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Blinded by the Right

The beam of a bright flashlight hits our face in the middle of the night. The glare of a rising or setting sun makes it hard for us to see the road in front of us. A solar eclipse threatens to make it last— blinded by the light.

Yet could the greater danger be to be blinded by the right? Could the costly moral glasses that turn our world black and white—to bring out the best in us— be waking up the worst?

Virtue begs for rules. Yet who can make a rule for how to know and practice patience, courage, freedom, civility, self-sacrifice, mercy, peace, hope, faith, joy, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, or love—even for ourselves let alone for one another?

Could that be why the Light of the world (John 8:12) left us his Spirit—and not just his words?

Note: Photos are of Jerusalem Mount Scopus “Tree of Life” sculpture of a dagger carrying strong man who appears to be bearing the world of humanity struggling to reach up to the law of Moses. See here for link to picture:  https://tinyurl.com/zc845x8


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127 Responses to “Blinded by the Right”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Mart, I just came in from plowing the fresh 4 inches of snow we received over night. This is certainly what is called the “Robin snow” as I seen a clutch of 5 of them yesterday in the yard.

    This snow will be gone in another day or so and the threat of more will still be with us until June.

    I take my plow off my truck usually in May.

    In reading your subject this morning I am reminded of what it is like to be the Mayor here as I have now for over 44 years. With a little break in the beginning, food for another story.

    When I first became Mayor it startled me how much people want totalitarian rule for everyone else, but not for themselves.

    My favorite one is how people will call me and want something done about another’s behavior, but don’t want that person to know they called.

    I have had to be mediator, peace keeper and yes judge many times. It has a great cost.

    The problem is that there is nothing can be done to “make” a person be a good neighbor. If someone violates the law then there are penalties to impose on them, but if their dog barks or their yard is disorderly or if they park to close to the front of their property and so forth then I cannot do anything about it. And so become part of the complaint.

    44 years and people have not changed.

    The cost is that people see me as the Mayor, not as Steve. That was my first wakeup call about people and how the relationship changes with authority.

    I have never changed, I am and always have been Steve, but some others see me as someone they want to accomplish things they cannot and punish those they want punished and if I can’t or don’t then I am not doing my job.

    There are some people who actually appreciate the effort of maintaining a community for them. One kind word from them is always a fresh welcome encouragement.

    But here is the kicker, I do this because I love this little town, and love even the people who are blinded by their own desires. But from time to time I have to be the Mayor and keep the peace. People respect that and fear it both. The responsibility lay with me whether I like it or not it is part of the “job”.

    Whereas I cannot change the character of a person, I cannot allow anarchy to take control of the community.

    It can be lonely at the top, but I have two Scripture verses on the wall at City Hall, One speaks of having a vision and the other the importance of having a council so as to have good advice and to make decisions together, not alone.

    Steve

  2. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    These “moral glasses” you mention, Mart, sound dangerous as you say. The list of virtues offered are invisible through that black/white – wrong/right eye wear.

    “Patience, courage, freedom, civility, self-sacrifice, mercy, peace, hope, faith, joy, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, or love” are not established through strict right/wrong judgment.

    Judgment belongs to the Lord. Yet, society requires limits on human action. Agreeing with you, Steve, changing a person’s selfish, callous character is beyond laws and rules. The Ten Commandments are the standard for controlling human depravity. They prevail through generations as the “bottom line” on human actions.

    If Jesus had left us only His Word, we would be forlorn in our need of true virtue. We are not up to true virtue without divine help.

    With the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, we begin to see the Big 10 as a reflection of the face of God — truly just and righteous. The prophets brought God’s promise that the Word of Truth would be planted in our hearts. We don’t generate justice, it is a gift from God, it seems to me.

    Jesus said, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17)

    Joy all day!
    Maru

    7C/44F here with piled up clouds. Rain in the valley — snow in the mountains

  3. cbrown says:

    Steve, last night i went to the prison since it was Thursday night. The first thing I did was ask the guards if we could sing a song at the beginning of our Bible study, “Redeemed” as sung by Big Daddy Weave.The guards had access to a computer so they pulled up the song on youtube and we listened to it together.They pulled up 3 additional songs, one was “Chain Breaker” by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir and we listened to them.The guards then approved us singing “Redeemed”.
    When the study began the inmates and I opened by singing “Redeemed”.We then prayed and began the study. Next week we are going to sing “Redeemed” again but we are going to pray before we sing. The study began with Derek,one of the inmates, sharing yesterday’s “Daily Bread’and a brief testimony and then I continued our study of the Gospel of John with chapter 4,the Samaritan woman receiving Living Water.

  4. cbrown says:

    Maru, I was writing while you posted. Someday I am going to learn how to make paragraphs on this blog too.

  5. SFDBWV says:

    Have a little time so I am going to tell a story. I think Chris you will find perhaps familiar (I have told one before) or at least humorous. Of course my comments are for everyone, but Chris’s comment bumped loose this memory.

    My last work in the private sector was as an electrician in a factory in Winchester VA. Virginia, like here in West Virginia is somewhat famous for its churches, some large some small but nearly all are fairly strict about their beliefs.

    One young man in his late twenties was such a fellow in that he was very strict about his beliefs both religious and personal. One such belief was that criminals were behind bars for a good reason and he had no sympathy for them.

    For months he told me he wanted to get into some kind of ministry for the Lord. He ached for it begged for it prayed for it.

    Finally his church leaders gave him an opportunity to join some older men in their ministry outreach program. It was a prison ministry.

    It looked as if his church leaders listened to him and listened to the Lord as well.

    After a while of actually facing and being with these men behind bars his outlook changed, he mellowed and found that he could have sympathy for these men after all.

    The work you do is very commendable Chris as every person is special and every person in need of forgiveness and the opportunity to be free of sin and the opportunity to be a good productive member of society.

    Thank you Chris for your work in helping these men achieve those goals.

    Steve

  6. street says:

    Blinded by the Right

    could it be interpreted as blinded by self?

    John 9
    40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”

    41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

    1 John 4:20
    Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

  7. street says:

    it’s good to walk in the light, not in the right.

  8. street says:

    Yet who can make a rule for how to know and practice patience, courage, freedom, civility, self-sacrifice, mercy, peace, hope, faith, joy, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, or love—even for ourselves let alone for one another?

    who can create these qualities inside of sinful flesh?
    man or God? in awe of what He is currently doing, what He has done in the past, and what He promises to do in the future. job spoke of his heart bursting.

  9. street says:

    14 For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified; 15 for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.

    16 For this reason it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,

  10. SFDBWV says:

    As I ponder this subject Mart has put forth for us it came to me that given the difference I would rather be blinded by the right then blinded by the wrong.

    Right away though someone might question my view of right and wrong.

    As Shakespeare said “ah there is the rub.”

    Trying to think of any known civilization of history that existed without “rules” I come up empty.

    In micro-analyzing Christianity I discover one flaw…”People”.

    On paper Christianity sounds perfect, but mix in the multitude of people and with them comes everyone’s ideas of what is “perfect”.

    Christianity is a sect of Judaism, or some may say the culmination of it. We have all of our faith roots in it, but are not subjected to its fundamental “laws” only the “ideals” of its purpose.

    Look at how many Christian churches there are. And by that I mean denominations. Then try and number those who think themselves above any denomination because of “rules” each apply.

    For some it isn’t as much the rules that keep them away from a denomination as it is being confused about all the differences and just so remain “unaffiliated” with any except their basic faith of accepting Jesus as Lord. Without any “rules”.

    Again there comes that pesky little problem of everyone deciding right from wrong in their own eyes, without rules applied.

    Sounds familiar doesn’t it.

    16 degrees partly cloudy with 5 inches of snow on the ground.

    Steve

  11. poohpity says:

    I went with my bible study group yesterday to see “The Shack” and after to have lunch. Mart brought up this book several years ago but I had not read it so I did not think I could comment on it. But on the path the Lord directed Mack the main character to travel down He came to this mountain which when he touched it an opening appeared. As he walked in there was “Wisdom” sitting on this rock throne. She asked him some questions and listened to his answers then got off the throne and let Mack sit there. He then began to sit in judgement of right and wrong. After a while she seemed to push the point home that there is more to right and wrong with human beings than the obvious things we think we know and see from the outside. Anyway Mack came to the conclusion that sitting on that judgement throne was not where he should be with his finite ability to understand and comprehend all that goes on.

    For humans it seems the need to be right is blinded with pride and only sees a very tiny view of the bigger picture. Some things are just better left to God. When it came to rules it seems God had always taken measures of mercy when they were broken. He asked me to act right, love mercy and walk humbly with Him.

    My life before this journey with the Lord I broke many rules, then for a short time I tried diligently to follow the rules all around, those from the bible as well as those set by society and I expected everyone else to follow those rules too but the harder I tried when I failed it was devastating for me and since I could not follow them to the letter I started looking at others then this ugly cycle began and it was me on that throne. I feel more comfortable kneeling before it, receiving grace knowing God works in my heart because I will never be right, it is the rightness of God that covers me not my own.

  12. poohpity says:

    If one really looks at it “Blinded by the Right” still makes one blind now matter how hard one tries to convinces others they are right the only person that is fooled is one’s self.

  13. poohpity says:

    No matter not “Now” matter and convince not convinces. Shows to go ya don’t it? lol

  14. jeff1 says:

    While it is definitely OK to see myself not as right because I know my own weaknesses, I do not believe it is right to make that judgment about another.

    What a person shows me does not always reflect the true nature of that person and only God can say whether a person is blameless before Him.

    The law covers everyone i.e whether a believer or not but non believers are not concerned about God’s judgement as they do not believe God exists to start with.

    The truth is many who fear God do not fear the law because they believe there is man made rules.

    I believe these people are wrong because God sees the wrongs of the mighty as well as the unmighty and vengeance is mine saith the Lord.

