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DSCF0705What’s the difference between being childlike and childish?

One gets higher marks than the other. We seem to speak warmly of childlike wonder, trust, and innocence while being less approving of those who are childishly impatient, demanding, and self-centered.

According to the New Testament, God became a child who, upon becoming a man, overheard the childish rivalry of his disciples, and reminded them that only by becoming like a child can we enter the kingdom of God. (Matt 18:1-5; Mark 9:33-37; Luke 9:46-48)

On another occasion, after seeing the wide-eyed wonder of his disciples, the Son thanked his Father for revealing to those who are childlike what he withholds from those who think themselves clever and wise. (Luke 10:16-21).

Have been increasingly realizing that there is a time to think— and a time to stop thinking— when I’ve forgotten that there is only One who really knows what’s happening.

May we never get too old for childlike wonder, curiosity, joy—and to keep praying, “Grant us, O Father, as your children, the presence of mind to wait on you for what you alone can understand, thoughtfulness in whatever you want us to know, and the wisdom to see the difference”.

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58 Responses to “Child-Like-Ish”

  1. tedmgossard says:

    Love this post, Mart (all your post are really good, as far as that goes). This is very much related to what I wrote this morning on my own blog. I oftentimes struggle with my own faith for one *reason* or another. The way you put it is so helpful. God alone knows all things, and we have to learn to more and more entrust to God everything. Otherwise I guess we’re no longer the children God wants us to be, God’s children, no less.

  2. street says:

    thanks mart for the word “curiosity.” was thinking yesterday about the word imagination. seems to me curiosity is better than imagination since it gets us into far more trouble. imagination, could it mean making an image? curiosity, following the dots and tittals with the heart of a child. i can see why the self absorbed have no room at the inn.

  3. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Mart and BTA friends. No matter how this discussion may go I hope you all had a childlike Christmas with all the wonder and excitement.

    All of us start out with childlike trust and innocence. As for Adam and Eve that innocence was lost in the action of disobedience. For most all the rest of us it is lost to another’s misuse of it.

    My dad was fond of saying “if you want to teach a child to lie, punish them for telling the truth.”

    Like the Word of God innocence is a two edged sword. Innocence can hurt you as well as keep you from guilt.

    I am forced to go right now, but wanted to get my thoughts started around this new subject, see you all in a little while.

    Foggy and 36 degrees.


  4. joycemb says:

    The one word that comes to mind Mart is faith. Faith is what keeps us going if and when we ever get over our childish self-centered ways. I was just yesterday trying in the simplest words possible to explain to a new friend why as Christians we don’t need to fear Gods wrath. Its quite simple really but we try to make it (gospel) so complicated sometimes. At least I do anyway. Faith alone straightens out the crooked road we often try to make it. As Paul said there is one faith, one hope and one baptism. We ourselves make it easy or hard. But we only have one God and Father of us all.

  5. jeff1 says:

    The word that comes to me is trust. I can trust God because He knows best. It comes easy to me because I had an earthly father whom I could trust.

    This song is about a young blind child’s attempt to envision the world and I associate it with my attempt to envision God’s world.

    What colour is the wind, Daddy
    Is it yellow, red or blue
    When he’s playing with my hair, Daddy
    Does he do the same to you
    When he’s dying does his colour fade
    Is a gentle breeze a lighter shade
    Just like his friend the sea
    The wind feels blue to me

    When the blackbird starts to sing, Daddy
    Do the flowers hear him too
    When he’s pouring our his heart, Daddy
    Tell me, what do roses do
    Do they cast their scent upon the air
    And is fragrance just a rose in prayer
    Giving thanks to God above
    For the blackbirds song of love


    Blow, wind, blow
    Wild and free
    My Daddy says
    You’re a lot like me

    I know each colour
    Its shape and size
    I’ve seen them all
    With my Daddy’s eyes

    I know that grass is green, Daddy
    I’ve touched it with my toes
    And snow is purest white, Daddy
    I felt it with my nose
    But my favourite colour has to be
    The colour of your love for me
    And Daddy, I’ve been told
    That love is always gold

  6. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    I pray you all had blessed fellowship, food and fun times as we celebrated the birth and gift of our Lord & Savior… Just read read Mart’s intro comment to this blog, and a thought came to my mind…

    “childlike” = humility and a teachable spirit

    “childish” = immaturity and a selfish spirit (in varying degrees)

    Some children (wonder if I could say most?) are taught, with words and by example, to be humble, respectful, honest, disciplined, kind, compassionate, which helps them to maintain a “child-like” attitude toward others (other children and adults).
    Sadly, some children are taught, with words and by example, to be selfish, disrespectful, dishonest, undisciplined, mean, narcissistic, which provokes a “childish” attitude toward others (and it works against their natural propensity to be “child-like” in their character and attitude). That’s why, in today’s society (and even before now) both behaviors are represented in adult citizens. My thoughts for now…

    70 degrees under a cloudy sky (the high was between 75-80 degrees on Christmas day! Texas weather! :-))…

    Love to all,

  7. joycemb says:

    I agree viv that trust is a very good thing. I only have had God to trust in my whole life. I guess I’m blessed but the hard thing to let-go of is the world and all the false promises that go with it. I guess that’s the difference between being child-like and childish. I’m still trying to grow up I guess.

