is a—praying mantis. Also learned that “mantis” comes from the Greek word for “prophet” or “fortune teller” and that Mantises were considered to have supernatural powers by early civilizations of ancient Greece, Egypt and Assyria.

    wonder what abraham was thinking when the angels showed up on there way to sodomn. angels, prophet, a Word of encouragement showing up unexpected. thinking there are two kinds of people in the world preying and praying. yes we were all born carnivores, but some pray. praying implies relationship. to One or one of supernatural powers. a power the enslaves us or frees us. paul wrote about being a slave to One Who Loves him much and He proved it. praying is change, hit or miss from the inside out. super natural power or the Holy Spirit from God.

    Even though I’ve been a life long bug lover, only recall finding a mantis a handful of times (once on a sidewalk in Malaysia) which may have something to do with its ability to fade into the forms and colors of its surrounding.

    Once again, had the sense that I was looking at an intelligent, slow moving and awkward alien, as it turned its huge eyes to look at me.

    intelligent, slow, and awkward would describe many brothers and sisters. sometimes one comes into view and it is a great time of kindred spirit. especially when going through a storm or to strengthening prior to. the times of trials and testing are to be expected just as much as His return. a time for watching and praying.

    a wordless prophet of wonder. this phrases seem out of place compared to, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

    thinking if the heaven pour forth speech daily so does the earth.

    like job, praying to speak and think correctly to meet God. thinking of enoch and elisha, they knew Him very well. envy and pride go before a fall.

    19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

    20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

  53. jeff1 says:

    O, Church Arise and put your armour on
    Hear the call of Christ our Captain
    For now the weak can say they are strong
    In the strength that God has given
    With shield of faith and belt of truth
    We???I’ll stand against the devil’s??? lies
    An army bold whose battle-cry is Love
    Reaching out to those in darkness

    Our call to war to love the captive soul
    But to rage against the captor
    And with the sword that makes the wounded whole
    We will fight with faith and valour
    When faced with trials on every side
    We know the outcome is secure
    And Christ will have the prize for which He died
    An inheritance of nations

    Come see the cross where love and mercy meet
    As the son of God is stricken
    Then see His foes lie crushed beneath His feet
    For the Conqueror has risen
    And as the stone is rolled away
    And Christ emerges from the grave
    This victory march continues till the day
    Every eye and heart shall see Him

    So Spirit come put strength in every stride
    Give grace for every hurdle
    That we may run with faith to won the prize
    Of a servant good and faithful
    As saints of old still line the way
    Retelling triumphs of His grace
    We hear their calls and hunger for the day
    When with Christ we stand in glory

  54. joycemb says:

    Ann Voskamp
    So the day didn’t go as planned,
    because we aren’t what we would have planned,
    and we have failed
    and we have flailed
    and we have tasted a bit of the granular dark.
    And we hear it quiet, the grace of Your whispering Word:
    “But all that matters?
    Is that I have loved you at your darkest.
    All that matters is that you are deeply loved in the midst of your deepest dark.”

    #HonestPrayers #1000Gifts

  55. street says:

    3 We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. 4 We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. 5 We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

  56. joycemb says:

    Street WOW

  57. jeff1 says:

    I watched a true American movie the other night and in it a son said to his mother that he always knew she loved his brother more than him and he also knew why because his brother was everything he was not, successful at everything he did.

    The mother replied to her son ‘Any mother will tell you she loves her children the same, but differently’. Your brother was more needy than you for my advice, you where my strong son, the one on whom I could depend on, but I need you to know that I never loved you any less, you are loved every much as your brother was. (the brother had been killed).

    I understand this very well having two sons one whom I see stronger than the other.

    God can teach us so much from our own earthly experiences when we allow Him to.

    It is God who knows His children, their good points and their bad, yet He loves us the same.

    I often see people whom like the boy in the film can turn their hand to anything and make a success of it yet I struggle to do the most menial tasks and like the
    other brother wondering if his mother loved him less I wonder if God favours some.

    The answer is in the mother’s response to her son!

  58. SFDBWV says:

    Viv if you liked the story of the movie you mentioned I would recommend to you a book by John Steinbeck or the movie adaption staring James Dean called “East of Eden”.

