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In the Dark of the Night

1523580678_a1dc114258_zHave you noticed now much of the Christmas Story takes place in the dark of the night?

Joseph is told in a dream not to be afraid to take young Mary as his wife even though she is pregnant.

The visitors from the East are told in a dream to get out of town by a different way than they had come.

Joseph is again warned in the middle of the night— to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt until the king who wants to kill their son has died.

After the king dies, Joseph is warned in another dream go to take the family to Galilee to avoid being found by Herod’s successor.

Then imagine how many untold nights pass in Nazareth, as Joseph quietly disappears, before Jesus goes to the Lakeshore and begins asking a group of professional fishermen to follow him.

At every turn, and in one way or another, seems that people like us were urged to not to try too hard to figure things out for themselves—but to take the hand of the One who sees in the dark—far better than we see… in whatever light we think we have.

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49 Responses to “In the Dark of the Night”

  1. bubbles says:

    Mart, good to hear from you. This is beautifully written, and you are brilliant. Thank you.

  2. SFDBWV says:

    Yes Mart a great relief to see you back at the keyboard.

    No I had never considered the relationship to the darkness playing into the story of Christmas, but now that you mention it darkness covered the world until Jesus came.

    I am also reminded of the cute little movie “Legends” whereby “Midnight” a devil character, says, as he is defeated and sent into the night sky, ‘What is light without darkness?”

    I will enjoy building from your new subject Mart and hope that some light comes to all today.

    26 overnight snow and cloudy.


  3. SFDBWV says:

    As my mornings moves along thinking of this subject reminded me of many dark moments in my life and a Scripture that came to mind, Psalms 30:5 KJV “ “For His anger endureth but a moment; in His favor is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

    My life has been rife with dreams, some I remember from my earliest youth and those I attribute to being from God. So affected by my dreams that each and every night when I do dream I look for God to be present in them and recognize when He is and when He is not. Yet it is with excitement that each night I hope to experience those special dreams again.

    I also find there to be differences between visitations from angels, dreams and moments when the Spirit of the Lord came over people of the Bible in order to bring a message from God.

    I also find it interesting that People in the Bible story and people of every culture all over the world record their dreams and believe them to have some “spiritual” meaning.

    It should also be remembered that Peter’s dream of eating non-kosher food came during an afternoon nap, not in the darkness of night at all.

    One more thought before I go; we all have dark spots we find ourselves in and they are very stressful and disheartening, one of the worst dark days of my life came when Matthew was in the hospital following his wreck, God opened up an old familiar Scripture for me to have spiritual strength: Psalms 23:1-6 KJV and like a ray of sunshine hope sprang up in my soul once again.


  4. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    from the North Coast of CA. Pouring rain as a major Pacific storm comes onshore. 9C/48F

    Am noticing, Mart, the darkness that is thankfully pierced by the glory of God’s messengers — and then by the coming of Jesus into the world.

    Have been rereading the story of the angels coming to the shepherds in the hills around Bethlehem. They opened the heavenly door and spoke the exciting truth to these lonely people.

    What joy it still brings to see the clouds split to reveal the light of the world. So grateful!


  5. joycemb says:

    So true Mart, we see only through the light we think we have. But the light guides us usually in ways we don’t see or understand until we look back later. Moses couldn’t see God or he would have died. I’m thankful for the little light we have been given, as much light as a mortal can handle for now anyway. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine….let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

    Blessings to all you little lights! And thanks Mart for the reminder I don’t always know what’s best for me or anyone else. Humbling, thank you-I needed that.

  6. jeff1 says:

    I often think that my walk of faith is only beginning because my doubts come back to haunt me when I believe I am making progress.

    My mother had a big influence on me as a child and she believed that the Roman Catholic religion was a false religion and she was very forthcoming in her criticism of it.

    When my mum was getting treatment for her cancer she was travelling in an ambulance from our local hospital to the city hospital, I recall her telling me that five nuns were in the ambulance with her.

    The doctor’s prognosis’s for my mother was not good and I knew she knew this too, though we always encouraged her that she would get better.

    I know that her journey with these nuns had changed her and she was much more at ease with her situation and I also knew that she was been drawn away from this world to the next when I sat with her and looked into her eyes.

    My mother as a young girl had a difficult life and it had carried on into her adult hood but as I sat holding her hand I knew that she was ready to leave this world behind and that God has used the nuns to calm her fears and reassure her that He can work through anyone or any religion.