    We trust the law of the land because God has power over all whether it seems that way to us or not.

    It is trusting God in whatever circumstances we find ourselves that matters because to rebel against rules because we see them as man made rules and not take in the fact that God is omniscient is mistrusting God to my way of thinking.

    It may seem that God is against you because your enemies have domain over you but trust in the Lord with all you heart and mind is what matters, I believe.

    Even if God slays me, I will trust Him.

    That is the Gospel that I know.

  15. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Deborah. In the Garden of Eden God had one rule. Only one but it was still a rule He placed upon Adam and subsequently Eve.

    The violation of that one rule has brought about all of the ills of mankind and an endless list of rules no one can succeed in total obedience.

    In looking at the “Ten Commandments” (Exodus 20:2-17 KJV) pride is not one of them.

    False pride is a broken condition of mankind. Being proud of ones achievements or of another’s is no sin. False pride or misplaced pride is a deterrent to a person admitting to anything that makes them look or sound less than they want others to see them.

    It is a great waste of time.

    If you keep looking at what you consider to be another’s pride, it may be your own pride that is the reason for it.

    Adam and Eve were not prideful in fact they hid themselves because they were ashamed of their nakedness.

    God covered their nakedness with a blood sacrifice, but punished them because they violated His rule.

    Steve

  16. poohpity says:

    Maybe looking at the very first commandment “”Thou shalt have no other gods before me” when one puts their self in God’s place by thinking we are right addresses pride as well as the very first act of disobedience in the garden the desire to be like God knowing everything and following their own way not listening to God was also pride.

    I did not look at the pride of anyone else what lead you to think that? I was talking about the movie I saw yesterday and how part of it spoke to this topic because Mack thought he was right in his judgement of God and others. I never said I did not struggle with pride because I do which was in the last paragraph I wrote.

  17. poohpity says:

    Actually most of the do not’s in the 10 have to do with pride.

  18. poohpity says:

    Pride seems to be the main thing that keeps us from realizing our need for the redemptive work of Jesus. I haven’t done that much wrong for Jesus to forgive me because I have been an upstanding citizen, that person overlooks what God sees and calls sin, so we are calling Him a liar. How can one see their wrongs if they think they are always right?

  19. poohpity says:

    The person who realizes how much they have been forgiven in turn is more willing to forgive others.

  20. street says:

    If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
    10
    even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.

  21. street says:

    False pride is a broken condition of mankind. Being proud of ones achievements or of another’s is no sin. False pride or misplaced pride is a deterrent to a person admitting to anything that makes them look or sound less than they want others to see them.

    “But you said in your heart,
    ‘I will ascend to heaven;
    I will raise my throne above the stars of God,
    And I will sit on the mount of assembly
    In the recesses of the north.
    14
    ‘I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
    I will make myself like the Most High.’

    20 They transformed the beauty of His ornaments into pride, and they made the images of their abominations and their detestable things with it; therefore I will make it an abhorrent thing to them. 21 I will give it into the hands of the foreigners as plunder and to the wicked of the earth as spoil, and they will profane it.

  22. street says:

    11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were [b]born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

  23. jeff1 says:

    There is a difference in wanting to be right and wanting to do right.

    The example I will give you is when a political party whom my friend supported went into Government with a party whose lack of remorse for terrorist activity made her feel angry and let down. When the party member came looking for her vote she said to them since you have gotten into bed with the devil I have no intention of joining you.

    It is not pride that makes us want to do right it is a love of goodness that God put into our hearts that makes us desire to do right.

    The person who wants to be right in their interpretation of what is right is the prideful one.

    The difficult part is not judging because it is much easier to become judgmental when you are trying to be the righteous person.

    I have struggled with this, and like my friend I want to do what is right in God’s eyes and fear God’s judgement if I join my enemies instead of standing against them if it is God’s will that I do.

    That is out of hearts that want to do right and nothing to do with wanting to be right.

  24. poohpity says:

    In the movie Mack’s father used to drink and beat his mother and him. His father was an elder in the church and Mack looked at it as though it was God’s fault. So one day after receiving a horrible beating Mack went up for an alter call and apologized to the Pastor that he was not able to stop his father from doing those beatings to his mother because he had tired. Well that resulted in the Pastor kicking off the father from the elder board. Needless to say the father went home and beat Mack all night long over a wood pile. That lead Mack to put poison in the fathers whiskey and killed him which Mack was the only one who knew and carried that in secret through his whole life. Two wrongs did not make a right in other words but Mack felt he was in the right, he acted in God’s place.

    The spirit of wisdom showed Mack a young boy being beat up by his father in a vision and it was his own father who was receiving that kind of beating when he was young. We never know the whole story to anything so as he sit on that judgement seat of what is right we see only a glimpse of anyone and had to learn that God did not want that to happen but eventually during another path in the movie lead to forgiving his father and receiving God’s forgiveness. There was so much more to the intent of sitting on that seat. I hope everyone especially those who do not read the bible go see this movie it is wonderful.

  25. mtman says:

    How we see things of any nature is unique and I often marvel at how two or more people can see the same thing and each see it totally different. Light does illuminate so we can see things clearer. As children of God we are walking in the light to keep from stumbling and for all to see. My question is ‘what do they see?’

    Light can also destroy like if we look directly into the sun for to long it will blind us. Or if we focus light through a magnifying glass it is concentrated so powerfully that it will burn and destroy. Or if light hits a prism it will bend and refract so we are seeing something different than intended.

    Only when we have a clear understanding of ourselves and our short comings are we able to put things in true perspective. Light illuminates other peoples flaws clearly but we need to be looking at our own not those of other people who we can’t do a thing about anyway. How do we take a speck out of someone else’s eye when we have a plank in our own.

    I once gave a Christian keynote talk to leaders in government, business and education. I outlined and identified the flaws found in us humans. After a minute I told them they surely knew someone with those defects. Almost all heads were nodding in agreement that they knew others that fit those descriptions. I then dropped the bomb that this talk wasn’t for those people it was for them. I watched heads be lowered as they thought about their own flaws that were obscured because they were so focused on others and not themselves.

    I then went on with my talk for the next 20 minutes and had total and complete attention as I taught them how to look inward and correct their own flaws instead of directing their focus on others. As I hammered home the points one after another I looked out and saw heads hanging and tears flowing freely as they realized how Jesus wanted them to act toward others and how they had strayed off the path. Powerful men, some with a lot of control and power and some were sobbing openly when they realized they were the problem and it was not others.

    Looking through the wrong end of the telescope at ourselves is focusing in the right direction. We can’t compel or order virtue into another person but we can examine ourselves and do what is ‘right’ and therefore engage in a closer relationship with Jesus. I personally have found a close self examination is a life long project. When I think I have one area repaired and going better I find another that needs work and then the earlier one has slipped again. I’m still a long way from being ‘right’.

    We all tend to see the problems in others clearly and are hence distracted from our own.

    Maybe if we tried to identify our own and work on them then we would be less prone to give our attention to the defects in others. Light always illuminates the flaws in others clearly but if we keep ours in darkness or refract the light we are not in my opinion working toward a closer relationship with Jesus but going the other way.

    I may have totally missed the point of Mart’s topic but that is what I got out of it.

  26. mtman says:

    And before anyone considers my comment prideful it wasn’t. I used myself as the example and put into light my flaws. I found out after my talk and during a break that almost everyone in the room shared the same flaws as I did.

  27. poohpity says:

    When we compared right and wrong to God’s rules He says even having anger in our hearts is the same as murder. I know murder is one those so called big sins but God looks at all sin as sin even when someone tells a lie, it is just we feel justified in those “little” sins but they all are subject to the death penalty. But if we don’t understand God’s standards then we are less likely to understand how totally amazing His grace is which emotes; practicing patience, courage, freedom, civility, self-sacrifice, mercy, peace, hope, faith, joy, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, or love.

  28. jeff1 says:

    I have accepted God’s Grace and now it is about leading a life pleasing to Him.

    I find that treating people the way I would like them to treat me is a good start because people respond well to being treated as an equal and we are all equally in need of Grace as we all fall down in one way or another.

    I belong to a ‘Jesus Focused Church’ which means we believe in being faithful servants.

    I take my struggles to God knowing that it is with His help I will overcome them. I find that most have struggles of one kind or another and like myself they entrust them to God in the knowledge that they are in safe hands.

    I don’t think that it is the community of believers that is blinded but those who have turned away from God for one reason or another.

    The modern world faces the same difficulties that the ancient world did but with the ‘Holy Spirit’ to guide us and ‘Grace’ to comfort us we are blessed indeed.

  29. jeff1 says:

    Abide with me, fast falls the eventide
    The darkness deepens, Lord with me abide
    When other helpers fail and comforts flee
    Help of the helpless, oh abide with me

    I need Thy presence every passing hour
    What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
    Who like Thyself my guide and stay can be?
    Through cloud and sunshine Lord abide with me

    Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes
    Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies
    Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee
    In life, in death oh Lord abide with me

  30. poohpity says:

    Yes I believe that too Viv that we are all equal and the ground at the foot of the Cross is level ground.

  31. Mart DeHaan says:

    Friends, good conversation.

    As you’ve already considered above, we see 1 rule in the Garden, 10+ from at Sinai, and the enlightening story that flows from the Garden and Mountain.

    Eventually we hear Jesus saying, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness”– a word with strong relational implications. As we dig into the roots of that word (righteous) I’m pretty sure we’ll discover together that it is because our Father is “righteous” that he comes to us in patience, kindness, compassion and mercy— in the rescue of his Son and Spirit.

  32. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning again Mart. It seems that two things occur when we begin and as we go along on this journey from birth to death, both physically and spiritually.

    Somewhere along the way we see the light and like the moth are attracted to it.

    Not unlike the moth we too can be blinded by its lure, but unlike the moth it does not lead to death.

    In fact the Word tells us that this light will lead us into all righteousness.

    One of the things the light illuminates is the difference between right and wrong. Twice, once from Moses and once from Joshua, the people of Israel are told the results of the difference then told to choose.

    Joshua chose to serve the Lord.

    Was it because he was blinded by the light or because he knew that the light would lead to a better life here and in the life to come?

    God set one rule in the Garden the results were to lose paradise.

    Through Jesus of Nazareth God gives us the choice of an eternity with Him or without Him.

    Is this still a rule to be obeyed, or simply a choice? Given that the wrong choice is an eternal punishment.

    The other thing that occurs is that it “feels” right to do right and the more we give in to doing right the more we “feel” good about ourselves.

    Is feeling good about ourselves a result of being blinded by the light or just from living in its glow?

    I think we ought to strive to be as much like Jesus as we can, but as a result of it we will be attacked for it by such ugly things as envy and jealousy.

    I think we are not blinded by the right, I think those who are envious and jealous of us are blinded by the wrong light and seek to steal us of our joy and try to cause us to doubt ourselves and destroy our peace…Because they have neither.

    07 degrees and clear.

    Steve

  33. Mart DeHaan says:

    Am wondering whether right (apart from Spirit) can be likened to the light of law— and wrong to lawlessness and darkness– both with blinding capacity.

    and that…in the light of Jesus we see our dependence on his Spirit… to know his Father.

    Also just added in the note at end of post a link to see a better photo of the “tree of life” images I used.

  34. SFDBWV says:

    Have often thought that the “Sermon on the Mount” gave us a look at how unable we are to be Like Christ and the ever continuing need For Him.

    However the sermon also is a statement from Him as to how we are to live.

    The one “commandment” from Jesus to love one another is a commandment/rule.

    How is it possible not to see the difference between real love and the false love of words verses action?

    How is it possible to not see the two views of right and wrong? Then not see them demonstrated in ourselves and in others?

    The “rub” then what do we do when we see wrong behavior in a brother or sister in the Lord?

    Is this another trap or a test?

    Steve

  35. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All —

    The third photo of the Tree of Life sculpture is much clearer, Mart, thanks.

    The world seems to be “hungering and thirsting for righteousness” now — even some clarity would be refreshing. As Prof. Venkman (Ghost Busters) said so long ago, “I’m, fuzzy on the whole ‘good-bad thing.'”

    We need insight, not just a black/white – wrong/right ruling in which there are “winners and losers.” “I’m going to win this” sounds like “famous last words” to me. I’m just saying…

    Standing for the right (truth & righteousness) is not standing alone. It is a work done in community. Actually, if I find myself standing alone maintaining my own
    “rightness,” it might be time for a personal “come to Jesus” moment.

    Pentecost is a major turning point in the history of the world — the Holy Spirit gave (at last) insight and wisdom to the disciples first — then, to all who believed the Good News and stayed on the path, following Jesus.

    Lenten Blessings,
    Maru

    1C/34F here. Rain/snow mix falling in the valley before dawn.

  36. jeff1 says:

    My Rector and I was discussing our country and the failures we have made which has lead to bad leadership and as a result we may end up with no Government here.

    We feel it may be a judgement from God, not on us personally, though, we both admitted to making bad choices when we were younger.

    Today, we are much more thoughtful about our decisions and aligning them with Godly virtues.

    We hope that shows God that we sincerely want to make amends for our wrong choices.

    When I think back about when I made those choices I sincerely believed they were the right ones and for righteousness sake.

    It has taken four decade later for me to see that, my father, who at the time was more enlightened than I, had the truth, when he said I was making a bad decision and one I would live to regret.

    It seems to me that there are those like my father gifted to align themselves with Godly virtues, i.e. they make the right decisions at the time and have nothing to reproach themselves for.

    I do have to reproach myself for bad choices both personally and publicly and I am finding that the consequences are justified.

    God is teaching me that there is consequences when I do not align my thoughts and heart to His virtues.

    My earthly father did try to tell me but beliefs can get in the way of the truth and I had allowed a high profiled politician/preacher to get into my head and turn it from what was right and I was not on my own and today we suffer the consequences of our actions.

    It seems to me that those like my dad are blameless before God while I am not.

    Who needs God more? The righteous are already right with God!

    My confession and repentance is from a heart that is guilty of failing God and in need of Grace while the person that is righteous is walking in the light of the truth of the Gospel and blameless before God.

    I am either a ‘Saint’ or a ‘Sinner’ in God’s eyes.

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

    (Chorus)
    Great is Thy faithfulness
    Great is Thy faithfulness
    Morning by morning,
    New mercies I see
    All I have needed
    Thy hand hath provided
    Great is Thy faithfulness
    Lord unto me

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

    (Chorus)
    Great is Thy faithfulness
    Great is Thy faithfulness
    Morning by morning,
    New mercies I see
    All I have needed
    Thy hand has provided
    Great is Thy faithfulness
    Lord unto me

  37. poohpity says:

    The only way we are made right with God is by Jesus Christ. He is our righteousness. No person ever living on this earth is deemed righteous through their own actions or obeying the law, the law showed us our sin. The Holy Spirit seems to prick our conscience to keep us aware so we then tend not to look at the wrongs of others but just within our very self. Then we realize the patience, slow to anger, kindness, compassion, mercy we have been shown and then it overflows to others. Believing in God makes us righteous.

    It is a test. Do we fully understand all that God has done for us, is for us or to us?

    Romans 3:20 NLT; James 2:23-24 NLT; Gal 2:16 NLT

  38. poohpity says:

    We are trapped in the thoughts of self rightness, blinded by it. So we are not able to grasp all that was done on Calvary. The Holy Spirit seems to shine a light on our inner being not to beat us up with guilt and shame but so show us how much we need the help that comes from the Lord.

  39. jeff1 says:

    Pooh,the Holy Spirit enlightened my father because is thinking and heart was already aligned with God’s virtues resulting him being in the light as God was that light.

    There is a responsibility on a believer to keep their heart and mind aligned with God’s virtues or else I will wander from God’s truth and my father did not wander because he continually brought his own heart and mind to the throne of God so that his righteousness was God given and his life reflected it.

    You keep going on about we are trapped in the thoughts of self rightness, there is no we, you are to align your heart and mind with God’s virtues and He will then enlighten you by the Holy Spirit to His truths and not your own.

    Forget we, my father never looked to anyone but God and he never dictated to me when I was wandering because he knew it was fruitless to do so. Until I bring my heart and mind into submission I will not have God’s truth, only my version of the truth. God knows your weakness and my weakness and your and my weakness is not another’s weakness so He works differently according to our needs which are different.

    God is not highlighting our weaknesses for any other reasons then to strengthen them, its for our good but it is our self rightness that gets in the way because of hurt pride i.e. I don’t have any weaknesses God, I am ok as I am.

    The truth hurts and God does not stop it from hurting because it is for my good, another’s good and God will continue letting it hurt until I am His so thank God that He does not give up on you/me/we because He is faithful and wants what is right for me/us.

  40. mtman says:

    I don’t text or tweet so maybe that has something to do with why I’m not understanding these topics and some of the comments. To me it is like coming into the middle of a story. I have read the topic probably 5-6 times and it still leaves me confused. Am I the only one who has this confusion.

  41. poohpity says:

    Viv, I use we because it is normally something in common to all mankind. So we do not feel alienated from others but a common bond. For me it is a relief that it is not only me that goes through all the things in life or our relationship with God. It is meant to be a comfort not a condemnation that the battles we face we face together and more than just one goes through them.

    mtman, in your comment of yesterday 2:46 pm it sounded like you understood really well. That was an illumination of the Light not blinded by the right. :-)

  42. poohpity says:

    mtman, I guess I should explain when you asked that group if they knew any body who had those faults you listed and they answered yes- that would be blinded by the right. But when you asked them if they had done any of the faults you listed and they hung their heads and some sobbed that was when thier hearts were open to the light.

  43. SFDBWV says:

    Mtman, if you have the time and want to see more clearly what is afoot go back to the Topic “Between the Lines” and then read each topic replies, including it, to “For the Love of God” then “The Sniff Test” and things may clear up some for you.

    Mart’s topics seem to follow the communities misadventures, or string of comments however it may apply.

    I hope this helps.

    Steve

  44. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Pooh, I do understand what you mean as I find when you share your struggles with others then they will share theirs too and you find that you are not alone in struggling.

    I used to believe I was less of a person for being weak until I discovered that all have weaknesses, its just we have different weaknesses.

    I am getting to know that I have strengths too and that God can still use my strengths when I stop getting bogged down in my weaknesses.

    It is about me learning to trust God that He loves me despite of my weaknesses and that the condemnation is from my own human understanding and not from God.

  45. street says:

    Am wondering whether right (apart from Spirit) can be likened to the light of law— and wrong to lawlessness and darkness– both with blinding capacity.

    and that…in the light of Jesus we see our dependence on his Spirit… to know his Father.

    yes the right is always connected to the law. the problem is the law can not help you other than to condemn you. apart from the law, promises made by God a way forward has been brought to our attention. it was first mention in Genesis and reaffirmed in different covenants. things really started moving forward when abram was called and a New Covenant, a Son of Promise would come. it was reaffirmed to david. a New Covenant was reaffirmed again this time in the Son Of God. the old testament is a shadow of what is to come, and in a way the shadow continues. soon the shadow will be gone. the vale as been removed and we see by faith live by hope and trust in His love. a love poured out into our hearts by His Spirit in Christ.

    thinking of the woman caught in adultery. they thought they could discredit God, “grace and truth”, truth was she was condemned by the law. grace saved her by not throwing the first stone. then He saved the sinner by offering Himself in her place to pay a debt she could never pay off. then the Father Exalted Him to His Right Hand. Judging Christ as Righteous, Blameless and accepted for what He did and for those entrusted to Him.

    in Christ you are truly clean.

  46. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Evening All. In the last topic someone mentioned Mart’s paper written BTA that used to come in ODB. I, too, was always eager to read Mart’s thoughts before anything else. I would read them over and over again and marvel at this man’s profound reasoning and genuine love of God. One time I misplaced one that I wanted to share with someone and either called or wrote to request another…I don’t remember for sure.

    When I first came here I was so excited to be among his followers. When I first noticed that one seemed a little rude and condescending, I thought I must be misinterpreting the conversation. I mean, who could possible read this man’s work and not be learning and growing in love. Well, I found that I wasn’t misinterpreting anything and while Mart’s thoughts were still profound, humble, and seemed to emit a genuine love for God as do most of the thoughts that are shared here, I find myself more focused on being prepared to go a couple of rounds with what certainly seems like the spirit of satan.

    I struggle daily to rise above myself. I have ugly emotions that I have to combat everyday…flashbacks as well as present day events can ignite anger, jealousy, and all kinds of ugly selfish emotions. Right after breakfast I start with Devotional time and then talk to the Lord about my sins asking for help to be a better Christian, for mercy and forgiveness. I often pray Psalm 51.

    While a recovering alcoholic trying to get away from using alcohol, should avoid a bar or package store, I find it peculiar at best that a Christian trying to grow has to avoid a Christian site because one is there trying to generate all the things we are trying to be delivered from. I just don’t see how this can be ignored, accepted, nor defended. I don’t think I am blinded by anything. I am sorry, but I think the problem may very well be that many of us are NOT blind.

  47. mtman says:

    Thank you all for the comments…I have gone back and read from between the lines forward. I believe I understand better not.

  48. mtman says:

    Thank you all for the comments…I have gone back and read from between the lines forward. I believe I understand better now.

  49. jeff1 says:

    I was having a conversation discussing why my friend and I disagree on politics here. The conversation was about my friend believing what she wanted to believe rather than wanting to know the truth. I discovered that she had decided she had the truth and when confronted with information that might question whether she had the truth she would dismiss it and continue with her own beliefs.

    My Rector who I was telling this too said you can not won with a person like this because they have a closed mind.

    I have a life long friendship with my friend i.e. from primary school and we are both now in our 60’s. We enjoy each other’s company and have more in common than we disagree on but the one thing I have learned to avoid in this country is politics and religion because they can divide even the closest of friends.

    God told us to focus on Christ for a very good reason because He knew when we wandered then division would arise.

    My country is an example of one that focused on politics and religion rather than on ‘Jesus’ and is paying the price.

    It is the same in our personal life, my earthly father knew my waywardness would have consequences but he also knew that at the time in my life I was just like my friend I believed I had the truth and therefore had closed my mind to anything that did not align with my thinking.

    My father was a highly intelligent man and never closed his mind to the truth because he knew the source of the truth was God.

    My father never allowed his politics or religion to get in the way of his relationship with God and that is why his decision were sound and he was enlightened to the truth in any given situation.

    To walk in the light is to have God’s truths and not the beliefs of one’s country, culture or religion.

    It requires discipline and I now recognise those with it because of a lifetime with my dad.

    I am also learning that God’s truth is very different to my truth’s because He has the bigger picture and I limit my own view when I close my heart and mind to God.

  50. SFDBWV says:

    Many abstract thoughts this morning. I have often said how much I enjoy the morning before the sun rises. There in the quiet darkness I can “feel” the world around me in anticipation of awakening.

    There is little, almost no distractions to interfere with my senses.

    This morning the dark sky above me lets me know that it is cloudy, absent are the familiar constellations and stars that sometimes catch my attention as I look for planets or anything new or interesting.

    This is when I have my quiet time with God and my “official” prayer. Because the truth is I am in a state of talking to God almost all the time, but those few minutes of prayer I have set aside as special.

    After setting down here at the computer I listened for a while to a little “preaching” from a site Pat sent to me that I now get regularly.

    It is heavy in its views of politics and almost as a continuing theme this morning’s comments are about the agenda of Satan, his hatred of Christians and Jews, and how Satan has demonically taken control of the “liberal” left in our country.

    I believe Viv would most likely agree it isn’t confined to only the USA that there is and has been a dark and evil force afoot in the world bent on destroying everything that is wholesome, holy and good.

    It is the power of the anti-christ that is rising as time runs closer to Christ’s return.

    A line is being drawn in the sand.

    Is it because I am blinded by the “right” that I view the “wrong” so clearly or because of the same blinding light that opened up the eyes of Paul that I can see so clearly right and wrong.

    This light that enables me to be able to discern and not be deceived at a time when so many in the world are.

    Just like the politics of the left today the devil is relentless he never gives up his attack and just like Psalms 119:105 says the light of God’s Word is what illuminates my path.

    I have to keep my eyes on the path or else I will get lost in the wilderness of the darkness outside its glow.

    27 degrees and as I said cloudy.

    Steve

  51. jeff1 says:

    To walk in the light is a gift from God, my father did it so naturally that it seemed like part of his nature.

    I knew my dad, I knew how he always wanted to do the right thing, he went to great pains to himself to put others first and he questioned his own motives when making decisions that effected others.

    It is a disciplined life and my dad had the discipline and God rewarded Him for it.

    I believe Steve, you and my dad would be on the same level of understanding, my dad was not deceived regardless of where the evil came from my dad recognised it and stood firmly against it.

    That often meant he had to go it alone i.e. strong minded, stable minded, because we his family and many others give him a hard time for taking the stand he took but my father trusted God and righteousness was given to him.

    Yes, there is a price to pay for being on God’s side when others are blinded by their ignorance.

  52. SFDBWV says:

    Viv you do me such an honor in comparing me to your dad. Thank you for that blessing.

    I would have loved to have known him, in fact in a way I do. I believe you do your dad proud and if we could hear him speak he would tell us so.

    You are also so very right in that taking the high road has its earthly price.

    When you stand on your Judean-Christian principals you may hear such accusations as being “self-righteous” or “pious” or even the infantile label of being a “goody two shoes”.

    Once again it isn’t because a person strives to do the right thing that brings condemnation from others it usually is just plain jealousy.

    Thank you again for your kind words and your blessing.

    Steve

  53. poohpity says:

    After the worse is awakened by the right the best can come from the light.

    A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer’s well. The farmer heard the mule ‘braying’ -or-whatever mules do when they fall into wells. After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving. Instead, he called his neighbors together and told them what had happened …and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.

    Initially, the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back … a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back, he should shake it off and step up! This he did, blow after blow. “Shake it off and step up…shake it off and step up…shake it off and step up!” He repeated to encourage himself. No matter how painful the blows, or how distressing the situation seemed the old mule fought “panic” and just kept right on shaking it off and stepping up!

    It wasn’t long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of that well! What seemed like it would bury him, actually blessed him…all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity. If we face our problems, respond to them positively, and refuse to give in to panic, bitterness, hate, anger or self-pity, the adversities that come along to bury us usually have within them the potential to benefit and bless us.

    May God bless us this week as we, “shake off the shackles and step up out of the wells” in which we find ourselves! “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” – Phil. 4:13

  54. street says:

    do you think being blinded by the right is an absence of love? Jesus loved sinners and knew what he needed to do in order to save them from wrath. do we know what we need to do in order to protect the ones we love? the ones we love could we call them our enemy?

  55. jeff1 says:

    I think it is a fine line between love and hate as I have crossed it all too often. When people we love do what we know they shouldn’t do, I find myself struggling to love them.

    It is the price we pay for trying to do right and caring enough to try to put them right.

    In this modern age where science has replaced God it is difficult to change hearts and minds that do not see the need for God as science they believe holds the answers to the future.

    I think it may take science to prove God right because their are many who do not have the faith and I don’t believe that God will give up on those who have still to come to faith without His helping hand.

    As regards doing what we need to do, prayer is still the best option, when I don’t know what to pray I just say the Lord’s prayer.

    I often find I do not know what to pray and both my friend and my Rector said then always say the Lords’ prayer which is showing Him you trust His omniscient.

  56. poohpity says:

    street yes. Blinded by the right demands heavy burdens on others that most are not able to live up under themselves which in love we help each other carry those loads and for Jesus He took the wrath we deserve. Yet it seems many blinded by the right do not give way to compassion or mercy unless they want it for themselves but do not extend it to others. It seems the right may have degrees of right but to God there are not degrees. He judges in truth but that truth is covered in grace which is way different that human beings who are blinded by the right. Love shows grace and mercy, right demands perfection maybe not for one’s self but of others.

  57. poohpity says:

    If the rules had been enough Jesus would not have had to come. When I apply those rules to myself I see my need for a Savior. Matt 23:4 NLT; Luke 11:46 NLT

  58. poohpity says:

    Mart you asked if there was, “a rule for how to know and practice patience, courage, freedom, civility, self-sacrifice, mercy, peace, hope, faith, joy, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, or love—even for ourselves let alone for one another?” I wonder if that comes from someone showing that to us and then practice it towards others??

  59. poohpity says:

    But doesn’t one have to realize they are not doing it to begin with?

  60. street says:

    Virtue begs for rules. Yet who can make a rule for how to know and practice patience, courage, freedom, civility, self-sacrifice, mercy, peace, hope, faith, joy, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, or love—even for ourselves let alone for one another?

    seems to me self rule falls way short considering our misguided, broken and wicked condition. there is One Who is the rightful Ruler and Owner of Creation. virtue keeps begging in ignorance and in the dark, falling short. let the Rightful Ruler rule by faith in His Promises and His Commands. He is coming back, will He find faith on the earth?

  61. jeff1 says:

    Even more important will He find love, love for each other, never mind love for our enemies.

    As believers we know He is coming back for us, will He be saddened at the division among us, will we be ashamed that we were part of the division.

    We have a saying here ‘if the cap fits wear it.’ I believe Jesus will entrust to those who He deems to be trustworthy because God is a just God, rewards for those who are blameless and loss for those who are not.

    Now is the time to put our house in order, taking responsibility for our own weaknesses and looking to Jesus to strengthen us which means other followers should see a change in our words and our behaviour as they are witnesses that we are at least making the effort to be more like Him.

    If I am not making the effort can I truly say that I am trying to please God or is it more than likely that I am just pleasing myself!

    ‘If the cap fit wear it.’

  62. jeff1 says:

    Oh, keep me holy, Father divine;
    Make me forever Thine, only Thine;
    More like Thine image, Lord, would I be;
    Draw me still nearer, Saviour, to Thee.

    Oh, keep me holy, Father of light;
    Lead while the sun shines; guard me my night;
    Strengthen, protect me, guide and console;
    Bring me, my Saviour, safe to the goal.

    Oh, keep me holy, Father above;
    Seal in my bosom Thy burning love;
    Thou hast redeemed me, cleansed me, I know,
    Made one so fallen white as the snow.

    Oh, keep me holy, Father, I pray;
    While here I linger, keep me each day;
    And when my journey on earth is o’er,
    In death receive me, Thine evermore.

  63. mtman says:

    I have gone back and read several topics and posts. The dynamics of this group is pretty unique. I have been gone from this site for many years so my perspective maybe is a little different than the daily contributors: “can’t see the forest for the trees”.
    I live in the mountains remotely with my wife and our 4 German Shepherd Dogs, in a small cabin that we heat with a wood stove. I’m now on the downhill side of my mid seventies and have had many amazing experiences along my journey.
    When I read the bible I see how some could get caught up in rules and such. What I see is that Jesus came to teach us how to love God and each other by having a personal relationship with God and each other.
    What I see here is folks quoting multiple passages of the bible showing they understand the bible but it doesn’t appear that they actually understand the meaning of relationships. I’m not saying quoting the bible is wrong but I see it used wrongly here. When bible verses are used repeatedly to either amplify or correct another contributor it doesn’t seem it is developing or building a relationship except one person appears to be a rule keeper putting themselves as captain of the world with their opinion.
    I’m reminded of David whom God said was a man after His own heart. I don’t think it was because David was an adulterer or murderer but rather that he was also quick to confess his sins and accept accountability for his actions to restore his relationship with God.
    I’m sure some will disagree with me on all counts but ask yourselves what is more important – being right or developing a better relationship of love, harmony and peace with God and each other.
    I have read some pretty haughty behavior and some pretty harsh rebukes. Considering the limitations of the written word it may not be intended but some are finding it offensive.
    From going back and reading (thanks for the suggestion Steve) past posts I think I have learned more from my four German Shepherds than most of the comments.
    If I post a comment and someone doesn’t agree with it then either ask me to amplify my comment or disagree respectfully. You don’t have to give a litany of bible verses to contradict what I have said as that tends to demean not only me but my opinion. If you disagree just say you do and don’t lecture me. If God didn’t think relationships with Him and others weren’t important he would not have given us all the examples in the bible he did.
    I don’t for sure need a captain of the world quoting me bible verses to prove me wrong because the person doing the ‘correction’ just may be wrong themselves. Especially if they are fracturing a relationship in the process.
    So is being right more important that being in a loving, harmonic and peaceful relationship? The person who disputes or challenges another’s opinion just may be right but is it worth damaging a relationship rather than hold your silence? Don’t you think God can find a way to redirect the person?
    Like I say I may be totally wrong with my observations but it is strictly my opinion after doing some reading and pondering this for a couple days that I may have observed behavior that could bring more harmony to the group. If so, then sometimes silence or a couple words saying “I disagree” will do the job. If I read that you disagree that gives me the option to amplify anything I said but not undergo a lecture which is not going to do our relationship any good at all. I see good people going wrong by critiquing each others comments instead of Marts topic. More is needed in the way of respecting each others comments than proving who is right. Respect an opinion even if you think it is wrong for the sake of the relationship.
    Those are my thoughts and I think they pretty well fit into what Mart has posted as his topic.

  64. SFDBWV says:

    Mtman Sunday morning I was listening to “Song of the Mountains” a PBS series that is from a small auditorium in Virginia. They showcase old time country music.

    One such duo of brothers from Kentucky told jokes in between their music.

    Your comment about your German shepherds reminded me of one of their Jokes. I will share with you and others who read this.

    “If you want to see who loves you the most, your wife or your dog lock them both in the trunk of your car for an hour, when you let them out you will find out.”

    Have a good laugh, I did.

    Steve

  65. SFDBWV says:

    It would be most interesting if we undertook the reading of Philosophy, especially but not exclusively the ancient Greeks.

    Many of the moral questions we undertake here have been talked to death for thousands of years to the conclusion that people are people and some will never change.

    In fact it is said that from the study of such things mankind’s purpose is to be “happy”.

    I find I cannot argue with that concept.

    Once when told that, I quickly shot back with “The sole purpose of mankind is for the glory of God and the uplifting of His Son and our savior Jesus of Nazareth.”

    But after thinking it over even being obedient to God and accepting Jesus as Lord can be seen as to make us “happy”.

    In answer to Marts question again I say Jesus gave us a commandment/rule, to love one another.

    In explanation beforehand He told another that if he loved others as himself he would be obeying all of the laws of Moses in that one simple act.

    Many decades ago I learned that the only person I can control is me. Everything I might do in order to teach, preach, enlighten or attempt to improve another is only by example.

    I can get upset about the world news or a neighbors behavior or a litany of issues, but the only things I can control should be the only things I should worry about.

    Love says I should be concerned about another. If I love someone, I should warn them, but the warning is as far as I can go.

    Jesus says I should forgive someone as many times as they need it. Does the same apply in trying to help another who is lost or who may be hurting the fellowship?.

    It is a tough issue to think that ignoring a problem will make it go away. Equally how is it possible not to recognize a problem?

    Mart is trying I think to have us talk it through, but I am certain there will be no total agreement after all is said and done.

    It has taken me all morning to write this in between interruptions, I hope my train of thought didn’t get too derailed for you to follow my thoughts.

    By the way Mtman thank you for your thoughts this morning, I think all of us could learn from your dogs a great many things.

    Steve

  66. mtman says:

    Okay Steve: I just tried putting both in the trunk. Neither were happy…sorry…ha,ha,ha….I like that joke because of its truth…

  67. poohpity says:

    mtman, you are right. However in reading between the lines there are people here who have undergone severe abuse as children, others who been abused in marriages, others who find themselves living in hopeless situations that are out of their control so they try to control others but whatever situations they come from, act from those backdrops. We are products of our environments and carry with us baggage. So the responses or comments come from broken people just trying to find their way, to be accepted and to find a place to fit in with all their hurts and scars.

    There is so much to learn from the comments but if you have learned more from your dogs maybe take the time to give everyone a little lick of compassion and step off the throne of judgement. Rather than just reading the comments to find out what is wrong with each of us read what the topics were saying. Then maybe as we trip and fall over each other at times and share our messy lives and often find the pot calling the kettle black there is love here because where two or more are gathered in the name of Jesus there He will be also.

    I know when I look at the garden of my own life it seems messy, there are things planted that need to be uprooted, weeds are growing and the pot belly stove needs wood to keep the fire burning so sharing scriptures, God’s Word never returns void even if it is misplaced sometimes or used to prove someone’s point. We are ALL a work in process and it is God’s Word that transforms our minds. Relationships are messy and there are ups and downs, sometimes down and outs but if Jesus could love us just as we are, who are we to say anything about anyone else even when we think we are right in offering our perspective or opinions of others without knowing their background.

    You seem to fit in just right, welcome back.

  68. mtman says:

    I wasn’t coming off the throne of judgement Deborah. I was looking at the blog site and those involved who commented to see if it would be something I wanted to be part of or not. We have all had heartbreak in the past in one way or another. That in my opinion is no excuse and shouldn’t be used to define or justify our conduct.
    I do not make it a practice to get involved in debate and don’t intend to carry this discussion forward as it will serve no purpose. I replied because you accused me of being on a throne of judgement. I think you missed the entire point of what I have observed and wrote.
    I am still on the fence as to whether I want to re-involve myself in this blog or not but should I choose to I will not participate in any comments like yours above. ‘Give everyone a lick of compassion’, really you should be ashamed of yourself. I’ll just breeze by your comments in the future if I do stay.

  69. poohpity says:

    Holding so tightly to the pain of hurt turns hearts into angry, depressed, hateful messes that can only be changed by forgiveness, grace and mercy. Trying to hurt others back whether done intentionally or unintentionally never solves any problems it only creates more. Jesus taught “love as I have loved you” what good is it to only love those who love you back, anyone can do that but humbly realizing none of us is without fault can we understand how totally amazing grace truly is. That is so worth sharing!!!

  70. poohpity says:

    Even though it should not effect how we behave today it still does. So understanding the deeper parts of people gives us better insight into who they are now because our histories are part of us. I was not trying to excuse behaviors what I was saying looking beyond the printed word to be more understanding of the person. I apologize if you took offensive to the lick part I was equating it your dog reference, if I said it about a person then give them a kiss and hug of compassion. See how easy it is to misunderstand a person’s intention and accusing rather than as you said asking for clarification.

  71. foreverblessed says:

    Hallo everybody, I am finally getting out my pomputer and giving a reaction. On the smartphone it didn’t work anymore for some reason. And I have been not so well, feeling tired, and then it made me feel even more tiring to react. Since there was so much hassle going on here.

    I am very thankful for a new commentator, Mtman, just to hear some new thoughts on how we interact here.
    You were so spot on on 9.25 am this morning. Thank you so much for that evaluation, I shall put it in my pocket and thinkj it over, I believe that it is why Mart put this up nhere:
    Do you want to be right, or do you want a relation.

    Ever since Jeff- Pooh debacle, and then Pooh, said you guys here on the blog are so …. whatever it was itchy
    Anyway, since that time I was telling God: What to do here?
    I was feeling like Jehoshaphat, 2 Chron 20:6-12
    “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You”

    So there is my take. I do not know what to do, but I keep my eyes on Jesus, and that is a real discipline here.

    Psalm 16:8 Not to be shaken, when things are shaken.
    And it is so right: we can disagree, and leave it at that. No big deal, still love each other. Instead of having all kinds of bibleverses to prove the point that it is wrong what you say. So I really did appreciate your input! Thanks!

    And may we all fix our eyes on Jesus. The Prince of Peace, the Everlasting Father.

    And some verse Street brought in, that really helped me too, about God leading us, the Holy Spirit, and not the Law.
    Living in Grace, living in the Light,
    living in the Life,
    choosing the Tree of Life,
    and not the Tree of knowledge of Good and Bad.

    God bless you all, and especially Pooh!

  72. foreverblessed says:

    We have a saying in Dutch:
    -Niet op elke slak zout leggen-
    Do not put salt on every snale you see.

    In other words: Leave them alone.

  73. street says:

    holding onto self righteousness is like holding on to that dagger. sooner or later your going to bury it.

  74. joycemb says:

    “People inspire you, or they drain you—pick them wisely.” – Hans F. Hansen

  75. jeff1 says:

    My mum had a saying ‘one person’s meat’ is ‘another person’s poison’ and I am finding it to be a very true one.

    I learned it in the workplace that there are people who just cannot stand each other and the rest of us don’t understand why.

    I worked with a man who never spoke to another woman because he said he didn’t like her, and when challenged by the rest of us as to how he could not like someone he never even spoke to, he said, there was something about her that he didn’t like and it was his choice not to speak to her.

    People are strange, and that includes believers, we are not infallible.

    I believe it is better to be in the company of like minded as I find others can drain me.

    As regards picking them wisely, I’m afraid the horse has bolted on that one.

    History repeats itself i.e. my countries difficulties has been around for longer than its inhabitants showing that men repeat the mistakes of their ancestors.

    In my personal life I am no better, I repeated the mistakes my mother made.

    It is in accepting that I fall short that I now look to people who inspire me rather then those who want to dwell on the past.

    The truth is that some never get past self pity and I am not into those kind of parties so I will give it a miss.

    Today is a new day, yesterday gone, tomorrow may never be mine, Lord for my sake, help me to take one day at a time.

  76. SFDBWV says:

    The “Gordian knot” is famous for being an intractable problem.

    Some problems fold inward upon themselves until they becomes to entangled that the heart of the issue becomes lost or “knotted” up.

    We throw our hands up into the air and walk away, or as Alexander the Great did and take a sword and cut the knot asunder.

    Looking at our topic of being blinded by the right it occurred to me that no one can escape being judgmental at some level. Also that we need to be able to discern between black and white as a protective measure or else we can find ourselves on that slippery slope of confusion.

    We are condemned for looking at the actions of another and declaring them to be wrong by people who want to say that we should not judge.

    Yet we are judged by the same people who think it wrong to judge for doing so…Hence the “Gordian knot”.

    The problem with strife isn’t localized to one person. Yes all it takes is for one person to introduce strife/dissention into the community, but strife is a cancer that affects everyone.

    Anger begets anger, love begets love as the ugliness of strife begets its results of more ugliness, and love can overpower it.

    When strife enters the community we are forced to respond; we can either ignore it, absorb, it confront it or recognize it for what it is and find a way to give it no importance in the conversation and let it starve out.

    We have a clear morning at 34 degrees after a night of rain. I went to the spring and got water this morning after Matt’s breakfast, while there I ask again for the living water for us all.

    Steve

  77. SFDBWV says:

    March 8, 2017
    Sifted
    “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” (Luke 22:31-32)

    In the evening before His betrayal, capture, torture, and trial, Christ turned to Simon with these final words, encouraging him to remain strong. Of course, Peter boldly proclaimed that he would never deny Christ, but Christ knew better (vv. 33-34).

    Actually, our text is quite forceful. Christ claimed that Satan has “begged earnestly” (literal translation of “desired”), not just for Peter, but for all the disciples, as seen in the plural pronoun “you,” to “sift you as wheat.” Satan knew (as he still knows) that the fall of Christian leaders causes many others to fall, and if all of the disciples could be made to abandon the faith, the gospel could not be spread.

    Christ turned specifically to Peter as the generally recognized spokesman for the disciples, and even though He knew Peter would fall, Christ informed him that he had been prayed for, that his “faith fail not.” Indeed, Peter did turn around once he saw the risen Lord and became a leader in the fledgling church in Jerusalem, as well as a missionary. Through the witness of Peter and those he strengthened, the gospel has come to us.

    Satan’s desire to sift those who would spread the gospel and lead others has not abated. He knows the destruction it causes in the lives of those influenced by the one who falls. The “ripple effect” may last for years, and many weaker brothers and sisters may never recover. But take heart! The One who prayed for Peter “ever liveth to make intercession for [us]” (Hebrews 7:25; see also John 17:6-26). Just as God answered Christ’s intercessory prayer for Peter, so He will answer Christ’s intercessory prayer for us.

    I have reposted this from my daily devotional from “Days of Praise” in order to show you all what is Satan’s goal.
    To stop the spread of the Gospel, to stop the fellowship of Christians.

    Know the enemy we face and know how to defeat him whenever and wherever he raises his ugly work.

    Enjoy and be blessed.

    Steve

  78. joycemb says:

    Good morning Steve and all,
    Well, that was a short 40 for me but I do miss talking to you here and others as I’m alone (by choice) a lot and winter days are long with little sunlight. I like your Gordian knot Steve; exactly explains the dilemma here and how my stomach feels after reading here a lot of the time. Will we ever become the ideal church at BTA? The Ideal as far as not having disputes, strife, ugliness and just plain crazy? No, never. When you’re in a physical location you can easily walk the other way or duck into another room to avoid a controversy that never ends. Here it’s a little harder because once it’s in print it’s there for all the internet to read and take into eternity. Even ignoring the same old same old it’s hard not to take a peek just to see what’s happening. Yes I think Gordian knot is what it is and it will not change. The only thing that makes any sense at all is as you also described in the devotional you shared. Makes things a little more black and white manageable. As usual your wisdom and skill as a writer keeps the going here a lot easier to take.

    Please forgive me everyone for contributing to the strife and dissention here and adding fuel to the Enemies fire. As we see after thinking about Marts post and our comments “rightness” can rear its ugly head on both sides of the aisle or community. We just don’t seem to know how to disagree without causing pain. It’s a unique community here. Maybe we should just be friends and let the headier stuff go to the scholars and studied theologians–of which few if any of the posters here are.

    Please don’t feel intimidated by me, I’ve only a bachelors degree and forgetting a lot of what I used to know. I too need daily refreshers in the Word and through prayer just like you all do.

  79. joycemb says:

    Steve I envy you your stream. No better place to pray and reflect on Gods goodness and greatness.

    Mtman I envy your life in the mountains also. I’d thrive there mentally but not so good physically, lol.

  80. poohpity says:

    This is just to very funny and sad. Do you think that any of you were left out of mtman’s critique of the conversations on here. That they were focused on only one person. What do you think prompted me to defend y’all in my reply to him? That everyone has a history that effects how we act now but rather than being blinded by thinking we are right in our assessment of others we can not see their hearts or the scars or secrets that are hidden inside that only God knows and sees. So God being the ultimate judge of right we can take off our moral glasses of looking at others when we have so much in our own lives that needs work.

    That is what gives us the understanding of God’s grace, forgiveness and mercy not by looking at others but by looking within. In Isaiah 58 it says, ““Remove the heavy yoke of oppression. Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors! Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.”

  81. poohpity says:

    God said that He does not judge by what one is on the outside or what people think they see, He judges the heart, the inner person.

  82. poohpity says:

    Does God take into account our past since He knew us from birth and has seen every little thing we do, or think, or say, covered by His very undeserved favor?? That is after all what undeserved means. According to the way some think they deserve it more than others and that is a very big lie we can tell ourselves.

  83. jeff1 says:

    The inner person is the outer person because you cannot hide bitterness or hate so if it is in your heart it will poison your relationships.

    Why do you think God wants a personal relationship so that He can change you from the inside out.

    He is not fooled by your outer appearance but He is the only one who can change your inner hence is desire for you to come to Him.

    Be glad that those around you are honest with you because they are witnesses to the fact that the ‘Holy Spirit’ is working in you or not.

    When someone tells me I reacted badly that should shame me into doing better the next time otherwise God is not having His way, no change in the outside means no change in the inside.

    Perhaps, then is the time to ask, am I deceiving myself?

  84. poohpity says:

    It is a sad day when one comes to the point of comparing ourselves to each other to see who is the better Christian rather than trying to be better today than I was yesterday no matter what anyone else is doing.

  85. poohpity says:

    To me it is better when I accuse others of things if I first ask myself am I doing what I am accusing them of doing and most often that will be a yes. I deceive myself when I feel it is right to inspect others through my own colored, shaded perspective because I know I am limited in my understanding of them especially if I do not know them personally. I have no right.

  86. SFDBWV says:

    Yes Joyce we have a “spring”. In the mountains here were many springs at one time, but coal mining takes a heavy toll on the fresh water.

    This one particular spring is along our cemetery road and has a concrete box built tight in against the side of the hill where the water “springs” forth from between the rocks.

    It fills the box to a desired level and has an overflow ¾ inch pipe that comes down from the spring box through the fence to a metal grated drainage area so everyone can stop and get water.

    I always feel so close to God when there, it is a special place.

    The town owns it and maintains it, but the water is free to any and all who stop to use it.

    It is amusing to me that, yes there are people who throw trash out there, but then just as many who pick it up and keep it clean.

    Glenna and I often set on our swing when the weather permits and gaze at the sky, the clouds and the beauty around us and remark how blessed we are to live in such a paradise.

    Both of us have been all over the world and the USA and whereas I am certain there are lot of other folks would say the same about where they are, the thing is I guess the thing is to just appreciate where God has planted us and be thankful for all he provides.

    It looks like you and I may be in for another little cold snap…June is coming.

    Steve

  87. joycemb says:

    Steve we are having very high winds here, started yesterday and lasting the rest of the week with semi’s toppling.Two tornadoes yesterday in other cities in my state, highly unusual for March. Hoping the winds are blowing in an early spring!

  88. joycemb says:

    I would like to say thank you to Mtman for venturing back over here and offering a just critique of the situation here. I was convicted about needing an attitude adjustment within myself, hopefully the change will show up here; although I may slip and fall from time to time. Someone PLEASE tell me when I back slide. Thanks again, Mtman.

  89. street says:

    thinking about that dagger again…..if we drop the dagger we can walk by faith and over come the world by the One Who beat death and sat down at the Right Hand of God.
    abraham’s faith did not grow overnight. God knows what’s best! follow close.

  90. foreverblessed says:

    This is the 40 day time before Easter!
    Contemplating how much Christ suffered, so we could be saved.
    Grace flowing from His throne, touching each one of us.
    But there is strife here.
    My intention is for building up, not tearing down!
    But going back to the topic in between the lines,
    Pooh posted a poem of Beth Moore. Jeff didn’t like it, and asked some questions to Pooh.

    Now here is my take, a question for Pooh:
    You were really hurt by these questions, weren’t you Pooh?

  91. poohpity says:

    forever, I do not remember when you are speaking of. I really do not know how I could be hurt from a question about someone else’s poem or even being asked a question at all, that usually does not bother me one way or the other. Neither does someone disagreeing with me or having a differing view point or misunderstanding something I say, I do not take those things personally. That is one’s right to do so and those things happen.

    However I do feel hurt when someone stabs me with the dagger of name calling or accusing me of being one way when it could not be further from the truth than it really is or blaming me for their anger or hate.

    I have never lead anyone to believe in any way that I am perfect or without fault. My life is a mess, I even feel messy inside sometimes but that often restricts me from saying anything personal about anyone else, that is not my job. I may say something and often do when something I have read in the bible and something someone is saying goes against what is taught from there but I hope I do not attack them personally. I am not perfect nor do I think I am in anyway. I confess my sins daily sometimes hourly to the Lord rather than blaming others. The only way I understand God’s grace is to admit to my own sin.

  92. foreverblessed says:

    In this case because you do not remember, please read in the topic between the lines, Feb 14 12:56, and read your reaction to that, 3.37 pm

  93. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry, Pooh, I want to be more specific:
    Were you hurt by Feb 14, 12.56 pm?
    Forget about the interpretation about what was asked, concentrate on how you received it, how did you feel?

    I ask this, not to tear you down, but to build you up!

  94. poohpity says:

    I was feeling confused, hurt and then accused of something I did not intend to be taken as it was. I felt confused because I did not write the poem so how someone read it or what they thought of it or what they took away from it had nothing to do with me, so to accuse or blame me of intervening on God’s behalf was not at all where I was coming from when I posted the poem. Hurt because I had received it on facebook and thought I would share it on here no ulterior motives behind it to be falsely accused of. So a person’s perspective when they read it comes from them but was blamed on me for trying to play God. It was simply seeing it on facebook and because it made me think I thought others may enjoy it too. No other thoughts behind it no need to read between the lines.

  95. foreverblessed says:

    Pooh, I want to thank you very very much for your honest answer. I am very happy with your answer!
    I do not know why, but this is a great relief to me.

    If you would have written this as your answer on that day, it would have been palatable to me.
    But you did not write this that day, you wrote something else.

    Now, if you please would go back to what you answered at that day!
    Just take a good look at it.
    I ask you this, not to tear you down, but to build you up!
    Please understand that I am in no way attacking you, if we would have been in the same room I would put my arms around you, and hug you:
    You are a dearly loved child of God, hold on to that fact!

  96. poohpity says:

    When I read the poem I felt the gentle conviction from the Lord of areas that He is still working on within me. So I have no room to look at others.

  97. poohpity says:

    Now go back and reread what I wrote and see there was no need to get upset because today I felt the same way as I did then. No finger pointing involved but that is what the accusation was.

  98. foreverblessed says:

    Are you sure Pooh? Compare what you wrote today 10.40 am with Feb 14, 3.37 pm

  99. foreverblessed says:

    I mean, the first part of 10.40 am,where you talk about what it did to yoursrlf, not the second part where you evaluate the reason why others write what they write.

  100. poohpity says:

    Sorry I just got back from my study group. I did not think I evaluated or said the reason why others “write what they write” however I did say something about how when we “read” something that anyone writes we can only “read it” from our own perspectives, beliefs or views that is basic human behaviors 101 that is not saying it is wrong or right, it just is. Would you agree that one can read things based on who they are or how they think and that may not even be what is actually said however that is what one understands out of it? Closely reading or listening to others really helps prevent misunderstandings but they do happen.

  101. poohpity says:

    Forever may I ask you a few questions? Since you are spending a great amount of time to get me to see something about myself that you see and think I am missing, what is the purpose behind it? You said, “I ask you this, not to tear you down, but to build you up!” how is it building me up?

  102. street says:

    thinking about the dagger again…..God told abraham to not harm the boy ie. put the knife down.

    enjoying #Ligcon in FL

    sorry mart just bragging about God’s goodness for me to be here.

  103. poohpity says:

    One day a teacher wrote on the board the following:
    9*1=7
    9*2=18
    9*3=27
    9*4=36
    9*5=45
    9*6=54
    9*7=63
    9*8=72
    9*9=81
    9*10=90

    When he was done all the students were laughing at him because the first answer was wrong he said the following to them. “I wrote that first answer wrong on purpose because I wanted you to learn something important. This was for you to see how the world out there will treat you. You can see that I wrote the correct answer 9 times but none of you congratulated me for it; you all laughed and criticized me for the one wrong answer.”

    So this is the lesson. The world will never appreciate the good you do a millions times but will criticize the wrong thing you did. BUT don’t get discouraged rise above all the laughter and criticism, stay strong.

  104. joycemb says:

    There is an important principle among believers called character building that comes from Proverbs 27:17.
    The amplified version states:
    As iron sharpens iron,
    So one man sharpens [and influences] another [through discussion].

    It is good to be part of a character building relationship.

  105. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you for asking so nicely.
    Why do I spend so much time on you?

    Because I do care about this community, and I do care about you. You have been sayin: I am bleeding tears a lot. And that touched my heart. Last night I came home late, and I thought to answer your question I must pray over it, I want the Light, I do not want to be in the right.
    You have asked lately: if I do something wrong, show me. And that is what I do. Not that I want to concentrate on you, I want to concentrate on the Light showning here, the living in Grace.
    You so often talk about how graceful God has been for you.
    “When one knows how much one has been forgiven by God, one can easily show forgiveness to others” I am qouting by heart now what you write. And that is lovely.
    Jesus said: Be your perfect, as My Father in heaven is perfect!
    Not that we ever can be perfect, but we should aim at the highest.

    Ever since Feb 14, the day of Love, I have been praying to God: I am at a loss, but my eyes are on you.
    And yesterday morning, I woke up at about 6, and I heard the birds singing. Lovely, they are called “merels” they sing as beautifull, or with even more variation than the nightingales. I do not know if you have them in America. Anyway, they sounded as if they were praising God. And I started to praise with them. It was a lovely morning, and then suddenly, a knowing enlightened me, it came from above,
    Stick to the pain, or: Concentrate on the hurt.

    That was it! And as soon as it touched my heart I was so delighted: This was mercy falling down from heaven upon my heart. A stream flowing from the throne of God, and cleansing my heart.
    If I am hurt, and I have a prolem with a family member, concentrate on what it has done in your own heart. And keep looking inside, and see what God can do in your heart. It is Grace from above that will work, It is amazing, and you know that it is not yourself who is doing it, it is God, our Wonderful Father in Heaven, our Redeemer, our Prince of Peace, our best Friend!

    Concentrate on the inside as opposing to: turning your thoughts outwards, on the person who has hurt you, and starting to talk like this: You do this…… and you do that…… and on and on.
    And the cleansing work in your own heart is stopped. The Ointment of the Holy Spirit is not working in your own heart.
    With You, I mean, I and all humans who act humanly, seeking to be in the right.
    But we are christians, we seek to be in the Light.
    And where theLight is, there is Jesus, the Stream of Grace flowing from His throne.

    I hope that you see, that I am trying to build you up! Not to tear you to pieces. I am strongly concerned about you, the more, that you said you were bleeding tears.

    Now look at what you wrote yesterday:
    “poohpity says:
    March 9, 2017 at 10:41 am
    I was feeling confused, hurt and then accused of something I did not intend to be taken as it was. I felt confused because I did not write the poem so how someone read it or what they thought of it or what they took away from it had nothing to do with me, so to accuse or blame me of intervening on God’s behalf was not at all where I was coming from when I posted the poem. Hurt because I had received it on facebook and thought I would share it on here no ulterior motives behind it to be falsely accused of. ….. It was simply seeing it on facebook and because it made me think I thought others may enjoy it too. No other thoughts behind it no need to read between the lines.

    That is concentrating on the hurt, the hurt inside yourself.

    “poohpity says:
    February 14, 2017 at 3:37 pm
    Viv, did I ever lead anyone to think that I have the ability to do anything other than recognize my own need or my own pride. I posted a poem by Beth Moore that I received on facebook this morning and thought I would share it. Not to point a finger at anyone because I am fully aware of my own issues and I thought you guys might enjoy it as others did on facebook. But I realize they receive things a bit better than most here because they know me and know I was not directing it to anyone in particular. Whether a person is convicted of something in the poem, it was not me doing the convicting.
    So don’t get your knickers all bunched up. You guys get offended so easily even when no one had any of YOU in mind just thought it was interesting so I shared it here. Beth Moore does many woman’s bible studies. IT IS NOT ABOUT ANY YOU. If you thought it was, maybe that is God and not me at all.

    Here you leave out your own hurt, as you described yesterday, and that is crucial. A crucial point that I want to make.
    Do not leave out the tears that you feel, express what it has done to you.
    Instead you trun outwards and start talking to Jeff, and even all of us:

    SO DONT GET YOUR KNICKERS ALL BUNCHED UP. YOU GUYS GET OFFENDED SO EASILY EVEN WHEN NO ONE HAD ANY OF YOU IN MIND just thought it interesting so I shared it here.

    And that did not quench the fire, it stirred it up even more. Not only jeff, no all of us get a wham…
    What I mean to say: you were hurt, and in your hurt you give an evalutation what the other has been doing.

    This is not about you only,

    This is also about me, yesterday I suddenly saw that this is what I do, when hurt. Let the cleansing balm of God’s Spirit first heal my hurt. And soften my heart. And stay in the Peace, the real true Rest.
    But…. I do not do that, I turn outwards, and look at the other person who hurt me, and then, what happens,,, inside my heart is flaring up a heat, a strife, all things not from God. And I am too confused for the Holy Spirit to work in me. Like a person who is drowning, when they are in confusion, you cannot save them.
    And that is what is happening in my heart.
    It is looking for the right, when I look outside to the other person!
    And looking for the Light, The Grace, the Redemption, yes that is cleansing my own heart.
    It is soooo difficult to concentrate on the inside, my old man wants to turn to the other and set them straight.

    I have been praying the whole night, (and I know others have been praying for me, thanks!!) as often as I was awake: Let me talk from Your Spirit, let me stay in Your peace, and then I will write!
    And I am filled with Joy, and this Joy is not from me, it is coming from Above, and I have Joy, because I see that the Peace will come here on this blog, the strife will end.

    I have no ill feelings against you, I write this with love in my heart for you. Please!!! I beg you, go to God with what I write, and be still before the Lord, and let Him talk to your heart. Is it true what I say? Is it in the Light.

    And I want to repeat this message to all of us:
    Concentrate on your own hurt, and stick to that. Work that out.
    Look on your inside. And look up to God
    Psalm 16:8
    I have set the Lord always before me, Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken!!

    You might say, that is looking upwards, Yes it is looking upwards with in your heart telling God what is hurting you.

    Nd then there is Psalm 16:
    Lord, You have assigned me my portion and my cup, you have made my lot secure.

    The cup of wine that we drink, when we remember Jesus blood, the bread that we eat, when we remember our dear Lord’s body being broken for our healing, for our salvation.
    Let’s drink this cup togehter, together we are One in Him.
    His Bride, and He is our Bridegroom!
    He is making us clean, and white. yes!
    We are still in the 40 days before Easter.

    And

  106. foreverblessed says:

    And may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

    2 Corinthians 13:14

  107. poohpity says:

    Thank you for sharing your heartfelt feedback forever. I hear you.

    I was speaking about not getting upset about the poem. One can look for the worse from someone and miss the good. Being of the world we can look for the wrong but in Christ we can look for Phil 4:8 NLT and when we have love in our hearts 1 Cor 13:4-5 NLT

  108. joycemb says:

    Forever yesterday I studied Hosea and was struck by 6:1-3 NIV
    6 “Come, let us returnk to the Lord.
    He has torn us to piecesl
    but he will heal us;m
    he has injured us
    but he will bind up our wounds.n
    2 After two days he will revive us;o
    on the third dayp he will restoreq us,
    that we may live in his presence.
    3 Let us acknowledge the Lord;
    let us press on to acknowledge him.
    As surely as the sun rises,
    he will appear;
    he will come to us like the winter rains,r
    like the spring rains that water the earth.

    This hope they had so many centuries ago we now have fulfilled immediately as those in Christ. The harsh reality is that any disobedience through idolatry has its consequences because God is just. Yet He also heals the broken and wounded. What an awesome God we serve!

  109. SFDBWV says:

    It has been a busy morning with 3 ½ inches of snow and still coming down hard. The Robins appreciate it when I plow off the road and shovel a path so they can hunt, but I have seen the also eat seed when hungry enough.

    I just wanted to stop in and say to you Foreverblessed that the conversation between you and pooh I consider to be rather private and have stayed away from saying anything except this.

    You are to be commended for trying to help another person, I hope that your efforts and prayers pay off.

    You are a good person (Rita) and I hope you are feeling much better.

    Steve

  110. phpatato says:

    Steve

    We have more grass showing than snow now it seems. It is snowing right now with the forecast saying we are to get a dusting of about an inch. Areas around Lake Huron and Georgian Bay may receive a foot and a half plus as a result of lake effect snow squalls but it will be the cold though that will be of concern. With the windchill factored in, it is forecast to be -18F overnight. This cold is to hang around for the weekend they say. I have stocked up the bird feeders. They will need the extra “fuel” to keep them warm tonight. The poor robins are going to be wishing that they had delayed their flight back north. There are skeins of Canada geese flying overhead and they may be thinking it was too early for them to be this far north as well.

    Forever, I have visions in my head that the views of your countryside will soon be filled with the beauty of tulips. The Netherlands and Canada have a special friendship that has been wrapped by the tulip…..

    “””Tulips pop up every spring in Ottawa—our country’s capital city. These beautiful blooms are a unique thank you gift from the country the Netherlands. Canadian soldiers helped free that country during the Second World War. (My dad fought in Holland during the war and became pen pals with a man and his wife from there. They stayed in touch for decades after the war.)

    We also helped the members of their royal family by inviting Princess Juliana and her daughters to live safely in Ottawa during the conflict. They were given a warm welcome in Ottawa. Dutch Princess Margriet was even born here. The new princess’s name meant “daisy of freedom.” Daisies grew in the Netherlands during the war and people wore them as a symbol of hope and freedom.

    During the war in the Netherlands, it was a difficult time for the people who lived there.

    Sadly, more than 7,600 Canadians died in the war while helping to free the Netherlands in 1944-1945. But the Dutch people have never forgotten how the Canadian soldiers helped them. They have sent us thousands of tulip bulbs every year since the end of the war as a gift of thanks.

    These blooms are a symbol of the international friendship between Canada and the Netherlands that blossomed between the two countries more than 70 years ago!””””

    Holland developed a special red and white tulip in honour of Canada’s 150 birthday which is celebrated this July 1, 2017. I planted two dozen of them last fall and can’t wait for them to bloom. xo

    God Bless everyone today!!

    Pat

  111. poohpity says:

    Thank you Joyce for those verses. It is the Lord who breaks down or convicts because He also has the ability to rebuild, restore and make new, something I know that is beyond anything any human being can do although many put their selves in that place except without the realization they do not have the ability to rebuild, restore or renew so they end up just tearing down even if they feel they are right or are justified in doing so. Only God is God, best to leave those things up to Him because we trust that He has the abilities to work in peoples lives as Viv has said but those who do not trust in His work seem to take on the responsibility. I know He does the best job at it ALL.

    That is what is so neat about reading the bible we can read about all His handy work in peoples lives and learn to depend on Him from/through what He has done in the past. We can also read what happens when people take it upon themselves to do His work and the results were horrible.

    We are really, what we are inwardly. Outward motives may keep the outside clean, while the inside is filthy; but if the heart and spirit be made new, there will be newness of life; here we must begin with ourselves.

  112. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Blessed Day to All.

    Steve, Pat and anyone else still dealing with snow…I am sorry about your snow. However, while I just came in from lounging in the sun in summer clothing, I sure miss drinking water from the tap and not having to buy water to cook in. Moreover, we actually have to pay for the water piped in here that I hesitate to even bathe in. I am pretty sure I would rather chance drinking water made from your snow than our tap water. So I hope this helps you to look at your snow in a more favorable light.. :-)

    Foreverblessed, I too commend you for your efforts and also wish you success in your kind endeavors. I also hope you are feeling well physically again.

    Steve, your robins have nothing over on our squirrels. We stopped putting up suet for the warmer months. This morning I spotted a squirrel with something larger than him and I couldn’t make out what it was.. Frank and I both watched it through binoculars and couldn’t figure out what he was eating…I went down to examine it close up…lol…it was a dried up watermelon rind!! I think all critters will eat about anything if hungry enough

    Pat, you sure know your history!!! Wow!! I am impressed. I wasn’t even a little bit aware of any of that!! Thank you for sharing.

    May everyone have a Blessed evening that will run over into tomorrow.

  113. SFDBWV says:

    I have very little time as Matt just finished his shower and in a few minutes will take over the computer for the remainder of the afternoon.

    I told you that Glenna and I consider where we live here to be a paradise, this morning would reflect that sentiment exactly.

    This is a wet and heavy snow and is clinging to everything. It highlights every tree branch and twig, every bush and anything it can cling to.

    As always it makes me stand in awe of such beauty and know that there is no beauty as perfect as that which God has made.

    Pearl I quit years ago putting up those bird feed bells because of the squirrels. They learned quickly to chew the plastic hanger into and carry off the bell, I too love to watch them.
    Pat it looks like we are in for about a week of late winter weather. We watch the geese fly over here as well heading back up north, but my favorite critters that come through in the summer heading to Canada are the Monarch Butterflies.

    Be blessed, everyone today and feel the love.

    Steve

  114. phpatato says:

    Pearl, I knew a bit about what I wrote through school and by what my dad spoke about but the history that I posted came as a result of google which took me to the Veteran Affairs website. What is in quotation marks came from the site except what is in parenthesis. That is mine. lol

    I buy bottled water to drink. