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One in Many

P1000388How can many be one?

On the eve of his tragic execution, the Son asked of his Father that those who belong to him “Will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me” (John 17:21).

Later, a former member of a notoriously separatiistic religious sect wrote to the kind of people he had once hated, “I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose” (1Cor 1:10).

Both requests seem honest. But the longer I live, the more I wonder how to take them seriously.

What was Jesus thinking? And Paul?

Seems like —to even begin making sense of their requests— we would need to think again about what unites and divides us.

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111 Responses to “One in Many”

  1. poohpity says:

    I think one thing that unites us is our humanity and one thing that divides us is our humanity. It seems we can be united by our humanity when it comes to humility but when it comes to pride humanity is often at odds with itself.

  2. SFDBWV says:

    I love honesty in any form, and like Jesus, the honesty and trust of little children is admired the most.

    However, little children are sometimes put in great jeopardy because of their trusting nature. I have found it to be the same for fully grown adults as well.

    I know I quote Gandhi’s reference to Christians often, but I will again. When ask by Billy Graham why in a country like India which is so open to spiritualism and religion, Christianity has such a hard time being accepted? Gandhi’s response was “Because of Christians.”

    I know of very few people who after becoming a follower of Christ really ever give up their human nature fully. In fact for most there is a constant conflict within them over giving in to their humanity or putting it aside in favor of the nature of Jesus.

    In order for some to justify their decisions or behavior they simply view much of what Christianity teaches from a slanted or skewed approach.

    Because of the extreme variety of the human psyche, there is an extreme variety of Christians.

    The thing is does that make us as believers less of being “one”?

    My “slanted” view is that it takes all kinds to make us “one” in Christ. But we remain one in accepting Jesus of Nazareth as being who He is.

    While admitting what happens to an assembly when the humanity of people show up and push aside the concept of unity in favor of giving in to their own nature of control.

    Most understand the alpha dog concept within the animal kingdom, all too often it shows up in the assemblies of churches and there Jesus is seen as the head of the church/gathering in name only.

    The question of division goes back as far as the inception of the Christian Church. In my thinking division will remain until Jesus returns to rule and reign. Continuing to show the need for Jesus even and especially within His Church.

    It frosted in spots this morning, on roof tops and the like I only had 33 here in my back yard, but the timber that surrounds me keeps things just a little warmer.


  3. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    We are looking forward to a classic autumn day here: sunny, clear skies and warm temperature. Currently 13C/54F.

    Have to agree, Pooh, that the “problem is within ourselves.” Jesus came and was One of Many while he lived his life as a human — with limits of time, space and matter.

    He came to take on our kind of life so that he could make of us (all who believe in Him) one people as God’s people. Jesus freely offers that unity — many in one — through His own self-sacrifice.

    Human nature seems to want something or someone to pull our bacon out of the fire — to save our mortal selves. We think this way when we “love our life.” (Revelation 12:11)

    But Jesus came to perform the ultimate act of atonement. He has won the victory over Satan for the souls of all the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. He passionately desired to remove the penalty of our sin from us, so that we can live reconciled to God now and forever:

    “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.” (Colossians 1: 19, 20)

    Not only humans are reconciled to God, but all of the universe is also reconciled in Jesus’ sacrifice, resurrection and return to the Father.

    Joy all day,

  4. cbrown says:

    To add to what Pooh and Steve are saying, we are all descendants of Adam and in our humanity God foreknew that we would not have the ability to live a holy life. He therefore provided a perfect sacrifice,His only Son, as atonement for our sins. Jesus,when He had risen said that he must leave to ascend into Heaven but would send a Helper, God’s Spirit, to all of those who believe in Him and accept salvation provided by Him.We are united in His Spirit and the Bible teaches where two or more are gathered in His name He is in their midst. So,even though we have many different backgrounds and beliefs, if we believe in Christ and believe that He has redeemed us we are united with all believers,The Church, and he is preparing a mansion for all of us.

  5. cbrown says:

    Maru, I was writing while you were posting or I would have amended my post.

  6. poohpity says:

    /_\ Using the triangle brings a picture of unity through humility. On either side at the bottom are people and placing God on the top the closer we get to God the closer we become to each other on our journey upward. Even though we are different people we share a common purpose and goal to bring Glory to the One who restores relationship but it has to be done in humility.

    Divisions come when we do not allow others to think for themselves or to be themselves but what we want them to think and act like which is prideful. Often people take differences as a personal insults rather than embracing those differences it is like placing ourselves at the top and God on the bottom. \-/ no sections come together in unity.

  7. poohpity says:

    lol act alike not like

  8. poohpity says:

    Six years ago today my oldest son preached his first sermon in front of hundreds of college students on forgiveness and love, sadly it was the last one because he was so passionate and his mentors criticized him for his passion, Go figure! They thought he should be more reserved like they were. I get so sick about those who try and quench another’s passionate love and desire to learn and grow in knowledge of God.

  9. joycemb says:

    Thinking that Gandi was repelled by the Christ he experienced in Christians. Seems to be like something an anti-Christ would say anyway. We are united by the Spirit of God that resides in us, individually and corporately. If I keep my focus on Him I won’t have to get caught up in the things in others that appeal to my fallen human nature.

    We are His by grace and grace alone. That is a stumbling block for many wise and not-so-wise in this world. I do not believe anything that comes from unbelievers. They may have the appearance of truth but there is only one truth and His name is Jesus.

    I remember being guilted many years ago by a pastor who used the Muslim practice of daily prayers to shame Christians because we don’t pray like they do. But our prayer is to be “without ceasing” because God is within, not somewhere out there.

    I’m sorry, I don’t mean for this to sound like a rant, but I am learning from God some wonderful things lately, and love to share Gods truths as they draw me nearer to Jesus and His message.

  10. joycemb says:

    Pooh I think new Christians are often guilt-inducing to older believers who think they have figured out HOW to do Christianity and forget Why (Jesus) they do Christianity. He’s so personal! God bless your son for challenging the status-quo. I’m sure fruit was falling on some thick heads:-)

  11. phpatato says:


    In His wisdom, God has chosen each of us to live in what many, many believe is the end of time. His Word has provided us with a description of just how abominable and depraved man will be during this time. If one pauses long enough to look and listen, I mean to really look and listen, they will quickly realize that the whole of creation is indeed groaning. Living life as a Christian in today’s world is not for the faint of heart.

    The body of Christ has many organs and each organ has a unique function, and God has fashioned and wired each one of us as to where He wants us in His body. The trouble of disharmony starts when one organ thinks s/he can do another organ’s function better.