  8. joycemb says:

    Regina I completely agree with you, nurture has a huge effect on how a child grows. But God makes the difference in anyone’s life! As a child growing up in an ungodly, chaotic even evil family system at various times God spoke to me and told me not to do or say what I was seeing and hearing. Lying, profane acts of evil are some of the things He told me to ignore or stop doing. It was not easy but I did the best I could. When I became an adult I turned from God for allowing me to go through that mess and reverted to what I was taught. But God did not desert me and at 30 gave me Holy Spirit power to overcome my painful past. But its always a process. Hallelujah He does not leave us vulnerable children but homebound children of the Most High God!

  9. SFDBWV says:

    Yes the child like behavior Jesus speaks of is innocent trust.

    A child will trust until he learns not to.

    Whomever it is the child trusts is given a responsibility like none other.

    Jesus speaks of this when He teaches the differences between God and man found in Matthew 7:7-11 KJV.

    Only had a minute to stop in and no more time this evening. Thank you Mart for the prayer at the end of this subject.


  10. SFDBWV says:

    Whereas Jesus used the allegory of being childlike in our faith as trusting without question. It is in reference to trusting God and so trusting Him as well.

    Being childlike in the remainder of our experiences here is a matter of many factors. We all have seen a child have a tantrum, throw a fit or even conger up some fake tears in order to get what they want.

    We might label such action as childish, but then we see that same behavior in adults all too often as well.

    It makes me wonder which came first. Is a child taught to be “childish” or born that way?

    A little story if you may indulge me. When Matt was about 5 or 6 years old his next door friend, Eric, used to be over here all the time. At the time there were some chickens running loose in the woods and neighborhood and they laid eggs and had peeps on a regular basis everywhere.

    On this occasion Matt and Eric found a clutch of peeps in one of my out-buildings, upon the discovery of the fuzzy little peeps Eric quickly and with enthusiastic joy stomped them all to death.

    Now you and I might think that the “natural” reaction to finding baby peeps would be to see them as cute little fuzzy babies and love them. That was Matt’s reaction, but Eric’s was to kill them.

    Both children reacted as children, but was one childlike innocence and the other childish meanness.

    Childlike innocence may be seen as simple believing and trusting God, but childlike manipulation may be more likened to trying to get what you want by pretending to be “innocent”. God can see the heart or intent of anyone, child or adult. It takes experience for us to see through falsehoods, and sometimes for some our innocence blinds us.

    Yes Mart it is best to leave doubt and questions sometimes to God alone, trusting no one especially ourselves.

    Rain at 54 degrees this morning.


  11. jeff1 says:

    As the song goes He’s my ‘Forever Friend’ and literally ‘Jesus’ is my ‘Forever Friend’.

    The line from the song ‘Sometimes I’m not His friend but He is always mine’ has been so true for me.

    I can tell myself I do what I do for God but the truth is there is always ‘self’ in my decisions.

    I learned from my earthly dad whose decisions reflected his ‘selfless’ ways.

    My father did the ‘right thing’ because it was ‘God given’ and not ‘man driven’ and he was wise enough to know the difference.

    I was not wise enough to listen to my dad and let men who where not wise enough to know the difference lead me.

    It is a ‘GIFT’ from God should any man boast but my father knew his calling was from God and as such never thought he knew better or was better than another man.

    He ‘simply’ examined his ‘own motives’ and found himself ‘wanting’ and realized his need of God to do the right thing.

    It is I who allow God access to my heart but he does not enter the heart unless it knows it is ‘wanting’.

    The world needs a ‘Saviour’ just as much today as it did in ‘Jesus’ time. It is just as unaware of it as it was then because history repeats itself.

    God did not put ‘His Only Son’ through agony for any other reason than to save the unrighteous and His work in this world is only just beginning.

  12. jeff1 says:


    He laid his deepest feeling down before her
    He showed her all the corners of his heart
    He gave her all the dreams his life had woven
    And in her hands he watched them fall apart

    He wrapped her in his vision of perfection
    The burden proved to much for her to take
    She couldn’t wear the halo that he gave her
    She couldn’t go on hiding each mistake

    Now the spell is badly broken
    There are no angels after all
    There’s only people, lonely people
    And a million ways to fall

    She left him with a note of measured sorrow
    She thought she would be cruel to be kind
    But he has problems trying to forget her
    Her memory walks the shadows of his mind

    A million promises to break
    A million liberties to take
    A million feelings to fake
    And a million ways to fall

    Now the spell is badly broken
    There are no angels after all
    There’s only people, lonely people
    And a million ways to fall

    Now the spell is badly broken
    There ae no angels after all
    There only people, lonely people
    And a millions ways to fall

    Now the spell is badly broken
    There are no angels after all
    There’s only people, lonely people
    And a million ways to fall

  13. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    I pray that all is well in your lives… BTA friends, I was very encouraged and *blessed* by Oswald Chambers, Utmost for His Highest this morning!! It was a Word from God (for me and all who would read it and receive the truth of it) that I would readily refer back to in the future. So, during your quiet time with the Lord, I think you, too, will be blessed if you read/meditate on it.
    Jeff1, the song you shared about the blind girl trying to envision the world around her is beautiful! Steve, you brought some thoughts to my mind when you shared your true story about Matthew and his friend’s reaction to some baby chicks… because one child’s response was so vastly different from the other, it made me wonder if nurture… nurturing a child’s physical, emotional and psychological needs should begin when he/she is still in the womb? I’m sure that, like me, you’ve wondered about the childhood of some of the worst serial killers in U.S. history… We wondered if they were “nurtured” as children or if they were left to their own devices in regards to meeting their physical, emotional, educational and psychological needs? And, like joycemb shared (sidenote: Joyce, I, too, grew up in a dysfunctional environment, but my parents did provide some (small) form of nurturing…though it was intertwined with dsyfunction), it takes the power of God (at least most of the time) to restore a child’s mind (and adults too for that matter) back to a place of “child-like” innocence… Sadly, some children are so scarred by a lack of nurturing they end up doing *terrible* things to themselves and/or others… My thoughts for now.

    53 degrees and cloudy in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,

  14. jeff1 says:

    I am so glad you enjoyed the song, Regina, this is another one from the same artist, as beautiful as the last one, I believe, but music has that effect on me.

    If people dressed in colours
    According to their deeds
    Then many leading men
    Would dress in black
    And lots of unsung heroes
    Who never made a name
    Would be walking round
    With gold upon their backs
    Heaven knows
    You’re a rose
    And the love inside your heart
    Just grows and grows
    No one sees
    I suppose
    That it’s something only me
    And heaven knows
    If people were like flowers
    Imagine what you’d see
    Thorns in highest places
    Where the roses ought to be
    And down along the hedgerows
    Among the grasses tall
    You would find the sweetest
    Roses of them all
    If people were like music
    Some hearts would never sing
    Think of all the happiness
    A song like yours could bring
    You fill the life I’m living
    With love and harmony
    And you’re the sweetest song
    I’ll ever see
    That it’s something only me
    And heaven knows

  15. SFDBWV says:

    Good bye Carrie Fisher, see you on the other side. thanks.


  16. SFDBWV says:

    “Have been increasingly realizing that there is a time to think- and a time to stop thinking- When I’ve forgotten that there is only One who really knows what’s happening.”

    Mart’s comment is filled with self-evaluation and facing reality, almost a surrender.

    A story I have told before, but needs repeating.

    It was the winter of 75-76 we were gripped in very bitter cold spell. So cold that it had been weeks since the temperatures had been above freezing. We had even had to postpone a burial at the cemetery because of the snow totals we were experiencing.

    It was the last winter we would be using our old water system of spring and well fed water that had been built in the 1920’s, construction would begin in the spring, but for now we had to rely on the antiquated system.

    Because of the extreme cold weather people kept their taps open in order to keep their lines from freezing up and since we had limited water supply the reservoir level reached a point where there just was not enough water to reach the higher elevations of town until sometime in the night if at all.

    As the town’s Mayor it was my responsibility to find a way to remedy the situation. This was how I had developed as a child to a young man, I had learned if you want something done, you had to figure a way to get it done and go do it. Relying on my abilities alone.

    The situation reached a critical point and one evening just as darkness was turning the white snowy scenery into that blue color, I was standing next to an old hemlock that was adjacent to the main spring box of our water supply that fed the reservoir trying to imagine a way to get more water when suddenly in the quiet of that late afternoon as the snow came down I fell to my knees and looking up into the sky above me said to God, “I am not Moses, I cannot strike the rock and make water appear. I cannot do this I have to leave it up to you.”

    I drove home and as I entered the house the telephone rang just as I was opening the door. When I answered it the voice on the other end said it was the State Highway department, they were aware of our situation and that the city of Thomas a community about 12 miles away, had agreed to supply water to keep our reservoir filled and they were going to keep water tankers coming until the weather broke and the situation was over.

    All I had to do was agree and provide a water pump to transfer the water from the tanker into the reservoir.

    I had never made a single call to anyone about the matter, relying on my/our own abilities to fix the situation, but God had already been preparing a solution unbeknownst to me. I just had to “surrender”.

    The emergency was over and in a matter of a few weeks the weather improved and with our new water system that situation was never a problem again.

    Even in the worst droughts since that particular spring has never went dry, it continues to run and many still enjoy the water from it, especially me.

    Trust God, He will make a way even when we cannot image how.

    28 degrees and partially clear.


  17. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    Pray all is well in your lives today… Jeff1 thank you for sharing another song by the psalmist who wrote the song you shared yesterday… So far, my favorite is the song you shared yesterday. By the way, who is the psalmist/song writer?
    Steve, thank you for sharing that particular true story again. I’ve read that one before and marveled, once again, at the love, compassion and concern of our LORD for His children (and even those who don’t know Him yet)…
    Had to go back to the store last night because I forgot something, and I decided to get more snacks too (tortilla chips, salsa and cookies). While I was trying to choose which chips to buy, I noticed a young girl playing with an older relative or friend (not sure). Well, the older kid was acting goofy/silly, and the younger child said, “Stop acting so “childish”! Lol! When she said that, it reminded me of our current blog topic, and I thought… but he *is* a child (and older child, but still a child).
    Want to share a random thought (or is it a God thought?)… I thought about Bob (Cornwall, England) this morning, so I prayed for him, Gary and poohpity. I sincerely hope/pray that all is well in their lives…
    Child-Like-Ish or Childish? Thank you, Lord, for teaching us the difference between the two… My thoughts for now.

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

    Love to all,

  18. Regina says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention… I want to also say goodbye to Carrie Fisher. SO sad to hear that she’s no longer here with us on this side of glory… R.I.P. Ms. Fisher, and my sincere condolences to your family…

  19. saled says:

    I’m reading Thinking in Pictures, My Life With Autism, by Temple Grandin. Steve’s story of his son’s friend stomping the baby chicks reminds me of something that she writes: “To have feelings of gentleness, one must have gentle bodily comfort.” Temple Grandin’s story of how she came to experience such comfort reveals how the wiring of our brains can affect such a part of life that we all take for granted. Maybe never having experienced ‘gentle bodily comfort’ can explain such mean actions as stomping baby chicks. Even without a label such as autism, many of us have sensory and emotional issues that could prevent us from feeling comfort.

    Childish and childlike. Childlike has always seemed to me to describe the way that children can be so present in the moment. They see an acorn for all it is, they marvel at ice and delight in snow. While childish is applied to behavior that should have been outgrown long ago, behavior that we could expect from the ‘natural man.”

    Thanks for the story of the winter of ’75-’76 and the water problems Steve. It is an encouragement to me in developing ‘that presence of mind’ that Mart mentions in his closing prayer. I love that prayer. I’m going to memorize it.

  20. joycemb says:

    Saled the book sounds interesting, and your point about not being able to feel bodily comfort also causes dissociation when that is the only way available to escape intolerable circumstances. It’s a viable option at the time to stomping chicks then or later even. God has made us mysteriously resilient if our childhoods are less than tolerable though and the choice is always there, I believe, to do good or evil. I’ve known some with autism that would not hurt a flea, and others that seem to wait for the opportune time to hurt others. God bless the godly caregivers who help the child in us all, no matter our chronological age. Thanks to God for His loving patience and wisdom in the healing process.

  21. joycemb says:

    Mart I love this.,

    Have been increasingly realizing that there is a time to think— and a time to stop thinking— when I’ve forgotten that there is only One who really knows what’s happening.

  22. jeff1 says:

    Regina, the psalmist/song writer for all three songs is Charlie Landsborough who also sings them.

    He has a beautiful voice, very soft and heart warming and his song writing is likewise.

    He is a British country and folk musician and singer-songwriter and ‘What Colour Is The Wind’ is what made him a major success in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

    Thank God for music and song which never fails to lift the spirit and renew hope in ‘Jesus’ and His Kingdom to come.

  23. bubbles says:

    Steve, I remember the winter of ’76. It was severe, and the water lines in town kept breaking. I remember watching the water line workers out in pouring snow digging up a water line across the street. The next night, the line broke again!

  24. foreverblessed says:

    Joyce mentioned how good My Utmost was, the one of Dec 27, so I looked it up. And indeed, it is good.
    But then Dec 28 says:
    Matt 18:13 speaks of our initial conversion, but every day we should turn to God as little children, being continously conversed to God.
    Steve had a beautifull story! I really enjoyed it.
    And the thoughts came in my mind being a Christian means giving over to God every day every moment. This means disciplining myself into turning my thoughts from myself to: God, You are my Fountain of Life, You know what to do, bless this person, bless this situation, that good may come out of it.

    And starting each day: God, I hand this day over to You, it is Yours, do with it as You please. Bless every person I meat today. May I this day honour You in my life!

  25. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Morning..it has been one of those weeks where I can not articulate a full sentence that expresses my diverse thoughts in any tangible form. However, I am enjoying the many messages and stories here and feeling super Blessed. I hope you all have an equally Blessed day.


  26. joycemb says:

    Pearl I pray your day is blessed more than you can imagine! As with all here.

    Forever I was watching Ravi Zacharias last night on TBN and he talked about the importance of starting the day out with God. When he is home he has his office in his basement and goes there early and prays, reads a writing from a Christian author and scripture along with several hymns. Getting away in our own prayer closet is vital to spiritual health. Sometimes I have to get out of my apt

  27. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    Some comments here are speaking much of surrender to Jesus. So appreciate that part of child-likeness. Thanks!

    The photo of the children accompanying your post, Mart, speaks eloquently to my heart this morning. We have no real power of our own, but we have the sovereign choice to see people, situations, the world in a new way. Like, holding up an invisible binocular or eye glasses and viewing everything differently.

    “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…”

    Trusting that all have spent a Joyous Christmas — and may each one find the courage of God’s presence in the New Year!


    1C/34F here this morning. Foggy and cloudy. Some partial clearing forecast.

  28. joycemb says:

    Pearl I pray your day is blessed more than you can imagine! As with all here.

    Forever I was watching Ravi Zacharias last night on TBN and he talked about the importance of starting the day out with God. When he is home he has his office in his basement and goes there early and prays, reads a writing from a Christian author and scripture along with several hymns. Getting away in our own prayer closet is vital to spiritual health. Sometimes I have to get out of my apt to find quiet- like my car or a park- but daily, seeking the Father like a child naturally does with a parent is vital to having and maintaining peace I have found.

    A beautiful song I listened to for many years while falling asleep is by John Michael Talbot called “Come to the Quiet”, you can find it on YouTube. “like a little child on its daddy’s knee I have stilled my soul completely”

  29. joycemb says:

    Somehow I posted earlier before I finished! Writing on a kindle for me gets tricky but I like the larger print its the key board that’s awkward.

  30. joycemb says:

    Mary I like your exhortation, finding the COURAGE of Gods presence. Seeing God as our loving, forgiving, and ever merciful Benefactor makes me smile, thanks.

  31. joycemb says:

    Oops that’s Maru not Mary

  32. joycemb says:

    Auto correct tries to take me hostage sometimes!

  33. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    Jeff1, thank you for the musician’s name who wrote the song, Color of the Wind… I’m not surprised that it brought him high acclaim and notoriety in his country. And I, too, thank God for music and song! I’ve come to have an even greater appreciation for it now that I have a more intimate relationship with God. saled, thank you for sharing the info about autism and how autistic children might react/relate to the world around them. It’s interesting how their sensory perception may have them respond to certain things or people with “child-like-ness” or “child-ish-ness.” The two “C’s” and your comment brought a Bible verse to mind…
    John 10:10, NKJV
    The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
    As was mentioned earlier on this blog, the devil constantly tries to steal the “child-like-ness” from children and adults via dysfunctional families, poverty, sickness, disease, satanic bondage and strongholds, hate, envy, crime, injustice, racism, etc. But thanks be unto God who gives us the VICTORY through JESUS Christ our Lord!
    Bubbles, You mentioned the severe cold weather spell of 76… Do you live in Steve’s neck of the woods? Or was there a severe cold weather spell where you live? Off topic here… Am thinking about blackeyed peas, greens and cornbread because many people eat that on New Year’s Day. I’m not going to have that though it does sound good, and I’m wondering what kind of food do you all eat on New Year’s Day? I may have veggie pizza or vegetable enchiladas…

    53 degrees and a pretty good amount of sunshine in my neck of the woods…

    Love to all,

  34. remarutho says:

    Feel your pain, Joyce, on the matter of auto-correct. Sometimes the message is unchanged, but sometimes the “corrected” word is dumb or even cruel. Ouch. Mary for Maru is pretty mild! :o)

    On the New Year’s traditional foods, Regina, my family always had a pot of black eyed peas along with other foods at dinner on the day. Mom put a dime in the pot, so there was a token of the “good luck” coming to one person in particular.

    These days, I make a pot of soup with veggies and black eyed peas as well as other kinds of beans, without the coin. Cornbread is nice with the soup, but even whole grain bread or crackers are good. It is a comforting tradition either way. We are having “soup weather” here, with snow forecast for New Year’s Day. A serving of anything hot and savory is welcome.

    Happy New Year,

  35. SFDBWV says:

    Had a really tough past 10 days with Matt. It would appear that he has had the flu with diarrhea and vomiting, but no fever.

    It seemed he was coming out of it Tuesday evening and early Wednesday morning, but then it all started over again yesterday afternoon.

    I had him to the ER last Wednesday, but that really did no good except for the IV and blood test.

    The weather “brains” are predicting 6-10 inches of snow for us tonight through Friday. It has snowed off and on all day even with the sun shining but at 35 degrees no accumulation as yet.

    I am sure like most of you I was saddened and surprised to read that Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fishers mother also passed away one day after Carrie.

    I wanted to step in and say how much I appreciate the mood of the conversation. I almost did not want to say anything about Matt being sick and spoil the mood, but would appreciate your prayers for his quick recovery.

    Regina the winters of 75-76-77 were especially brutal all across America. In fact I still quote Time and Newsweek publishing front cover stories asking whether or not we were entering a new ice age.

    Bubbles we too had water line trouble all over town freezing up. I hired welders to thaw out city water lines where they crossed streets, but had to stop the practice after almost setting a few houses on fire. Oops.

    It has been a long time since we did anything special on New Year’s Eve, but I seem to remember doing fried oysters and steamed shrimp and a vegetable platter with dip. We never went out anywhere or partied, though at midnight it was always go outside and shoot the shotgun up into the night sky. That’s a hillbilly thing.

    Blessings to you all and please remember to pray for Matt.


  36. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve, I am so sorry that Matthew is not feeling well. I hope he wakes tomorrow feeling fantastic.

  37. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you Pearl for your prayers and concern. Looking forward to a better day today.

    Got up at 2am and plowed off the road here for us and my neighbors, only about 4 inches, but still snowing. Will plow again after 7, get the snow totals and weather sent in.

    Will check in later.
    24 and snow.


  38. jeff1 says:

    Mart, your prayer, is much needed, I speak for myself, and others, who feel the same way. “Grant us, O Father, as your children, the presence of mind to wait on you for what you alone can understand, thoughtfulness in whatever you want us to know, and the wisdom to see the difference”.

    I miss my dad’s wisdom, because, I am much more my mothers daughter, and seem to lack it.

    When the troubles started here in 1969, all hell broke loose. My father, was the voice of reason and responsibility, as most Godly men are. I can tell you he was very much on his own, as most Godly men are.

    It was some 30+ years before I could see that my father was right all along. The truth is this country reaped what it sowed and my father was a visionary who seen it coming because he had the wisdom that others lacked.

    Godly men do not close the door after the horse has bolted!

    I pray, that I learn, the wisdom, to discern, who says he is a Godly man, and who acts like a Godly man, because my father taught me that there is a difference.

  39. SFDBWV says:

    If you want to see childish action in progress, simply watch the news and observe the small minded little man actions of Obama as he tries to thwart the plans Trump has outlined in his victory over Obama’s politics. Something that got Trump elected in the first place.

    As for us, Jesus couldn’t come fast enough as we yearn for the “rapture” and so desire to be away from this world as it is.

    Matt is holding down his meals but still has some diarrhea, listlessness and headaches.

    Viv men of vision are all too often ignored and overwhelmed by the ignorant small minded trolls of this world.

    It has always been this way and until Jesus returns to rule on earth it will remain so.

    Still snowing in the mountains, 24 degrees.


  40. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Steve, that is true, this world does not recognise Godly minded men.

    Steve, there has been a lot of sickness here too and always seems to get worse this time of the year.

    Can you get Matthew to drink plenty of fluid as it is important to flush out the system, not that I am knowledgeable on sickness but I was told by the doctor that drinking water (or any fluids) is the best way to help clear it.

    Hope he is feeling better for the New Year which will soon be upon us.

    A New year, brings new beginnings, as we try to put behind us that which is done and look forward to Godliness and wisdom prevailing in a world that is so in need of it.

    God help us all and be with us all as we strive to do better and be better at making this world a better place.

  41. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon, All
    Mart, I was reflecting on your reflection and prayer…
    “May we never get too old for childlike wonder, curiosity, joy—and to keep praying, “Grant us, O Father, as your children, the presence of mind to wait on you for what you alone can understand, thoughtfulness in whatever you want us to know, and the wisdom to see the difference”.
    I agree with all that you said here…
    Steve, I pray that Matthew is still on the mend, and I agree with Jeff1… Make sure he’s getting enough water, electrolytes, good minerals, antioxidants, etc. in his system… especially good, clean water. Yes, also agree that it’s “a-sign-of-the-times-ish” that Debbie Reynolds died a day after her daughter’s untimely demise… May both rest in peace. Also, what you shared about the severe winter weather in 75-77 was interesting… I was too young to remember what the weather was like (children don’t think about it or reflect on it the way adults do)…
    Maru, your savory pot of mixed beans and veggies sounds delish! :-) Would be a little wary of tossing a dime in the pot (though) because I don’t know what would happen if it ended up in someone’s mouth. :-? We’re having some pretty mild weather in my neck of the woods, so I’m not craving soup at present…though I would eat it if (a good cook) offered a bowl (vegetarian friendly)! ;-)
    Did a search online borne out of my love for culture/cuisine in other countries, and I’ll share what I discovered about the New Year’s Eve cuisine or tradition here…

    Scotland – Citizens eat shortbread (also called Hogmanay) on New Year’s Eve… Given as a gift to friends and neighbors
    Peru – They use 3 potatoes in a unique way in an attempt to foretell their financial future in the New Year.
    American South – Blackeyed Peas (with or without greens) It’s believed they’ll bring luck in the New Year.
    Holland – Any ring shaped treat = coming full circle and will lead to good fortune and the New Year
    Greece – Pomegranates – Smashing one on the floor right in front of the door and revealing it’s seeds = prosperity and good luck (the more seeds you see, the more luck you’ll have)
    Spain and Portugal – “12 grapes” (one grape–representing each month on the calendar–is eaten for 12 strikes on the clock before midnight)
    Bolivia – Coins baked into cakes and pastries (I didn’t write down what that symbolizes)
    Switzerland – Whipped cream or ice cream (why not both?) – They also drop a dollop on the floor and allow it to stay there.
    France – Pancakes, Fois Gras and Champagne = prosperity and good luck to all who partake
    Russia – Russians write a wish on a piece of paper, burn it and throw the ashes in a glass of champagne (they have to drink all of the mixture before the clock strikes midnight).
    Estonia – Estonians eat seven meals on New Year’s Eve! It symbolizes their hope for an abundance of food in the coming year.
    Ireland – Citizens bang loaves of bread on the walls of their house to chase away evil spirits and to invite good spirits for the coming year.
    Chile – Chileans eat lentils when the clock strikes midnight = a prosperous new year
    Canada – Canadians eat blackeyed pea soup and poutine (?) Not sure about the latter (the most well known Canadian dish)… Someone who lives in Canada will have to help with this one…