    God can work mysteriously as well as knowingly because He is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

    My little light can grow dim but His light knows no darkness and He will lead us to the everlasting light where we will see Him in all His glory and no longer fear darkness any more.

    Be Thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart
    Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
    Thou my best thought by day or by night
    Waking or sleeping. Thy presence my light

    Be Thou my wisdom and Thou my true word
    I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
    Thou my great Father, I Thy true son
    Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one

    High King of Heaven my victory won
    May I reach heaven’s joys, oh bright heaven’s sun
    Heart of my own heart whatever befall
    Still be my vision, oh Ruler of all

    Thou and Thou only first in my heart
    High King of Heaven, my treasure Thou art

  7. joycemb says:

    Thank you Viv that’s one of my favorite hymns.

  8. street says:

    i also noticed how darkness found it’s way into an environment that was completely perfect. eden

    called out of darkness into His marvelous light.
    out of the wilderness, or devils turf. soon to be reclaimed by rightful Owner. Merry Christmas!

  9. SFDBWV says:

    I apologize for repeating some of my life stories, but I am getting old and it’s what I do.

    When I was about 13 I had a dream that has stayed with me my entire life and like other “prophetic” dreams only understood as they unfold in life.

    In this dream I was walking with many other people led by a bearded older man up a pathway that was riddled with brush and bushes and rocks and boulders blocking its way. It was night the only light was as if the pathway was illuminated by a soft glowing lamp, such as an oil lamp gives off.

    The going uphill was difficult and tiring as I trudged along, when suddenly I could hear the “whoosh” of what sounded like wings flapping overhead in the pitch black sky above.

    I ask the bearded man leading us along the path what those sounds were. He said they were the sounds of the flapping of angel’s wings as they fly from God’s throne in heaven back and forth to mankind in the world.

    I piped up and said “hey, I want wings like that too so I can just fly on up this hill and get there faster and easier.”

    Then out of the darkness in the sky above a voice said “No, Steven, this is the way you must go, but do not worry you will make it.”

    I awoke and have carried that memory of a dream my entire life and know it to be true.

    In my heart I do believe other things were told to me, but I not allowed to remember them. All part of God’s provision in keeping my heart steadfast in faith even when logic or life seems to show otherwise. As the faith I have is not my strength, but His love for me in keeping me strong in times of, “darkness”.

    10 degrees f with a full moon slipping in and out between silver and black clouds as they wander by.


  10. bubbles says:

    I do not know what physical pain is, but this is day three of my back hurting. Please pray

    I’m not allowed to use my projector at work, or I would sit down all day, but now I must stand up and work. It hurts to stand more than sit. I changed things around to sit yesterday and it was awkward.

  11. SFDBWV says:

    Here in my world there was a man who was actually friends with my dad’s step- father. In his youth when he was hungry there was almost no work he would not do in order to make his way.

    I only knew him in his old age. He owned a furniture store in a nearby town and everyone went to him for business. He never turned down anyone for credit and always helped anyone anyway he could, especially after having some success as a businessman.

    He eventually turned the business over to his children and spent the remainder of his days walking the hallways of the local hospital visiting the rooms of people he knew and most he did not, giving anyone who did not have one, a copy of the New Testament.

    I was privileged to know of his dark days when he had nothing much more than the clothes on his back. I only remember him as a generous man who did what he could to help the next man who needed help or a hand up.

    When Matthew was in Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown that month following his accident there was a stream of people who came and ask if they could pray for my son. Some were Priest’s some were Pastor’s many were just individuals who like the friend of my step-grandfather, walked the halls of the hospital ready to offer prayer and support to any and all who needed it.

    For them I do not know when or what was their dark days. I only know that the darkness was behind them as they brought the light of God into the darkness of another’s nightmare.

    I hope whoever and wherever you are it is the light of God that you offer in all that you do.

    People notice and remember.

    The day here has deteriorated into only 05 degrees with wind and a blue frozen atmosphere. It is going to get cold tonight.

    Bubbles you are always in our prayers.
    Viv I am happy that your mom found that God is present in any who ask Him to be.


  12. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve, I for one NEVER tire of hearing your heartfelt inspiring stories. I too am getting old and often remember only bits and pieces of what I’ve heard or read even weeks ago, so some are almost new to me anyway.