    What sticks out for me in the verse you quoted:

    “I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose” (1Cor 1:10)

    is how the translated version chose the words I APPEAL.

    Paul, through Divine Wisdom, knew it was going to be hard for brothers and sisters in Christ to live in harmony. He spoke like a father to his children…Please get along with each other today…knowing full well that what he said had an extreme possibility of falling on deaf ears. All he could do is hope for the best. And true to human form, what he said did fall on deaf ears, mostly.

    So in having said that, I agree Steve – “In my thinking division will remain until Jesus returns to rule and reign.” There are a couple of days where we show we can but on most days…not so much.

    Beautiful, sunny, fall day in Eastern Ontario. High of 21c predicted. Trees have begun to change colour…yellow mostly (they say with the drought this summer that fall colours won’t be as vivid). Only a few have begun to drop.

  12. jeff1 says:

    It is God’s plan and it is God’s timing and I am forgiven not forgotten!

    The bible tells us that our forefathers did not live completely Holy lives and why should we be any different!

    My faith journey in a secular world will be just as difficult as it was in days gone by and God never said it would be otherwise.

    Our expectations are always wrong because God knows us better than we know God!

    What unites us is Jesus, religions divide us and we are our own worst enemies on that point.

    This is a song by Elvis who was raised a Baptist and the words are enlightening!

    Miracle Of The Rosary

    Oh Blessed Mother we pray to Thee
    Thanks for the miracle of Your Rosary
    Only You can hold back
    Your Holy Son’s hand
    Long enough for the whole world to understand

    Hail Mary full of grace
    The Lord is with Thee
    Blessed are thou among women
    And blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus
    Oh Holy Mary dear Mother of God
    Please pray for us sinners
    Now and at the hour of our death
    And give thanks once again
    For the miracle of Your Rosary

  13. joycemb says:

    I Cor I:10 is part of Pauls discourse about a fight over who should lead the church. There had to be unity in purpose in order for the early Church to proceed. I think as long as we all focus on our purpose we can each figure out how to get along with the group. As long as we are not robots but thinking individuals there will be disagreements and frustrations. But we are told to do whatever we are capable of doing to get along in peace. That may look differently for each one.

  14. street says:

    “For I proclaim the name of the Lord;
    Ascribe greatness to our God!
    “The Rock! His work is perfect,
    For all His ways are just;
    A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
    Righteous and upright is He.
    “They have acted corruptly toward Him,
    They are not His children, because of their defect;
    But are a perverse and crooked generation.

  15. street says:

    Psalm 19:7
    The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

  16. street says:

    13 Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your dress was of fine linen, silk and embroidered cloth. You ate fine flour, honey and oil; so you were exceedingly beautiful and advanced to royalty. 14 Then your fame went forth among the nations on account of your beauty, for it was perfect because of My splendor which I bestowed on you,” declares the Lord God.

    15 “But you trusted in your beauty and played the harlot because of your fame, and you poured out your harlotries on every passer-by who might be willing.

  17. street says:

    Matthew 5:48
    Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

  18. street says:

    Matthew 8:26
    He *said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.

  19. street says:

    thinking unity comes from the Headship or Lordship of Christ. we are not our own we have been bought with a price. to be in Christ is to give up self. focus is not on self anymore but on God and others. in God’s eye’s we are perfect in Christ and made for good works. sanctification is a process going on in all christians. different maturities and gifts. thinking even the ones who have fallen asleep still wait for the completion of the bride. even martin luther, died in his home town, when he was called to work out a problem within the unity of the church.

    9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

  20. SFDBWV says:

    E Pluribus Unum, “Out of many *one*”.

    The official seal of the United States has these words inscribed with it as a way of stating out of a multitude of different peoples we are one nation.

    Our origins as a nation are deeply aligned with the fundamentals of “Christianity”, but today it is hardly recognizable as such.

    My friend Pat along with many of us see the downward spiral of decency, morality, integrity and many more adjectives ascribed to being a holy Christian people toward a Godless anarchy of mob rule.

    It could be said it all began at the garden, but it is coming to a head in what many see as these final days.
    Has the Church escaped being drawn into this loss? No it has not. Is all lost because of it? Not in my opinion. As behind the door posts of the homes of the Hebrew people were all sorts of people yet it was not them nor was even their trust in God to save them it the Blood over them that kept them safe.

    Do you believe that Jesus of Nazareth is Lord? Do you believe He was born to the Virgin Mary? Do you believe He was Fathered by the Holy Spirit? Do you believe He was crucified, died and returned to life as recorded in the Scripture? Do you believe that through His sacrifice your sins are forgiven?

    If so, like all others who believe as such, you are united with them in faith; you are “one”.

    All the rest of it may just seem to be inconsequential to the essentials of being one in Christ.

    Rain overnight and a heavy mist this morning, 56 degrees and a warning of 4 to 8 inches or rain over the next couple days.

    Looking for the “latter rain”.


  21. joycemb says:

    If this doesn’t get us excited for what God can and will do, well…

    Share this video

  22. jeff1 says:

    In Christ alone my hope is found
    He is my light, my strength, my song
    This Cornerstone, this solid ground
    Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
    What depths of love, what depths of peace
    When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
    My Comforter, my All in All
    Here in the love of Christ I stand

    In Christ alone who took on flesh
    Fullness of God in helpless babe
    This gift of love and righteousness
    Scorned by the ones He came to save
    ‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
    The wrath of God was satisfied
    For every sin on Him was laid
    Here in the death of Christ I live

    There in the ground His body lay
    Light of the world by darkness slain
    Then bursting forth in glorious Day
    Up from the grave He rose again
    And as He stands in victory
    Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
    For I am His and He is mine
    BOUGHT with the precious BLOOD OF CHRIST

    No guilt in life, no fear in death
    This is the power of Christ in me
    Can ever pluck me from His hand
    Till He returns or calls me home
    Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

  23. SFDBWV says:

    Joyce thank you so very much for the video. When I was in the Marine Corps at boot camp in Paris Island SC. We marched to church every Sunday morning as part of the indoctrination into the Marine Corps.

    It made me proud once again to see our Marines in worship, ready and willing to sacrifice all for the rest of us.

    It is a beautiful video, thanks again.


  24. joycemb says:

    I thought of you Steve. It is invigorating, isn’t it!

  25. poohpity says:

    Wow love it Joyce! Can you imagine like the military that for them to function they have to have each other’s back and all follow the same direction under their commanders but if they are divided functioning on what each thought was the right way to go, our military would fall. We are Warriors for Christ and we have the same goals and purposes under One leader. ooooo rah Praise God!!

  26. joycemb says:

    Perfect analogy pooh!

  27. street says:

    Ephesians 2

  28. street says:

    been thinking about contention and how destructive it is in any person. there are small and large ones and they lead down the same road. there is a road marked out but love that is very narrow. few find it. when you are on it sometimes you feel like an island.

    love finds a way. one step at a time.

  29. joycemb says:

    Street I know what you mean. When I am at a coffee group in my building I refuse to gossip about others, and am usually the only one. My own island I guess you could say, however I do see the influence as positive as some have decided not to gossip when I arrive, and I try to turn the conversation to light-hearted news or the health of those in the room. Some come to me now in private to talk about how better to get along with their family or neighbors. It’s a blessing to be used in this way. When God is in the room, things have to change, for better or worse. Being a vessel of peace there is always someone in need.

  30. joycemb says:

    Thank you Mart for allowing me to post the video.

  31. remarutho says:

    Thanks for the video, Joyce!

    We pray each week for our men and women in uniform. So inspired to hear these Marines praising God!

    Their unity is complete. Reading Psalm 111 this morning:

    “I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart,
    In the company of the upright and in the assembly…

    “He has sent redemption to His people;
    He has ordained His covenant forever;
    Holy and awesome is His name…

    “His praise endures forever.” Psalm 111:1, 9, 10)

    The work we can do that truly endures is to praise Him together.

    “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10)


  32. street says:

    pray for marine’s that have not heard or have not understood what these men have sung. Let us taste Your mercy and then help us to live a changed life.

  33. jeff1 says:

    Joyce, love the video and have tried to share it but my computer skills are limited so not sure if it has worked.

    Very encouraging to see this kind of comradeship.

  34. joycemb says:

    Viv if you look it up on YouTube you’ll have an easier time sharing it I think. Glad you all like it–it is so spirit lifting to hear this earthly choir.

  35. jeff1 says:

    Thank you for that info., Joyce, it will be easier for me, they are singing with such passion, that it cannot not rub off on you, I am sure that even non believers would enjoy it also.

  36. street says:

    thinking about being an island and this verse came to mind,

    Luke 9:58 But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”

    if your are going to follow……

    thinking of pilgrims progress and the times he was encourage, times he was refreshed, and the times he was strengthened on his journey. thinking of how obedience impacts the journey. unity among pilgrims.

  37. jeff1 says:

    Thinking of my own journey, Street, how you do not see you are disobedient, my earthly Dad seen it but I could not see it. I had to come to that place myself, no one else can enlighten you, only the spirit of God can open your heart, mind, ears.

    Try talking to someone who hasn’t and they will look at your blankly. Once you are touched by God, you are humbled because you realize just how unfaithful you have been.

    I do not focus on obedience because I had spent my life focusing on obedience and the harder I tried the harder I fell.

    I do my best in the circumstances I find myself and I know that God will do the rest.

    I am thankful He has my back because life has taught me that no one else has.

    God is with you always and it has been my experience that He is nearest me when I am furthest from Him.

    My sins of omission are just as unfaithful to God as my sins of commission but He will never hold that against you and I don’t know of any person I can say that about.

  38. SFDBWV says:

    Ok I am going to take this in an entirely different direction as my time permits.

    Jesus asking the Father for those who belong to Him to be as one just as He (the Father) and He (the Son) are one.

    Just as they are one. Do any of us actually understand how the Father and Son are one?

    While I get it that we can be of one thought and purpose, goal oriented and view, we remain separate people. Whereas as they are one in a very unique way. Is it possible for us to become as they uniquely absorbed into each other so that we discontinue to exist individually and become one entity?

    Thousands of years earlier the people of earth were as one and chastised for it. Timing and purpose not in alignment with God’s will.

    We had 2 inches of rain yesterday, nothing that would have produced flooding of any kind. It is only 53 degrees at 10 am and still wet and foggy. Summer seems to be gone until next year.


  39. poohpity says:

    I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.

    22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. 24 Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!

    25 “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. 26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”

  40. street says:

    As a group of religious leaders herded an adulterous woman toward Jesus, they couldn’t know they were carrying her within a stone’s throw of grace.

    it is staggering to know how close we are to complete barbarism. when the barbarians sacked Rome, did they know they were robbing their bothers? did they have enough of the kidnappings, murders, and enslavement? for sure a rod of discipline to Rome in the hand of God. He used the assyrians to discipline and the Romans to punish His beloved people.

    then again we are a stone’s throw from grace and oneness.

  41. street says:

    steve said,”Just as they are one. Do any of us actually understand how the Father and Son are one?”

    i have a crude analogy on this. thinking of factory parts all the same and interchangeable they are the same.

    there would be no difference in perfection. none what’s so ever. someday God is all and in all.

    3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

  42. street says:

    we would need to think again about what unites and divides us.

    sin divides/separates from God

    Jesus unites sinners to God by His cross, in Himself.

    God is a divider and He is good when he does it.

    16 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said,

    “I will dwell in them and walk among them;
    And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
    “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord.
    “And do not touch what is unclean;
    And I will welcome you.
    “And I will be a father to you,
    And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,”
    Says the Lord Almighty.

  43. foreverblessed says:

    I like the picture of the house:
    Many Windows, one House!

  44. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed, thank you for defining the picture, I hadn’t really connected what it may have meant.

    I guess that house is in a warmer climate as that many windows in a cold one doesn’t work out that well.

    We are at 53 degrees this morning after a high of 56 yesterday. Foggy and wet.


  45. SFDBWV says:

    Mart states that the longer he lives the more he wonders how to take either Jesus or Paul serious about being “one”.

    A couple weeks ago there was a story on the news about a British sniper shooting into the fuel tank of a flame thrower worn by a notorious ISIS villain who enjoyed burning people alive just as the terrorist was about to torch prisoners.

    The shot exploded the fuel tank killing the terrorist and his two accomplices filming the event.

    How does the story make you feel?

    Are you glad that the terrorist “got what he deserved”? Or sad that a soul was lost because of his obvious dark heart?

    Make no mistake about it the Marines we enjoyed singing praise music to Jehovah God see the events on the world stage as a holy war with Islam as the evil enemy. They are anxious to fight against God’s enemies with deadly force.

    How does that make you feel? Are they as Peter too anxious to take up the sword? Or do you feel safer knowing they are there to fight for your cause or that vengeance is justified in a “holy war”?

    Somewhere in time there was a Christian who is credited with the statement “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.”

    With the coming election of a president here in the USA division amongst everyone is rampant and between the candidates how a Christian is to vote provides an easy example of how we as the Church are *NOT* one.