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

    Love to all,

  42. phpatato says:


    Poutine – pronounced Pu tin – is thought to have originated in rural Quebec. Poutine is Quebec slang in French for “a mess”. It is simply french fries topped with lots of gravy and cheese curds. Over the years, poutine ingredients have expanded to include ground beef, bacon, sausage, maple syrup, well let your imagination run wild.

    And for those who don’t know what cheese curds are…cheese curds or “squeaky cheese” are solid parts of curdled milk.

    Steve – I got your Christmas card….. today. Thank you!! Please know that I will be keeping Matt (and you and Glenna) in my prayers for a speedy recovery. Sickness is everywhere up here, whether it is a stubborn cold that just won’t go away or the gastro bug that has people not knowing which end to take care of first. Hospital emergency departments are full. Wait times to see a doctor is nothing under a 4 hour minimum wait. It hasn’t really been very bitterly cold yet. Perhaps if the temperatures were to drop to the 20 below range for several days, the “bugs” would be killed off.

    The Lord bless you
    and keep you;
    the Lord make his face shine on you
    and be gracious to you;
    the Lord turn his face toward you
    and give you peace. Number 6:24-26

    Wishing everyone a very Blessed New Year.

    Headed to a low of 3F tonight. Expecting 6 inches of snow tomorrow.


  43. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Morning All. I know that my load is far FAR less than most here and yet it seems like I get up and take care of the mere basic chores of living and it’s time to go to bed. So, I wanted to take the time right off the morning startup to wish you ALL a Blessed Happy New Year and to thank you all for sharing so many inspiring, motivational,teaching, interesting and uplifting messages. Also thank you for all the prayers all around.

    I also hope and pray that Matthew is on the mend and will exceed the recovery process for ALL of his setbacks in life.

    Steve, I also got your beautiful Christmas card. I can’t remember if I already thanked you or not, but just in case…Thank You

  44. tiysh says:

    Amen Mart and good morning lovely people!

  45. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you all for your blessings!
    I try to absorberen the blessing Pat gave!
    Just letting the words sink in…
    does that accepting of blessing not have to do something of being like a child?

  46. foreverblessed says:

    On Dec 31 we in the Netherlands have “oliebollen”
    That is sweet dough with raisins and as a round little ball cooked in hot oil.

    About 1976, all I remember is a very long and very hot and dry summer. 1975 was also very hot, and dry too.
    In 1977 I started studying Biology, and I remember that we had excursions to National parks and the worries about the hot climate, hot and dry.

    Instead of dry it has become much setter. But warmer it has become!

  47. joycemb says:

    Steve I received a book in the mail the other day. It’s called “Escape Routes- for people who feel trapped in life’s hells” by Johann Christoph Arnold. It’s very good and I thought of Matt. The stories and wisdom from this pastor are outstanding.

    Happy New Year to all and may we all draw closer to Jesus in the coming year.

    It also happens to be the Jewish new year where they traditionally celebrate the new creation of the world, I believe. It got me thinking about how each new day is a new creation and how we can look at it with child-like wonder, or curmudgingly suspicion.

    I wish I had addresses of friend here, would be great to send cards to other states and countries even! Blessed day all!

  48. SFDBWV says:

    Bible study can actually be fun, especially if you allow for your experiences of life to help you fill in some of the unfamiliar territory.

    For instance imagine if you were there during the time of Nimrod. You actually had not experienced the great flood, but you were only a few generations away from it and the story of it handed down by way of grandparents to you.

    You believed your grandparents, yet for some I would imagine there was already the question of blame and doubt already germinating within them.

    Nimrod did not doubt the flood and may have decided to build a tower that would be taller than the waters of the flood and so if “God” decided to flood the earth again they would be safe from it.

    I guess he didn’t quite buy into the rainbow story.

    Life was good there, good enough that no one wanted to leave. Against the directives from God that they do.

    According to our Bible this is why we have different nations and languages for each. God’s will.

    And so to the question at hand. God knew what lay ahead for the people of earth, but no one there had any idea, only that they did not want to leave until God intervened.

    Interesting that we as people have not changed at all. We are still happy to stay in our comfort and in most cases thank God for it. Blaming God when things go bad and life gets tough for us and like the people at Babel no knowledge of what God is doing out of our sight and understanding. Only in most cases unhappily waiting while trusting that God has better plans for us.