    I love the image of taking Jesus’ hand when we can’t see. Thinking of the blind leading the blind and realizing that I am among the blind most of the time in these days of deceiving and being deceived. Who are we to believe and trust among the countless deceivers? I will try imaging taking His Hand and leading me from in front of the TV news to pray for our leaders, our enemies, the lost or whoever ignites my anger, fear, and/or disgust. I know He has opened my eyes to the reality that the only thing that separates me from those that ignite my uglies is my recognition and remorse of self.

  13. street says:

    ‘What is light without darkness?”
    darkness is the absence of light.
    light is everything, nothing apart from light.
    God is light and in Him is no darkness….Thank God for our Lord and Savior Jesus, the Christ.

  14. street says:

    but to take the hand of the One who sees in the dark—far better than we see… in whatever light we think we have.

    to know the story of Jesus is the greatest light man could ever receive. to share the light magnifies and multiplies the gift.

    Isaiah 9:7
    There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.

  15. SFDBWV says:

    No question about it, the Christmas story from whatever angle is still the story of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, the Christ, God in the flesh.

    There are so many abstract thoughts possible that the only obstacle to them may be time and space and of course “imagination”.

    Aside from what is actually recorded in the Gospels, the Epistles and the OT with regards to Messiah, everything else surrounding Jesus life remains in the dark abyss of our imaginations.

    So we conjure up what we logically think in order to fill in the gaps and for some forget that they are just our own imaginings and remain a story known only to God.

    Gabriel came to Mary in person and announced to her, her part in the birth, but the angel who talked with Joseph appeared only in his dreams.

    Right away I wonder why the difference? I am certain there are scholars out there who have made a study of when angels appear in person and when only in dreams and why the difference, but I have not read of their opinions as of yet.

    However the difference in the Christmas story is intriguing. Dreams for the Magi, and Joseph, and actual appearances for the shepherds and Mary.

    We are told that all truth is open to our discovery by way of the Holy Spirit, yet our own lives remain mostly in the dark with only moments of illumination from God. Too often that illumination fades from memory as soon as the darkness returns.

    It only got down to 0 degrees f overnight so it was not all that bad here, it is 13 as I write now at nearly noon. Amazingly they are calling for rain tonight and the temperatures to be in the 50’s tomorrow.

    Feel something like a rubber band, being pulled this way and that, weather wise.


  16. joycemb says:

    Good day all! I was thinking about what Street said about God speaking to him when he reads the Bible. And how God spoke in the dark and in dreams as mart said. It appears our mind really needs to be focused on Him or asleep for us to hear Him. I know that when I am awake I often overlook His voice because it is so small and quiet compared to the busyness of my thinking. Psalm 40 Be still and know that I am God. It takes being still to know God. I’m planning to be still by focusing more throughout the day on Gods word, prayer, and training my thoughts to be more on whatever is true honest just lovely pure and of good report. More light more

    Have a good day all, you can make it happen if your thoughts are focused on Jesus.

  17. cbrown says:

    Merry Christmas! I would appreciate your prayers as the team from our church goes too a maximum security prison.We will be giving each of the 1400 inmates a coke and a dozen cookies baked by the members of the church. Please pray that God’s light will shine in each cell block and cell

  18. street says:

    cbrown may the maximum amount of light and love go with the servants and sons of God and bring peace to this troubled world.

  19. SFDBWV says:

    Yes indeed Chris, I pray for success in your church’s prison ministry to those in maximum security. I could not imagine a place where so many find themselves in such a very dark place as doing hard time in prison.

    Are you able to visit death row inmates as well?


  20. joycemb says:

    Chris praying also. May hardened hearts be given multiplied mercies through the love of our LORD Jesus Christ. Let the Light shine!!

  21. cbrown says:

    Results of prison ministry today reported by Prison Ministry Pastor,” It took a lot of work today to divide up the cookies so that every inmate in the prison received a bag of 16 cookies. And then to deliver the cookies and a coke and spend a few minutes to share the gospel. The results: there were 78 recorded decisions for Christ, a lot of fellowship and discipling with inmates, and a lot of encouragement and support given to staff. The efforts of baking cookies and delivering the cookies and ministering in the prison was a blessing and was appreciated immensely by both inmates and staff. Thank you for every effort and prayer offered. To God be the Glory!”

  22. SFDBWV says:

    In the last paragraph of Mart’s query he says it is better for us to simply walk in faith trusting God rather than trying to figure everything out.

    I say amen to that.

    We exhaust ourselves trying to “know” everything about God and all of the “why” questions of life, and usually come off sounding pretty small minded.

    I am so naïve that I am always amazed at some of the comments experts make as they try and explain the Scriptures from a scholarly or intellectual view, when God made it so simple for people to understand.

    I look so forward to that time when there are no prison cells and no need for them for when a smile means a smile and there are no more tears nor any reason to try and figure things out.

    Yesterday morning we had about a quarter of an inch of ice on everything at 25 degrees, this morning it was 62 at 4am and a heavy rain brought it down to 54. I don’t try and figure out the weather I just report it.


  23. saled says:

    Yes,Steve, that last paragraph of Mart’s says it all: it is better to take the hand of the One who sees in the dark and trust than to try to figure it out.

    I’m currently reading a book by a popular Franciscan author who says that the problem with our fundamentalist religions is that we try to give answers rather than standing in wonder.

    Now about the weather: 30 degrees here, with light freezing rain, a full forty degrees warmer than last Friday morning. I stand in wonder at it and don’t need to know why.

    Christmas, this season of lights in the middle of the darkest time of the year, is something else I wonder about. The promise, the hope, while seeing the pain and heartache in so many places around me. Still, I stand in wonder at the hope. Hope may not have a sure answer to give, but it is a far better choice than despair. Despair does not have a firm answer to give either.

  24. SFDBWV says:

    Saled my friend in Maine, so happy to see you comment. “The season of lights in the middle of the darkest time of year.” What a perfect way of putting it, thank you.

    A funny story or two if I may about Christmas lights.

    Many years ago I bought one of those plastic Nativity Scenes complete with all of the participants to put up in our front yard.

    The first Christmas it snowed over the top of them all, they were about 3 or 4 feet in height. The snow coming in a constant from the time I put them up until I took them down.

    The following year I put them up again and the same thing happened.

    The third year I ask the Pastor at our church if they might like to have them for a decoration outside of the church.

    That’s been about 30 years ago and the church is still using it.

    I guess I was supposed to buy it for them in the beginning.

    My second story only occurred this past month. Matthew and I had gone to the grocery store and ate at Subway in a town not far from here and upon our return in the dark there were little red and green twinkle lights all over my neighbor’s house, even up under the eaves of her house.

    The lights were not up when we left but lit up when we came back a few hours later. I was blown away. How did she get those lights up so fast and how so high at 3 stories up? She borrows my ladder when she needs some work done and it isn’t that high.

    I was totally puzzled at how she accomplished that, when it all became clear. She had bought one of those lights that shine the twinkle lights on the side of her house, mystery solved with a good laugh from me.

    I like seeing the lights on houses this time of year, a reminder of “this time of year”.


  25. jeff1 says:

    Thinking that God doesn’t change, I changed God, in my mind, but in my heart, I know He is the Alpha and the Omega, and His will being done is what matters in this world.

    This is one of my favourite Christmas songs that I heard on the radio this morning and reminds us of the reason for Christmas. Recorded by Boney M.

    “Mary’s Boy Child/Oh my Lord”

    Mary’s boy child Jesus Christ, was born on Christmas Day
    And man will live for evermore, because of Christmas Day

    Long time ago in Bethlehem, so the Holy Bible said,
    Mary’s boy child Jesus Christ,was born on Christmas Day

    Hark, now hear the angels sing, a king was born today,
    And man will live for evermore, because of Christmas Day

    While shepherds watch their flock by night,
    they see a bright new shining star,
    they hear a choir sing a song, the music seems to come from afar.

    Hark now hear the angels sing, a king was born today
    And man will live for evermore because of Christmas Day.

    For a moment the world was aglow, all the bells rang out there where tears of joy and laughter, people shouted “Let everyone know, there is hope for all to find peace.”

    Now Joseph and his wife, Mary, came to Bethlehem that night, they found no place to bear her child, not a single room was in sight.

    And then they found a little nook, in a stable all forlorn, And in a manger cold ‘n’ dark, Mary’s little boy was born.

    Hark now hear the angles sing, a king was born today,
    And man will live for evermore, because of Christmas Day. Mary’s boy child Jesus Christ, was born on Christmas Day.

    Oh a moment still worth was aglow, all the bells rang out, there where tears of joy and laughter, people shouted let everyone know, there is hope for all to find peace”.

    Oh my Lord
    You sent your son to save us
    Oh my Lord
    Your very self you gave us
    Oh my Lord
    That sin may not enslave us
    And love may reign once more

    Oh my Lord
    when in the crib they found him
    Oh my Lord
    a golden halo crowned him
    Oh my Lord
    they gathered all around him
    To see him and adore

    (This day will live for ever)
    Oh my Lord (So praise the Lord)
    They had become to doubt you
    Oh my Lord (He is the truth forever)
    What did they know about you
    Oh my Lord (So praise the Lord)
    But they where lost without you
    They needed you so bad (His light is coming on us)

    Oh my Lord (So praise the Lord)
    with the child’s adoration
    Oh my Lord (He is a personation)
    There came great jubilation
    Oh my Lord (So praise the Lord)
    And full of admiration
    They realized what they had (until the sun falls from the sky)

    Oh my Lord (Oh praise the Lord)
    You sent your son to save us
    Oh my Lord (This day will live forever)
    Your very self you gave us
    Oh my Lord (So praise the Lord)
    That sin may not enslave us
    And love may reign once more

  26. joycemb says:

    Thanks Viv, yes Jesus IS the reason for the season. Steve Xmas lights still fascinate me, the past couple years I’ve gone back to multicolored lights on my tree as opposed to solid one color lights in years past. A Rainbow of colors like the one Noah saw after his long night afloat. Light, promises, hope. We have it all. Merry Christmas all!

  27. marma says:

    Enjoying the stories, encouragement and weather reports from Mart and the posters.

    In the low 80’s here in Central a Florida today.

    Merry Christmas to all!


  28. joycemb says:

    Speaking of weather… We are having negative 40 windchills. The high today was negative 5 f. I did not even stick my nose out the door today. It will warm up in a few days though, LORD willing :-). Always something good just around the corner, isn’t there.

  29. bubbles says:

    Thank you for praying. Today was the first day since Tuesday that my back hasn’t hurt. I can turn to the side without a catch!

  30. street says:

    At every turn, and in one way or another, seems that people like us were urged to not to try too hard to figure things out for themselves—but to take the hand of the One who sees in the dark—far better than we see… in whatever light we think we have.

    just wonder….. if our hand, is our heart and mind?

  31. Regina says:

    Good Morning, BTA Friends! :-)
    I’ve missed chatting with you, and you’ve been in my thoughts… I pray all is well with you all! As you know (and for those of you who didn’t know), I’m in the choir at my church and we were busy doing a live recording with another choir for Christmas, plus working on our own Christmas presentation. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun! I ((LOVE)) singing songs of worship and praise to God!
    Mart, your devo topic in ODB is so “on point” today! It truly blessed me to read about how God so lovingly and patiently tried to reason with Jonah! It speaks to the fact that God loves us ALL with an EVERLASTING love! A love that often brings me to tears; I’m not ashamed to admit it! I LOVE Jesus, and one day I’ll be able to look (with my own eyes) fully at His glorious face! Oh, how I long for that day!
    Haven’t read the intro comment or your comments to this current blog topic, but I’m off work today, so I’m gonna read it right now, and looking forward to it. Well, friends, I think I’ll have more time to chat with you later on today…

    18 degrees fahrenheit in my neck of the woods…

    Because HE lives!

  32. SFDBWV says:

    I like to listen to sad music, sometimes the words too, but usually it is the music that touches me.

    So I have a little list that I go to when I set here at the computer. Sarah McLachlan’s “In the Arms of an Angel”, Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence”, Bette Midler’s “The Rose”, REM’s “Everybody Hurts” and a few more.

    The most interesting thing about listening to these songs on “You Tube” is the comments that accompany the songs.

    So much pain in people’s lives, so much emotional pain.

    So many stay in the dark, for some, they are disillusioned by church, for others it is the pain of life that produces questions and with questions comes blame. Far too many just want out and have had enough of this world.

    However threaded in between comments are those who try and bring encouragement, sympathy and a kind word.

    The world remains in the dark unless we learn how to bring Jesus’ light without condemnation.

    23 degrees and flurries. It was very good to see you both again Marcia and Regina.


  33. Regina says:

    Enjoyed reading your post, Steve, and thank you for your kind words for me and Marcia. What you shared about music is interesting because “music” is so interesting to me… I love how it can soothe a restless spirit… mend a broken heart… encourage the “weary in well-doing”… bring “joy” to the downtrodden, etc.
    The Our Daily Bread devo for 12-8-16 is a phenomenal tribute to the power and majesty of music. If you haven’t read the Bible passage (Nehemiah 12:27-43), you have to read it. Nehemiah was so specific in his use of choirs and instruments for the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem. Also, thinking about how music was a source of encouragement for the slaves in the 1800s (and maybe even before then)and for African Americans during the Civil Rights movement/era.

    18F (low temp) and 38F (High temp) under a partly sunny sky…

    Because HE lives!

  34. bubbles says:

    Hello, Regina. Good to see your post!

  35. Regina says:

    Hello, Bubbles! :-) Thank you for your kind words, and I pray that all is well with you…

  36. narrowpathseeker says:

    Regina, I was thinking about you the other day…several times I wondered how you were and was going to ask if anyone had heard from you!!! I was so happy to see your post…I am also thinking of Gary and hope all is well with him.

    It was 74 degrees here in NC yesterday and this morning it was in the low 30’s and sleeting!!

  37. Regina says:

    Hello, Narrow! :-) I feel so special and loved because the Lord put me in your thoughts! That’s why I always make it a necessity to keep in touch with you all. We’re a blog family, and even though I haven’t seen your faces, I think it’s amazing that the Lord brings you all to my mind too! I think that speaks to the power of words, and how people can make divine connections, especially the children of God, by writing letters to one another. Thinking about the Bible now… God’s love letter to us! We read it, we believe His Word, and we LOVE Him, even though we haven’t seen Him face to face yet…

  38. joycemb says:

    Good day all, thinking about our message to an unbelieving world this morning. “In Him was no darkness….” My Utmost Dec. 20 truly clarifies our mission and statement of faith as I try to remember to focus on the light and not the darkness around me. Merry Christmas all!

  39. foreverblessed says:

    Have been thinking about you all too! Especially the ones who have shared here that they were divorced, like Regina. In my church music group there is a lady whose husband told her he wanted to divorce her, last June. Now they have to settle things before court. They had bought a house in the expensive time, and have upgraded the house for 100000 euro’s. And now they have to sell the house. And will have a debt of 200.000 euro’s.
    She may lose everything, but still have her Lord and Master.
    If you have a prayer for her! Please pray!
    I was thinking about Regina who had shared here of her ordeal during her divorce.
    And I was thinking about Narrow, who share here about her realization of the Truth of God, splitting the Sea in a hopeless situation

  40. joycemb says:

    Praying for your friend forever. Late last night as a crushing load of worry descended on me I turned to a Christian tv station and the preacher said “when everything seems hopeless, say Hallelujah! anyhow. Loved that, and as someone else said, “when Jesus is all you’ve got you have everything you need”. The holidays are not always a time of joy for me and many others and seeing other families happiness together makes me glad for them but sad for my situation. But God is in my life and situation so I say HALLELUJAH, HALLELUJAH, HALLELUJAH!

  41. narrowpathseeker says:

    Foreverblessed, I will pray for your friend as well as for all requests here. I tend to pray for the same people everyday for years and I often wonder if that is considered repetitious prayer. Anyway, I welcome the opportunity to add something new to my prayers along with praying for our world leaders.

    Joyce, I love my “very big” family very much and I miss them, but I have found that when we are gathered together for ANY event that my focus is on THEM….as was Thanksgiving. When it is just Frank and me, we focus more on Jesus. Hallelujah to your situation which will allow you the time and energy to focus on Him. Merry Christmas Joyce and a Merry Christmas to ALL here.

  42. jeff1 says:

    My life has been a mixture of sadness and happiness, darkness and light. I seem to be more aware of God’s presence in my sad times which is why I find it hard to relate joy with ‘Jesus’.

    I am never closer to God then when my heart is breaking because it is then I truly find His presence.

    I am never truly happy in this world because it is fleeting as is sadness.

    I will not be truly completely happy until I am in my heavenly home because all is not well with my soul until I am one with God.

    This is what I believe, that this world comes between God and me, and only in death, will I be truly free from the sins of the flesh and the temptations in this world.

    Trusting God, is not about trusting myself, because I do not trust myself, I have made too many bad choices to trust myself.

    It is God’s faithfulness to mankind that I trust because God will keep His promise. I do not make people promises any more because I may let them down but God will not let them down because it is not in His character to do so.

    It is so much easier to trust God when you consistently mistrust your own judgements because of lack of making good ones.

    I have wandered too many times from His ways in believing that I knew best, but my head tells me one thing while my heart tells me another, my heart tells me to trust God and not lean on my own understanding.

    God’s ways are best and that is why I will let my heart rule my head and pray that God will renew my mind.

  43. SFDBWV says:

    Matthew and I went Saturday morning to see the new “Star Wars” movie “Rogue 1”. The theatre is located at Deep Creek Lake Maryland, a huge tourist attraction in Western Maryland. The theatre was packed with young people, the busiest we have ever been there to see. Many of the young girls were dressed up like the heroine Jen from the last movie, I thought that was cute.

    Without saying too much about the movie what I will say is that the theme is “hope”.

    One of those old sayings that I am fond of bringing to the conversation goes something like this; “it is always darkest just before the dawn.”

    When desperation comes on us we must remember the last time disaster visited us and remember that God made a way out of it, or around it, or changed everything to the good for them that have put their trust in and on Him.

    It is never easy, because the newest set of circumstances forces us to be focused on that rather than our deliverance from it.

    Many still await their rescue and for them the darkness can be overwhelming. This is where we step in and offer our support in whatever way we can.

    The trap being when one believes God can deliver them but when nothing happens, God is blamed for not caring.

    Caution when giving support always ask for wisdom from God when giving advice to another.

    Foreverblessed I will certainly pray for your friend as I do for anyone asked for here.

    At the right of my kitchen door I have framed Hebrews 11:1 KJV as a reminder to me what the relationship between faith and hope is and where to place my hope.


  44. joycemb says:

    Thanks Pearl and Merry Christmas to you and Frank also! I’m having gallbladder surgery on 1/12 and have another consult with a different surgeon on 12/27. The second surgery is much more involved so still deciding if I will go through with it. THe good news is I’m losing weight now that I’m no longer a “fat/sweets” devotee. Life is interesting! And surprising!

  45. street says:

    If thou but suffer God to guide thee
    And hope in Him through all thy ways,
    He’ll give thee strength, whate’er betide thee,
    And bear thee through the evil days.
    Who trusts in God’s unchanging love
    Builds on the Rock that naught can move.

    What can these anxious cares avail thee,
    These never-ceasing moans and sighs?
    What can it help if thou bewail thee
    O’er each dark moment as it flies?
    Our cross and trials do but press
    The heavier for our bitterness.

    Be patient and await His leisure
    In cheerful hope, with heart content
    To take whate’er thy Father’s pleasure
    And His discerning love hath sent,
    Nor doubt our inmost wants are known
    To Him who chose us for His own.

    He knows the time for joy
    And truly will send it when he sees it meet,
    When he has tried and purged thee, duly
    And finds thee free from all deceit.
    He comes to thee all unaware
    And makes thee own His loving care.

    Think not that God has thee forsaken
    When sorrow crowns your acts of care,
    Nor that he sleeps and cannot waken
    While evil prospers everywhere.
    Each recompense will have its hour.
    God sets the times with truth, with love and power.

    All are alike before the Highest;
    ‘Tis easy to our God, we know,
    To raise thee up, though low thou liest,
    To make the rich man poor and low.
    True wonders still by Him are wrought
    Who setteth up and brings to naught.

    Sing, pray, and keep His ways unswerving,
    So do thine own part faithfully,
    And trust His Word, though undeserving,
    Thou yet shalt find it true for thee.
    God never yet forsook in need
    The soul that trusted Him indeed.

  46. bubbles says:

    Today one of my students was buried. Please pray for his family.

  47. joycemb says:

    Street that is lovely. Bubbles prayers for you and your work place.

  48. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you all for your prayers, in behalf of the lady I asked a prayer for!
    Bubbles I will pray for that Family, and your school!
    May God bless them!

  49. foreverblessed says:

    Just to share something thoughts here, it is off topic, so I put it in the past topic:
    God loves everybody, God cannot but love us, whatever we do, He loves us.
    In the God calling of December 17, of the twolisteners,
    there are conditioner when we are children of God
    God can bestow temporal blessings on everybody, the sun shines on every person alike. But the spiritual blessings He cannot give to everybody, there are conditions on receiving them.
    For instance, doing what Jesus told us, to love one another.
    Forgiving one another.

    This insight has stayed with me for awhile.
    We can love everybody, regardless; but we cannot treat everybody as close friends. We cannot share our deepest thoughts with just anybody, there are conditioner to that. A time of getting to know each other, a time of tested trust.

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