    Mart’s observation is a valid one and though both Jesus and Paul’s desire is for us to be one, for now we are not and to be rhetorical I have to believe we will remain so until the return of the King.

    However with His return and our subsequent resurrection, rapture and return with Him are we then “quickened” into having the heart as one with God and each other?

    If so I suppose like both Jesus and Paul our desire to be one will have to remain a prayer, a prayer of both fulfillment and of His return.


  46. foreverblessed says:

    Yes Steve, that picture hit me, it says, we all have a vision of God, but we have a narrowed vision.

    You talked about what made us one, two days ago, our common statement of faith:
    God the Father who calls us,, God the Son Jesus who saved us, and God the Holy Spirit who leads us.

    That’s it

  47. foreverblessed says:

    But… then there are many many minor things on which we have different views, I say, minor things!
    Because the Major thing is the above, and what you wrote.

    Mart asked, shall we see in where we disagree. Nobody up to now feels like doing that, it is so tiring.
    But as long as we see the big vision, and keep our eyes on Jesus.
    Reading Psalms, and studying one of them every week is eye opening to me. Street gave Psalm 111, and when I read it, it opened my mind: it is about the Salvation. The Gospel message, Salvation through Christ!

    The better we know and understand what salvation is, the more effective our lives will be to others.
    And in suffering we learn more about the salvation that comes through Jesus, the living in faith, in Grace!

    Oh, how thankful I am that in the years I have learned what it is to live in Grace!
    Me, a person, who lived as a christian, but then in the Old Covenant way: I obey God’s Laws, and then He will bless me. And then take the Laws literal.
    So with me you would have a hard time being one as a christian, because I would tell you: You are disobeying God by not keeping the 7th day!
    To me, a minor point became a major point, not Jesus was my Major, but the Sabbath!

    And in the mean time, that whole idea of living in Grace was a mystery to me.

    At the time, when I seriously started to ask God: Show me what it is to live under Grace, then the journey started of what the essence was of being a christian.

    Majoring in the Majors: Being Saved by faith in Christ!

    Thank God, for His great Mercies to me.
    And I do believe that I should have patience with every christian I meet, that has not seen that Major yet, and is insisting we keep some or other minor.

    Every christian who sincerely wants to follow God will in the end be led by the Holy Spirit to what it is all about, as He did to me, a very stubborn and religious christian. He, by the Holy Spirit, got through to me.

  48. street says:

    LUKE 14:1–11
    good insight on this passage on the scripture union site today, “less is more”

    thank you for speaking up.

    hot or cold silence can be deadly.

    continue in grace

  49. SFDBWV says:

    In response to Mart’s request as to what unites us and divides us, it would seem that as Foreverblessed has agrees with me, we are united in our belief in who Jesus is and acceptance of Him as Lord.

    It is simple and to the point.

    So what divides us?

    What is it that divides a Roman Catholic Church, from an Eastern Orthodox Church and from all of the very numerous Protestant Churches?

    If you examine the Roman and Eastern Orthodox Churches closely, they basically say the same things. Their departure a Pope issue.

    The Protestant Churches will for the most part agree on the same fundamentals, but are suspicious of every other church of being wrong somewhere in their system of believe in how to worship and even what to believe.

    Most all of us have heard hatred delivered as a sermon from the pulpit against another Christian Church. And of course as Viv can testify murder at the lowest level between supposed believers of Jesus the Christ.

    Our differences wouldn’t matter that much except that it produces intense hatred and anger to the point of violence and even murder.

    Now, how do we get past such emotions to realizing our common ground and leaving our differences go? Centering on our fundamental “oneness”?

    Afternoon thoughts at 62 degrees and a clear blue sky.


  50. bubbles says:

    Ecumenicalism is bad.

  51. poohpity says:

    My oldest son and I had a conversation this week about disagreeing. He thinks and feels when someone disagrees with him it is a personal insult and disrespectful. I asked do you then feel that your thinking is always right and there is no room to learn?

    Followers of Christ can be in different denominations, speak different languages, have different social economic status, different cultures, different jobs, different races and many other things that can cause separation but it seems it is God’s Spirit within each of us that we are One, just like what Jesus was teaching in John. That unites in us purpose to tell the Good News and do good works that reflect our faith.

  52. street says:

    thinking the division is more over law and circumcision and Spirit and truth.

    Love covers a multitude of sin, grace.

  53. street says:

    bear with me on this one, changed some words to make a point.

    3 What advantage, then, is there in being a “christian”, or what value is there in “baptism”? 2 Much in every way! First of all, the “Christians” have been entrusted with the very words of God.

    3 What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? 4 Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written:

    “So that you may be proved right when you speak
    and prevail when you judge.”

  54. street says:

    21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

  55. jeff1 says:

    What is more important that religions score points against each other or choose to live like Christ wants them to and that means putting their religious heritage second and Christ first.

    My father told me that he was a member of the orange order but my father never paraded because he said it was his heritage but he had not chosen to be in it.

    He said it was how a person behaved that mattered and I have to say he lived up to it both by serving his country and denouncing behaviour that he seen was ungodly irrespective of which side of the divide it came from.

    He excepted hostility towards him because he did not run with the pack and choose behaviour that honoured God and I know today that my father was right in what he taught me though I did not pay much attention at the time.

    The fact that we are covered by grace should make us thankful and more determined to do what is right in God’s eyes irrespective of our beliefs.

  56. street says:

    jeff said,” The fact that we are covered by grace should make us thankful and more determined to do what is right in God’s eyes irrespective of our beliefs.”

    1 Samuel 12:14
    If you will fear the Lord and serve Him, and listen to His voice and not rebel against the command of the Lord, then both you and also the king who reigns over you will follow the Lord your God.

  57. jeff1 says:

    As Steve as said I have witnessed at the lowest level how believers in Christ can justify murder and mayhem according to their beliefs.

    I have not only witnessed it; but in my heart, there where times, when I understood how they justified it because when you are fired up with what you believe to be injustice against your people then everything else becomes irrelevant to you.

    There is always an excuse, I was young and took the side of the people I knew but I had a father who was older and wiser and seen my folly but until my heart was right with God he could not make me see it.

    We are united in Christ but as an individual I do not always do what is right in God’s eyes and this is not news to God and I for one am very thankful it is not news to God because He is both front and behind me when it comes to my Salvation.

    I was blessed to have an earthly father who practised what he preached and from that I have learned that the only motives I should be examining are my own and when I do examine them and be honest with myself I will realize that getting to know God can be slow and painful depending on how far I have wandered from His safe keeping.

    I do not have to fear my enemies because God has revealed to me that ‘I am my own worst enemy’.

    There is not God, but God, I know this is true
    God made everything, He made me, He made you
    They’d be no birds,
    No planes to sail in the blue
    Without His wondrous eyes to see them through

    They say God made land
    And He gave it all to man
    Yes I know He’s might good and true
    There is no God, but God
    And He knows everything to do
    So just you call on Him
    And He will share His love with you

    There is no God, but God
    I know this is true,
    For God made everything
    He made me, He made you

    They’d be no birds
    No planes to sail in the blue
    Without His wondrous eyes to see them through

    They say God made land
    And He gave it all to man
    This I know is mighty good and true
    There is no God, but God

    And He knows everything you do
    So just you call on Him
    And He will share His love with you

  58. joycemb says:

    R E C O N C I L I A T I O N is the word that came to mind reading the post today. It appears to me that there can be no ‘oneness’ without it. Christ asked us to do what He did for us, put others’ welfare above my own, and even denying my ‘rights’ to be able to sacrifice for another’s’ good. Reconciliation is always costly. But it’s good. As good a reflection of God as we are capable of as non divinity.

    My son who I have not seen or talked to in a year suddenly came to visit with his wife and 3 darling little girls. We had the best time! Yet I realized it was all on me to do what I could to continue a relationship (hopefully) and to accept where they are without making any selfish demands on them. Hard to do yet so much more peaceful and the door is still open for future visits. Still learning from God how to be at peace in a messed up world. Praise God!

  59. street says:

    it doesn’t take many sins to separate oneself from God. just one.

    yes joycemb, reconciliation is the key to oneness. thinking Jesus asked us to trust Him and learn to love. don’t think love is natural to man.

    Romans 5:10
    For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

    thinking division is caused by judgment and darkness. when we are saved we are not made perfect, wish we were. broken minds, broken hearts, broken relationships, decaying bodies …to name a few. thinking this unity is future when all enjoy it together. how could you enjoy it if is not complete?
    faith, hope, love.

    thinking of the cycles israel went through, Exodus judges, and kings. there is also a linear movement forward. both going on at the same time. hold on!
    Matthew 5

  60. joycemb says:

    No place for complacency while following Christ. Thanks street for the encouragement.

  61. jeff1 says:

    Division is caused by mostly ignorance of man on who God is.

    Everyone says God is on their side, wars are fought on battlefields each believing that God is with them.

    My father taught me that it is not about God being on my side but that I must choose to be on his.

    I seem to be wandering more than following and wish my father where here because I could always depend on him to lead me in the right direction.

  62. jeff1 says:

    In my fathers house are many mansions
    If it where not true he would not have told me so
    He has gone away to live in that bright city
    He’s preparing me a mansion there I know

    Jesus died upon the cross to bear my sorrow
    Freely died that souls like you might have new life
    But I know that soon there’ll come a bright tomorrow
    When the world will all be free from sin and strife

    (Do not shun the the saviour’s love, from up in glory)
    (Or you won’t be there to sing the gospel story)
    In my father’s house are many mansions
    If you’re true then to this land you’ll surely go

  63. street says:

    jeff said,”I seem to be wandering more than following and wish my father where here because I could always depend on him to lead me in the right direction.”

    Jesus said He would not leave you orphans. He and His Father send One from from His very Throne in Heaven to guide comfort inform and discipline because He loves you and is going to bring you home safely. the One He sent is the Holy Spirit also called the Spirit of Christ.

    awhile ago, a controller on my transmission went out on my car. i had to take it to a dealer because the engine and transmission would not work together. i also had to take it to the dealer because most garages did not have the ability to marry the engine and transmission together, there by establishing unity. works fine now.

  64. SFDBWV says:

    Those who have read this blog for a long time have heard me say I am not a fan of quick answers such as “church” slogans.

    Sometimes quick “church” answers though meant to help, aid or encourage have the opposite effect.

    Many people especially Christian people have felt abandoned by God, and even though I don’t agree with what most read in Matthew 27:46 KJV, it shows that we can “feel” abandoned at times.

    Just to be clear I believe Jesus was quoting Psalms 22:1 KJV in order to point believers to the prophesy of the crucified Messiah in startling accuracy.

    However as all of Scripture does, it speaks much more than sometimes meets the eye.


  65. street says:

    My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    Why are you so far from saving me,
    so far from my cries of anguish?

    For this is what the high and exalted One says—
    he who lives forever, whose name is holy:
    “I live in a high and holy place,
    but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit,
    to revive the spirit of the lowly
    and to revive the heart of the contrite.

  66. street says:

    thinking of unity at the table.
    we understand that the Word is given in two forms mentioned in scripture. paul speaks of milk and meat. as an Apostle he understood his audience and maturity level.
    there have not been any little ones in my house for a long time, yet i notice my table still gets messy.

  67. joycemb says:

    I agree, feelings are usually far from Reality. As believers our Reality is we live the life of a beloved child of God through Jesus, we are adopted through grace and transformed to become more and more like Him, our abba Father, friend, and our peace. David lived it through the psalms he wrote, and so do we here and now.

  68. joycemb says:

    Unity at the table-
    Yesterday I watched on PBS “The Story of God”. Interesting but what stood out to me was the first act of the Seder meal was for everyone to pass the basket and put their electronic devices in it. With everyone focused on God it was beautiful as they all read parts of the Torah I believe together. Unity demands removing our own personal thoughts and distractions. Not as easy always as putting them in a basket and removing them from reach. However if our focus is on what we can sacrifice to help others move closer to God then we are indeed at the same table. Unity.

  69. street says:

    thinking of paul’s insight of not knowing anything, but Christ and him crucified. thinking not so much as giving sacrifice, as to give what we have received.

    Isaiah 63:9
    In all their affliction He was afflicted, And the angel of His presence saved them; In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them, And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old.

  70. joycemb says:

    Thinking of love being the sacrifice as it goes contrary to our human nature.

  71. joycemb says:

    1 John 3:16-18New Living Translation (NLT)

    16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister[a] in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?

    18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.

  72. jeff1 says:

    Thinking of how some are better with words than others. My parents never used words like love but yet I knew how much they loved me by their actions.

    In the world today true love is difficult to find because society has moved away from virtues that where one time valued.

    God’s love is true love because it has our best interests at heart even when we cannot see it.

    I did not always appreciate my parents intervening in my life but now a parent myself I am more aware of why they did.

    Faith is trusting God regardless of whether I understand His will in my life because He is an eternal God who keeps His promises.