    Real life always has more drama and substance than fiction. Fiction just gives us a way of presenting it.

    Praying your day has been blessed already.


  59. joycemb says:

    Viv your story reminds me of the prodigal son. Yes Jesus loves us all! Winners and losers!

  60. joycemb says:

    I think that getting past caring how successful, how talented, how accepted we are even we begin to get a real glimpse into who Jesus really is. And we can focus on Him and less on ourselves. Oh the joy of not caring how we look when we compare ourselves to others, whether in the church or outside. In spite of all my issues and problems the Lord has given me the ministry to help those around the fringes of the church. To remind them they are loved just as much and that God is with them in all their discomforts and pain. I sometimes wonder if we will ever see the ideal as set forth by Paul. It’s certainly a daily struggle, yet God will raise up His church in the midst of the chaos. Blind faith and trust in Him is all that’s needed.

    Now someone may come back with “we should not compare ourselves with others”, and I agree, yet we still do it anyway, it’s part of our fallen nature. Our common struggle to let go of what we want and embrace only what Jesus wants. Loving others as we love ourselves.

  61. jeff1 says:

    Thank you Steve for recommending the book, I do remember the film but have forgotten the story. I agree with you I love watching fact based movies.

    There is a fact based series started on television here called Victoria based on the life of ‘Queen Victoria’ and it makes marvellous viewing and brings to life how life was at that time.

    I have heard of the term hanged, drawn and quartered but did not know how barbaric it was. It was the penalty for treason in England since 1351 and I learned from this programme that ‘Queen Victoria’s had a member of staff, whose relative was to meet this fate. The Queen mentioned to the then Prime Minister that she wanted it known that she was against this penalty and he told her it was his duty to inform her that she had the authority to change this penalty and so she revoked the punishment.

    Thinking of how civilised we have become from those days makes me realize that the modern world has many benefits that the Victorian age did not know.

    Each generation sees the world from their perspective while God sees it from the whole perspective.

    I believe I have glimpses of God raising up the church but nothing more than glimpses but it is in those glimpses that hope and encouragement come.

    It is in those moments that I can forget all the discomforts and pain (I do not talk of physical but mental) and realize that my faith is more blurred than blind and that God is not a figment of my imagination but a very real force of justice who will make all things right.

    It is in those moments that my faith becomes fact and the doubts that arise from this world have faded into the abyss and I am alone with God; until a voice from this world distracts me and I am back to the reality of the chaos of this world.

    I see in part but it is often like I dreamt it and as you say Joyce it is a daily struggle.

  62. SFDBWV says:

    Viv once again I will say that I think you have a very good and healthy outlook on life as a Christian. Stay grounded and stay the course.

    I will add to you and all the others who read along that we so enjoy the BBC shows that our Public TV airs as both the actors and story lines are very basic and down to earth. Most of the TV offering today here in the USA are not worth the trouble of turning on the TV.

    There are more modern movies that I enjoy, but one of my old favorites is “How Green Was My Valley” a story of a coal mining community in Wales and of the people who lived there. It always reminded me of right here where I live and of the people who helped make me who I am.

    I don’t know how much more we can get out of Mart’s bug story, but I do know he likes it when we just are cordial and talk to each other politely and with as much encouragement as possible. When I think of the Bible stories and the people showcased there I am reminded that only a small amount of their lives are shared with us. There were a lot less eventful days that they lived, but none the less human just like all of us do.

    Stand fast, enjoy what you can of life, and be patient with God as He certainly has been patient with us.

    Good day to all.


  63. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Steve, for your encouragement!
    It is not a bad idea to have this topic on for a longer time.
    The preying praying mantis keeps giving more inspiration to me,
    Like: all humans are like preying mantis’, and according to the hope of God, who wants all man to be saved, they all will turn into praying mantis’.

    The other thing that I was thinking, many of us look like a praying mantis, but inside we are like a preying mantis.
    We have a religious look but inside is a different thing.
    But that is a very negative thought, all though the bible says, that the heart is deceitful, of all things on earth most deceitful. We hardly know how lost we were.