    So while we wait, we can still “think” about the world around us, we can still make life decisions, we can still make plans, we just have to keep in mind that God may have other plans and so trust what we don’t know to Him.

    Caution though not to become a mental cripple doing nothing and still wanting to be fed manna. We may still have to conquer our promised land with God’s help by our own hands.

    We ended up with 10.2 inches of snow, and today is already warming up from 18 this morning to 37 as I write this.

    Thank you Pat and Pearl for you prayers for Matt as well as all the people out here who do. He is doing some better this morning.


  49. street says:

    presence of mind to wait on you for what you alone can understand, thoughtfulness in whatever you want us to know, and the wisdom to see the difference”.

    waiting for all the children of God to reach full maturity and the Joy of knowing Father. to love one another as Christ loved His Father. thinking it is impossible to love and not know Jesus and the fellowship of His cross. just thinking

  50. street says:

    the scripture reading on ODB 12/31/16 was awesome

  51. SFDBWV says:

    Happy New Year Mart and all of BTA friends.

    Matthew is doing better this morning, thank you all for your prayers.


  52. saled says:

    Happy New Year from Maine!

    So glad to hear that Steve’s Matthew is improving.

    32 degrees here and the trees are white with the sticky snow that is still falling. My 4 year old grandson will be coming later today and I’m hoping to share in some of his child-like exuberance over the snowman snow. Hoping that everyone finds a way to be child-like today.

  53. narrowpathseeker says:

    I am so happy to hear that Matthew is doing better.

    I decided to read just one page of the old testament and spend the rest of that time in the new testament to start my morning… The “begettings” just don’t grab my attention nor serve any purpose in MY little head. So…in my old testament page I get to Exodus 35:2 which states that anyone doing any work on the Sabbath should be put to DEATH!!! I don’t remember ever seeing nor hearing that before….it sort of made me want to stop reading and get right to praying and asking for mercy for me…for my friends and family…and the whole world…But first I turned to the New Testament and started to read…the “begettings”!! So I went to my devotional..it began with a passage from Daniel 6:10 which told how he prayed 3 x a day and gave Thanks to the Lord.

    So I will start out my New Year stepping up my prayer time and continue with my most prevalent daily request…Lord have mercy on us all. When I think about the death penalty for working on the Sabbath….I think it is time for ME to stop thinking!!!

  54. SFDBWV says:

    Saled we have a friend who lives I think in “Calais” Maine. She was originally from near here and moved to Maine a dozen years ago. She often calls and we share a laugh at how folks there can’t believe we get worse snow weather than where she is located in Maine. Of course there is no contest nor do I want any between here and Maine, I capitulate and agree Maine certainly gets, as a whole, way worse winter weather than we.

    I look forward to spring already for us both.

    Pearl it was the first test of the “law” and Moses’ obedience to it when he had to execute some people for gathering firewood on the Sabbath. More of the same followed as a stark no nonsense approach to becoming “The People of God”. In stark contrast to the grace and mercy Jesus brings to mankind, but as studied all connected in this grand saga of God and man, we know of as the Bible.

    I love the Book of Daniel. It has so much information in it and a peek into that spirit world around us. I remember reading Billy Graham stating that when he went to Seminary his teachers actually taught that the Book of Daniel was most likely written after the birth and death of Jesus because of the exact dates of Jesus’ birth and death.

    The discovery of the “Dead Sea scrolls” and their translation proved otherwise.

    Dr. Graham said if he had believed everything he was taught in Seminary school he would never have become the evangelist he is today.

    It just goes to show us it isn’t as much as what we learn or have, rather more important as to what we do with it.

    I do hope today proves to be a blessing to you both.


  55. joycemb says:

    Mart wishing you and all of RBC ministries a blessed and prosperous 2017. You bless many around the world, thank you.

  56. joycemb says:

    Street good to hear from you, I agree My Utmost 12/31 was awesome.

  57. saled says:

    Steve, your friend in Calais is just a few miles to the north of me. And I have to say that I have noticed from your writings that your winter weather often rivals or surpasses ours here. It must be the elevation where you are, or maybe the fact that we are so close to the coast here. I’m just six miles from the coast, while my two daughters live on the coast, and those six miles make a difference also. Currently we have about a foot of snow (and a snowman!) here, while six miles away the ground is bare.

  58. SFDBWV says:

    Saled how perfectly wonderful that I have a friend only a few miles from you. Small world yet we are all connected.

    Christine and her husband moved there because he had discovered he had cancer and at the time Maine had a better medical insurance system in place that allowed for them to get better treatment with their financial situation.

    He died a few years ago.

    Christine had been a friend of Glenna’s for years and when I first met her and her husband he turned out to be from a family that I and my family had been interconnected to for generations. As he knew nothing of his father’s family I was able to connect the dots and bring understanding and closure to him finally on several levels.

    I like the idea I have a friend just miles from you.


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