  73. jeff1 says:

    Joyce, you said unity demands we remove our own personal thoughts and distractions and I will go one further and say when I am prepared to put Christ first in my life He will remove my own personal thoughts and distractions and transform me to His image.

    I am ignorant of what God truly wants; I believe that God brings circumstances to my life that glorifies Him proving my ignorance of God because God is in the circumstances of my life to bring me to a personal relationship with Him.

    I have always questioned my father on why God allows so much suffering and my father always answered ‘Christ’ suffered and so it is that we believe God brings suffering into our life to glorify Him.

    It was finished at the cross ‘Christ’ RECONCILLED the world to God, so no man/religion can boast.

    It is evil of men/women who brings about our suffering and our own sins.

    God is not trying to Glorify Himself through our suffering He is trying to draw Us to Himself through our suffering and I turn Him away because of my ignorance of ‘WHO GOD REALLY IS’.



  74. foreverblessed says:

    That was AWESOME, Jeff!
    Thanks, I will meditate on that a long time!
    That’s why this blog is called
    ‘Been thinking’

  75. joycemb says:

    Yes Viv He does but I find, I think, I have to be willing to submit to Him and desire His will whether I like it or not. Sometimes I don’t like His will and I have to ask God to give me the desire to submit to His will; although His will will be done whether in the church or in my own home. It’s all a part of relationship, the back and forth dialogue and inquiry.

    In a sense God is selfish, remember ” Though shalt have no other Gods before Me”? He describes Himself as a jealous God also. Yet He “gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall have everlasting life”.

    We’re all at different places in our understanding of God and always learning aren’t we.

  76. joycemb says:

    Unity I believe demands understanding that we are all at different places, yet can accept when we are wrong in our theology or interpersonal relations and look to God for mercy and grace no matter what the issue is. It takes humility to trust that grace covers all sins, whether of omission or commission, whether mine or someone else’s. God is our covering, the great umbrella over His church and fellowship.

  77. poohpity says:

    I fully believe that one thing that brings us together more fully is understanding that we all are on the same level ground at the foot of the Cross. That stops me from looking down or looking up to others rather than keeping my eyes fixated on Jesus. That I know is what unites us along with Paul and other believers throughout the centuries. However when I start thinking I am further along or know more than others that is the beginning of division but when I remember who I am compared to Christ and who I am to Him that sure does take me back to my knees on the level ground found at the foot of the Cross.

  78. jeff1 says:

    I agree, Joyce, we are all at different places with God and always learning but I do not believe God is selfish in the sense that He wants the glory for Himself and this is where I believe I can stunt my growth.

    God wants to share His glory with us because it will more than strengthen us it will bring us into harmony with Him and restore our relationship to what He meant it to be before the fall.

    When we share His glory, then I believe, (I have no personal experience here)the rest will fall into place and we will be able to truly help those more unfortunate than ourselves because we will do it in God’s power and not trying to do it in our own power.

    God’s reasons are always good and honourable as well as selfish if you see what I am getting at!

    God choose a people not to ‘burden’ them with trials but to set them apart with equal access to Him to help others who have no understanding of Him.

    I have not studied my bible but I do believe God will use those that are learned to do His will when He returns to establish His Kingdom on earth.

    There has to be a higher calling in the kingdom for those who know God’s biblical laws and those who have confused God’s laws with man made laws.

    Would you not agree with me on this?

  79. joycemb says:

    Sort of Viv, we may be using different terms but as for a hierarchy in the Kingdom we all have a responsibility to do whatever we have been gifted to do through the Holy Spirit. The purpose of the gifts being to build up the church. However, as Pooh just stated, the ground at the cross is level; we are all sinners in need of a redeemer. Jesus said “the first will be last and the last first”. I think any glory we may have is Jesus in us. We cannot claim the same glory. Even Moses was turned down by God when asked to see Him face to face.

    When I was baptized in water then in the Holy Spirit and a couple brief times I have been in His actual presence I have no words to describe the majesty of His Glory- I was undone as others have also described it. No words. His Glory is beyond understanding. To share in it would be blasphemous and could not happen. That’s my current understanding anyway. As I said we are all at different places.

    There is no more past sin to deal with because of Jesus death, yet we do still sin at times and having received Jesus as our Savior we can turn to Him whenever to repent and find grace available. It’s a once in a lifetime ongoing relationship.

  80. joycemb says:

    I’m so grateful when someone brings up the cross because I tend to ruminate on the past; my years of therapy I suppose. But I’ve decided to trust myself and my God and look up and forward more now. (Thanks pooh!)

  81. jeff1 says:

    I agree with you Joyce that remaining at the cross keeps us humble but I find that the reality of human nature is that it is more judgemental than humble and that goes just as much for believers as non believers and in many cases even more so.

    I am blessed to belong to a church whose focus is Christ but there is a falling away in all churches by the younger generation due to the judgemental attitude of many in the Church and it is sad that many still see God as a God of Wrath rather than a God who is forgiving, but God has always been a God of grace to me and I truly believe that His love conquers all our inadequacies.

  82. poohpity says:

    Joyce, your welcome. Keeping our line of sight on what was done on the cross always gives us focus so we do not judge others. When we compare ourselves to Jesus we realize there is no way to even come close to His perfection and we know He sees our imperfection and gifted us with mercy, grace and forgiveness. Those who are without sin throw those first stones and often we will walk away because there was only ONE without sin and it certainly was not any of us human beings.

  83. joycemb says:

    Viv we can be the light in a dark world, no matter who we encounter along our way. “Each one reach one” is a phrase
    I’ve heard. Instead of fretting about how badly people in and out of the church act I try to focus on my little sphere of influence, that being who I am with and am I showing mercy and grace and forgiveness or am I adding to the overall problem?

    A writer, Henri Nouwen, wrote a book about the Prodigal. He said that though once we were prodigals we are to become like the Father, welcoming prodigals home. Those are our brothers and sisters.

    Wouldn’t it be unifying to view each other through the Father’s eyes.

  84. SFDBWV says:

    With few exceptions when we read the stories of the lives of the people in the OT it usually is only moments out of their lives and usually only moments when God was actively interacting with them.

    Like you and I, I am certain there was a great deal more life lived by them all.

    Sigmund Freud is credited with saying that people cannot imagine their own death. I think that people have a very hard time imagining eternity and tend to live in the moment almost all of the time.

    The life and actions of Paul are very well documented not only in the Bible, but in history as is the evidence and results of the first Disciples efforts in establishing Christianity in the world.

    One of the earliest churches established was the church in Corinth. The early people there didn’t understand why believers among them died nor why Jesus didn’t return just as soon as they become believers.

    So we have Paul and Peter both explaining what and when these events would take place as well as not worrying about those believers who have died.

    Life in my own household is stark evidence to hard difficult living when we are promised so many things from accepting Jesus as Lord, only because something in us don’t want to wait, we want those promises delivered right away.

    I think when we are honest, we will see that most all of us *are* “one” in living life as a Christian, always struggling between moments of assurance and moments of uneasiness which sound sometimes like doubts, but are not actually doubts but impatience.

    I find comfort in knowing that we all share in so much being Christian even uneasiness and anxiety sometimes.

    53 and cloudy this morning.


  85. jeff1 says:

    I think when we are honest, we will see that most all of us *are* “one” in living life as a Christian, always struggling between moments of assurance and moments of uneasiness which sound sometimes like doubts, but are not actually doubts but impatience.

    This is so well said, Steve as I can empathise with these words exactly and I too find comfort that other believers experience it because I fear sometimes that I am verging on disbelief.

    I don’t know how many times others peoples faith have pulled me out of a dark hole and not my own.

    As Joyce as noticed I am a fan of Elvis and particularly his gospel music because I have been listening to it for about 50 years, the first album I owned was his “Hand In Mine” and in the moments Steve mentioned Elvis’s gospel music gave me peace in my most anxious moments.

    Elvis was not just one of the greatest entertainers ever to me; I read about his life and the drugs and the struggles he faced as someone whose fame somewhat destroyed his life.

    He is the rags to riches with the lessons learned that fame and fortune do not make a person and in his case probably did the opposite and he died a broken man.

    Elvis appeared a broken man to us but I watched a programme where his cousin described his moods a few nights before he died.

    His cousin had been concerned about his mood swings and entered the room to find him reading his bible and the words he said to his cousin meant that he knew he was destined to meet his maker much sooner than later.

    Elvis returned to his roots; the Baptist boy whose church music had played such a big part in his fame had realized who indeed was his best friend.

    God rest him for his music was from the heart of a man touched by God.

    When his wife was asked if he dedicated the song “The Wonder Of You” to her she said “no” it was God he had in mind.

    When I look at the words of the song I see it is very fitting.

    When no one else can understand me
    When everything I do is wrong
    You give me hope and consolation
    You give me strength to carry one

    And you’re always there
    To lend a hand in everything I do
    That’s the wonder, the wonder of you
    (Wonder of you)

    And when you smile, the world is brighter
    You touch my hand and I’m a king
    Your kiss to me is worth a fortune
    Your love for me is everything

    I guess I’ll never know
    The reason why you love me like you do
    That’s the wonder, the wonder of you

    I guess I’ll never know
    The reason why you love me as you do
    That’s the wonder, the wonder of you

  86. poohpity says:

    The very first time I read the bible the thing that held my attention so well is that it told of all these different people with many flaws, failures, shortcomings, questions of God, struggles, trials, sorrows, fears and yes suffering. No person that was ever talked about had it all together. BUT God used everyone of them so that meant that He could use me too. Understanding that sure does bring common ground, it was those who thought they did not have flaws, etc. that think they are different not ever coming to acknowledge or have a need for God.

  87. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Pooh, it is those who thought they did not have flaws; but I have news for you; I can wander from God and be just like that; it is God who draws me back to Him, who was working in Elvis in his last days, the Holy Spirit, God does not give up on us no matter how far we wander and that is the truth of the Gospel of Christ; Elvis give up on himself, but he knew who to turn to in his hour of need; indeed Elvis knew God much better than he realized.

  88. street says:

    One in Many
    thinking of One in wandering. the wanderings of the patriarchs and israel can be overlooked sometimes just like us in our wanderings. God makes Himself available to the wander and protects and keeps His children safe. like the one sheep that wanders away, the Good Shepard comes for it and rejoices on the way home. thinking how defenseless and foolish sheep are. they do wander when they lose sight of the Shepard while foraging.

    Isaiah 25
    On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare
    a feast of rich food for all peoples,
    a banquet of aged wine—
    the best of meats and the finest of wines.
    On this mountain he will destroy
    the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
    the sheet that covers all nations;
    he will swallow up death forever.
    The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
    from all faces;
    he will remove his people’s disgrace
    from all the earth.
    The Lord has spoken.

  89. poohpity says:

    Viv, what did you think I was saying? Everything we go through is common to mankind. What I wrote was in regards to “One in Many” the topic not what anyone else said. About unity and divisions.

  90. jeff1 says:

    I was referring to part of the last line of your sentence:

    “it was those who thought they did not have flaws, etc. that think they are different not ever coming to acknowledge or have a need for God”.

    I took it from that sentence you where referring to those who didn’t think they needed God i.e. those who thought they where already perfect and I was pointing out how easy it is to wander there myself when I take my eyes of Christ the ‘Only One Who Is Perfect’.

  91. joycemb says:

    Viv I’ve always appreciated your transparency and humility here. Thank you for being you.

  92. jeff1 says:

    I try to be honest with myself because in my earlier days I deceived myself and no one else.

    I was blessed with an earthly Dad who had the patience of Job and I mean that literally.

    My mum, brother and I where quite unstable so he had to be strong yet compassionate and God was definitely with him because he focused on what was right for everyone around him and put himself last.

    It is difficult to find strength, compassion and patience in someone unless their source is God and my father looked to God and was never without.

    It was a habit he practised all his life and I am now following his example.

    It is sad to see many have not had that kind of parenting and makes me realize that not all have had as good a chance in life as I have.

    The more I learn how difficult other peoples lives have been the more I appreciate what I do have; for it is easy to become ungrateful in a world where there is so much emphasis on ‘me’.

    My father was always so generous with my children but I remember him saying that in his day you were lucky to get an apple and an orange on Christmas day.

    I believe humility comes from having led a humble life and no matter how much better of my father was in his later years he never forgot his humble background.

    I appreciate your comments too and glad that we are united in ‘Jesus’ and that what ever other differences we have when we return our focus on Him it calms our spirit and makes us all one with Him.

    I always feel better for doing this and know that it is God’s will for me and yet I can get distracted by this world and what goes on around me.

    God help us all to remain your obedient servants!
    I am not as disciplined as my father was but I will endeavour to become more like Him.

  93. cbrown says:

    I would ask that we all pray for Gary and those in the path of Hurricane Mathew. I am in the Jacksonville area and north of a direct hit but Cocoa and Melbourne,Florida are at greater risk.

  94. SFDBWV says:

    Chris I just finished looking in on the Weather Channel’s internet site concerning the hurricane. As far away as I am from it, fall hurricane activity has a way of wreaking havoc even as far inland and north as West Virginia.

    Indeed we here at our home add to your prayers and concerns for not only the safety of all involved, but yours as well.


  95. cbrown says:

    Steve, thank you for your prayers.As I prepare, I keep thinking of Haiti and that they are in the midst of the aftermath of the storm without the resources in Florida.Join me in praying for the relief efforts there and that Christ will be lifted up. Love in Christ. Chris

  96. SFDBWV says:

    “One” with you Chris.

    It is 38 degrees here and foggy.


  97. phpatato says:

    Thank you Chris for reminding me that Gary does indeed live in Florida. He has been gone for several months from here and I have thought of him a few times.

    Gary, please be safe! And if you can, please drop by and let us know you are safe?

    I am joining you in prayer Chris for everyone affected by Matthew. I am also praying that Nicole – which as of 11pm last night was almost hurricane strength – stays out to sea.

    Red Cross is on the ground in Haiti providing immediate aftermath relief to those extremely vulnerable people. My daughter has been with the Canadian Red Cross for over almost two decades as a first aid/cpr instructor trainer. She was also part of their Disaster Relief Management Team . She was at the airport to meet and greet, to help organize and direct a plane load of orphaned Haitian children after the devastating earthquake in 2010. She came home bawling at the utter sadness of seeing those lost and lonely, frightened little children who were left with absolutely Nothing but the clothes on their backs.

    If you have a charity that you can trust, please donate. Any little bit can help.

    And yes Chris, as always, may Christ’s name be glorified through it all.

    Blessings to you and everyone here


  98. joycemb says:

    Praying also for those in this hurricane. Thinking of Gary also this morning. Be safe and be blessed!

  99. SFDBWV says:

    300 dead in Haiti, 200,000 without power in Florida. It looks like Jacksonville is going to get hit as well.

    Prayers continue for all involved as well as our friend Chris. Having not heard from Gary as long as we have I never know what to think, but if he is still with us he also is in our prayers. Also remember that Peg lives in Florida and do hope she is out of harm’s way.


  100. poohpity says:

    Steve, Peg has evacuated and went with her animals to a safe place.

    Samaritans purse run by Franklin Graham was immediately in Haiti as well as Operation Blessing. Both very good to donate to.

  101. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you pooh, I also emailed Peg and she said that she and her family were ok.

    It has been a long journey on BTA and across its time we have met many very nice people, I am sure that there have been more than Bruce and Charlotte who have passed away. Far too many have just *went* away instead.


  102. cbrown says:

    Hey all.We evacuated inland to my youngest son’s house.What a blessing.Waiting to be allowed to go see what damage to our house.Thankful hurricane Mathew stayed offshore. Prayer’s for Gary,Haiti and those along the coast who were impacted the most. Praise God for His loving-kindness and mercy.

  103. joycemb says:

    Pearl is also near the hurricane and needs our prayers for possible heavy rain damage. Chris so good to hear you are safe.

  104. cbrown says:

    Thanks Joyce,this fellowship is such an encouragement to me.

  105. street says:

    Seems like —to even begin making sense of their requests— we would need to think again about what unites and divides us.

    thinking, Jesus taught and gave, grace and mercy, in His presents because that is what we so desperately needed.

    may we find His presents in us

  106. SFDBWV says:

    Just checking in, glad to see you and yours are ok Chris, I see where there is wide spread flooding on going in North Carolina with 3 deaths reported.

    We have had extreme outer band rain from the storm, not very much rain here just steady and wet.

    Our fall colors are starting to get to their peak, I love it when it has red and yellow, orange, and brown with the green.

    Blessing to all.


  107. bubbles says:

    About an hour ago, the fog moved in and we had a heavy misty rain. The wind is really kicking up. It looks similar to snow. A hot cup of herbal tea is waiting. . . thankful for a warm place and a roof that does not leak.

  108. jeff1 says:

    Heard this song this morning and wanted to share.

    In This World I Walk Alone
    With No Place To Call My Home
    But There?s One Who Holds My Hand
    On The Rugged Road Through Barren Lands

    The Way Is Dark, The Road Is Steep
    But He?s Become My Eyes To See
    Strength To Climb, My Grief To Bear
    The Savior Lives Inside Me There

    In Your Love I Find Release
    A Haven From My Unbelief
    Take My Life And Let It Be
    A Living Prayer, My God To Thee

    Through These Trials Of Life I Find
    Another Voice Inside My Mind
    It Comforts Me And Bids Me Live
    Inside The Love The Father Gives

    In Your Love I Find Release
    A Haven From My Unbelief
    Take My Life And Let It Be
    A Living Prayer, My God To Thee

    Take My Life And Let It Be
    A Living Prayer, My God To Thee

  109. joycemb says:

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful song Viv. I woke up this morning thinking how when my grandparents wanted my mother to abort me she said NO! Then went on to marry the man who not only raped her, but me and my siblings for the next 15 years. Even though we experienced the worst of times God said YES! She is mine and I will be with her. Holding fast to the One who created and saved me for all eternity, with a thankful heart! Thinking of floods, hurricanes, fires and any diseaster you can imagine yet God is in command and control.
    Praise His holy Name, Jesus.

  110. jeff1 says:

    I cannot imagine what it is to suffer such abuse Joyce, because I had protective parents and it is only now when I hear stories of abuse that I realize how good my parents were.

    I do not believe I have been as good a parent to my children but I know God will be with them to help them on their way.

    It is not that they had a father who abused them but he was absent from their lives and never wanted children so he acted like they were never there other than to provide for their material needs.

    They see the world harshly because of lack of love and I struggled to work and bring them up and suffered mentally which has affected them also.

    I am learning to trust in God because the state of the world tells me that history keeps repeating itself and it is God who is trustworthy and He has been telling me that all along but I am not always willing to listen.

    I must learn to listen to God and be distracted by the other voices in my head, difficult, because I have always been a good listener of people.

    My father had mastered the art of knowing when to listen to people and when not to listen and it stood him in good stead.

    I am very sorry to hear of your weather conditions and have made a donation small though it is. It is not something we have here, some flooding yes, but nothing life threatening.

    It is good to hear that so many rally around and help and it gives us hope in human nature and that there are more Godly people than not.

    United in Jesus we can make a difference!

  111. joycemb says:

    Thinking today about “what unites us and what divides us”.

    What unites is love, what divides is anger, hatred, jealousy, etc etc etc.
    The answer is reconciliation, whether the offender or the offendee, whether forgiveness is offered or not, and whether it is received or not even. The goal is still love, that’s what pleases the Father. Working on this today.

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