    To end it in a positive note:
    Hopefully most of our bad traits have been exposed during the years and we are being cleaned by the Holy Spirit bit by bit.
    We should rely on the Holy Spirit, and give ourselves totally to God- God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit.
    GOd the Father who is well capable of drawing us to Himself
    Jesus, who is well capable of saving us by His Cross
    the Holy Spirit who is well capable of training and disciplining us.
    Like God trained Jacob for a long time, in sending him to Laban, and finally his name was changed frin Jacob to Israel.

  64. foreverblessed says:

    from Jacob into Israel!

    This week Psalm 138 is on the program of the dutch protestant churches.
    I always look up the Psalm of the week in the treasury of David,
    this, what I give here, Spurgeon wrote about Psalm 138:1

    Before the gods will I sing praise unto thee. Why should these idols rob Jehovah of his praises? The Psalmist will not for a moment suspend his songs because there are images before him, and their foolish worshippers might not approve of his music. I believe David referred to the false gods of the neighbouring nations, and the deities of the surviving Canaanites. He was not pleased that such gods were set up; but he intended to express at once his contempt of them, and his own absorption in the worship of the living Jehovah by continuing most earnestly to sing wherever he might be. It would be paying these dead idols too much respect to cease singing because they were perched aloft. In these days when new religions are daily excogitated, and new gods are set up, it is well to know how to act. Bitterness is forbidden, and controversy is apt to advertise the heresy; the very best method is to go on personally worshipping the Lord with unvarying zeal, singing with heart and voice his royal praises. Do they deny the Divinity of our Lord? Let us the more fervently adore him. Do they despise the atonement? Let us the more constantly proclaim it. Had half the time spent in councils and controversies been given to praising the Lord, the church would have been far sounder and stronger than she is at this day. The Hallelujah Legion will win the day. Praising and singing are our armour against the idolatries of heresy, our comfort under the depression caused by insolent attacks upon the truth, and our weapons for defending the gospel. Faith when displayed in cheerful courage, has about it a sacred contagion: others learn to believe in the Most High when they see his servant:
    “Calm ‘mid the bewildering cry,
    Confident of victory.”

    This is such good advice, instead of getting irritated about what others say, just do the more what you already did: Worshipping God!

  65. street says:

    dear forerever, after reading what you wrote i was reminded in Romans how equally condemned the pagan and the jew are. there is no room for bragging or boast in knowledge. paul leads the reader through a mind field of one difficulty after another to be wrestled with. thank God for chapter 8!!! i think this is mentioned in chapter 2 and there are 5 more hurdles to go.

    if some ones jumps all over you for the truth, why would you be surprised? yes it is a difficult place to be, but not impossible. praying my way through another day.

  66. street says:

    Genesis 49:10
    “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes, And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

    1 Samuel 15:22
    Samuel said, “Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.

    Habakkuk 2:4
    “Behold, as for the proud one,
    His soul is not right within him;
    But the righteous will live by his faith.

    Romans 5:19
    For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

  67. poohpity says:

    On facebook this morning there was a thing showing what comes out of a pr..ying Mantis when submerged under water. Living within it is a parasitical worm that needs water and it comes out when the Mantis is submerged. It is about a meter long and black. Talk about gross.

  68. Mart DeHaan says:

    Once again, can’t tell you how much I appreciate the spirit and thoughtfulness of what all of you are adding to one another. In addition to the many perspectives shared, Steve expressed so well my desire for the free-flowing conversations of BTA when I’m not making frequent contributions.

    And for my part I’ll try to keep offering something to consider together from the Story of life, Scripture, nature etc.

  69. jeff1 says:

    Steve, you said I have a good and healthy outlook on being a Christian and I thank you for your comments for they are what I need to hear, that I am on course, as I spent so much time wandering.

    God as good reasons for how he works in us and myself I believe I spend too much time worrying about whether I am right with God rather than as you say ‘staying grounded’ in Him and staying the course.

    I wish I were more like my earthly dad who walked with God so easily, or maybe it was that he made it look so easy, but either way righteousness was natural to him while I am apt to wander and struggle.

    From what I know of you Steve, you are much like my dad and by that I mean you know what is righteous without having to be told what is righteous.

    I, on the other hand, need guidance or I wander and become confused, and Christ is my refuge when I am off balance.

    Understanding God’s will in my life does not come easy for me and so I spend more time taking refuge in Christ and it is where my confusion fades and I gain strength to go on without worrying whether I am doing God’s will but doing my best knowing that God will do the rest.

    I find that if I do not focus on Christ then I let others (mainly unbelievers) distract me and that is my weakness, because, it was not my earthly dad’s, my father was confident in that his righteousness was from God and that he was doing God’s will because he did not align himself with race, religion or culture but with Godly values as he believed that should be reflected in the life he lead.

    He was critical of those who talked the talk but did not walk the walk because his life reflected action more than it did words and he was right as it is proven in my own Country that words can be more deadly than weapons. My father would have kept silent rather than fuelled an argument and to think I often seen that as weakness.

    God is always teaching us and I believe I am finally listening.

    Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.

  70. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    This is day 14 of the Pr_ying Mantis conversation. Thanks for checking in, Mart. Hope you are well and filled with the joy of the Lord.

    What caught my imagination this morning was the statement that the mantis is the “wordless prophet of wonder.” So it is.

    Monday evening a member of the Bible study I attend asked, “How did Peter, James and John know the two figures with Jesus on the mountain top were Moses and Elijah?” (Matthew 17:2)

    It seems to me that is a good question upon which our wonder can dwell. Moses’ remains were not found. The Lord buried him, I believe. Not really sure. (Deuteronomy 34:5)

    Elijah’s passing was seen by Elisha. The chariot of fire came by — a whirlwind took Elijah up with it — and, “He saw him no more.” (2 Kings 2:12)

    The praying mantis is an intelligent creature, it seems to me. Somehow, I think of God’s wisdom when I see a mantis — which is not often, but always most impressive!

    Joy all day,

    8C and clear in the valley.

  71. remarutho says:

    My Scripture reference should really be Matthew 17:2, 3

    The scene of Moses’ death should be Deuteronomy 34:5, 6


  72. SFDBWV says:

    Good afternoon, I have had a couple days of minor computer problems that has had me silent. For that reason I apologies to Foreverblessed and Viv for not being able to respond.

    Maru I always guessed they recognized Moses and Elijah by hearing the conversation going on between Jesus, Moses and Elijah.

    I have read and heard many discussions concerning the matter of the vision on the Mount of Transfiguration. Which most often lead to very deep Bible Study with no real concrete explanations, both figuratively and literally.

    I still believe that the two prophets mentioned in Revelation at the Tribulation period to be Elijah and Enoch, not Moses, but it is just my belief because neither of these men ever died.

    Viv it is a very humbling honor for me to be compared in any way to your dad, thank you for that.

    Foreverblessed I agree we, especially me, could talk on and on about nature without ever getting tired of it. In fact Joyce sent my wife a very interesting picture of an orchid whose buds look like people knelt in prayer and whose blooms look like a white dove, it is a very interesting flower and like our Praying Mantis is viewed by us as a prayer posture and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove because of our nature and educations in the matter of our faith.

    Thank you Mart as well for the encouragement and for all you do on our behalf.

    It was 46 this morning and rose to 44 this afternoon. Fall is here.


  73. street says:

    The trap is not to get caught up in letting the joy of nature become work or worse worshiped.

    14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,

    i was thinking worship is the farthest thing from work.

  74. bubbles says:

    Steve, Wow! It was chilly where you are. only 44 this afternoon? It was 82 where I work today. shoo. Cooler temps would be nice. . . before they turn on the heat. It’s been chilly here in the mornings and I closed the window last night.

  75. SFDBWV says:

    My apologies to all, Bubbles, it was a typo, the high yesterday was 74 not 44.

    I guess I need to do a better job editing.


  76. foreverblessed says:

    Mart appreciates it when we keep the discussion going, without him changing the subject that often.
    Or that we talk with each other in an uplifting and encouraging manner!

    Thanks all for the encouragement!

    I was always a lover of nature, I would go into the garden after sunset, and look at the sky, and then I knew God was there. It always pointed me to the Maker of it all, our God Most High, our Almighty Father,
    (was just meditating upon Psalm 91:1)

    To Maru, I was thinking, when the Spirit reveals something, you just know. Without words you know. So I personally believe that they “knew” that the people there with Jesus was Moses and Elijah.
    I could compare it to dreaming, when I dream, I “know” that some or other person is there, but without actually “seeing” them. They are in my dream, and I just know who they are. Just by there being there, not because I see them.

    And about the weather: We have had a very hot September, even above 30’C, (have to look up how much that is in F, 86). It will be the hottest September ever, that is since they kept track of it. Last Thursday was the last tropical day. Now it is just lovely. 23’C ( 23×9/5+32= 73,4)
    We have had a very cool spring, and summer too, that is during the day, but because the nights were warm, this summer will be one of the warmer ones.

  77. foreverblessed says:

    I was thinking about the wonder of nature!
    Just looking at the beautiful flowers, putting a seed in the ground, and then, lo and behold, something grows out of it! Or a sunset, or sunrise!
    A sunrise is a promise that the Light of Jesus is shining on earth again:
    “Let there be Light”

    But I believe that the greatest wonder, or miracle is, when a soul repents and turns to God!
    I also believe that that is how God looks at the earth, He is not that impressed about nature, that is just following the rules of nature, but that He is so pleased about a soul opening his heart for Him!

    That is the greatest miracle.
    And we as His Body of believers have a part in that. Showing in our lives what Jesus is like. Just BE like Him, not always talking about Jesus.
    I live in an environment where most people are hostile to the Word: Jesus.
    I cannot use it, as soon as I use it, doors shut.
    So I am learning to hear what the Spirit is telling me. If I do not hear a word clearly, I will not open my mouth about the Gospel. But in my being I believe I am showing what the Gospel is: How turning to Jesus can change a person to a beautiful and lovely person, all because of Jesus, changing our hearts cleaning it from the inside out, by us looking to the Cross in faith!

    That wonder is like the shining of Light in a person’s heart:
    Let there be Light
    Gen 1:3
    2 Cor 4:6

  78. foreverblessed says:

    How that works,being a witness to Jesus, without talking. I was playing tennis here in the town, with a mate. And we were having opponents who were not very nice, even almost nasty. But I remained calm, and polite to them. Telling my mate to be patient.
    And then, some other day, she asked me:
    “Are you a christian? Because you show so much forgiveness for these @&$-people”

  79. jeff1 says:

    I am surrounded by people who tell me to keep my beliefs to myself because they do not share them, family and friends, but likewise I surround myself with people who do share my beliefs and it is there I find encouragement and hope.

    I am not always disciplined enough to keep my mouth shut when I should but I can tell you that words are like weapons and spoken in haste does more damage than good.

    My father was very disciplined at being a silent witness because where there were arguments and division he knew when to speak and when not to and what to say to diffuse a situation rather than add fuel to the fire.

    Yes, forever, I am learning to keep my mouth shut when I realize that the least said soonest mended.

    I am the one who professes to be a Christian so I must be the one to behave like one regardless of what others do.

    It makes sense if you think about it, a non believer does not believe so he does as he pleases but I am to reflect Godly behaviour which means behaving likewise.

    Sadly I fall into the trap of allowing others behaviour to rub off on me and that is why I am reluctant to call myself a Christian because I know in my heart that I may let God down when faced with nasty people.

    If I have learned anything in life it is that calling myself a Christian in no way reflects that I am one.

    My father knew that walking the walk was much more important than talking the talk but he never told me just how difficult that would be when living in a world that as you say Forever, is alien to Jesus.

    In the secular world men have turned to science and not God but if they had have listened to God in the first place they would not need science.

    God will use science to free man from his own ignorance because He is a God of love and mercy and His ways are not man’s way.

    Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
    There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
    Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not,
    As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

    Great is Thy faithfulness!
    Great is Thy faithfulness!
    Morning by morning new mercies I see.
    All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
    Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

    Summer and winter and springtime and harvest
    Sun moon and stars in their courses above
    Join with all nature in manifold witness
    To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.


    Pardon for sin and peace that endureth
    Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
    Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
    Blessing all mine with ten thousand beside!

    Great is Thy faithfulness!
    Great is Thy faithfulness!
    Morning by morning new mercies I see.
    All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
    Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

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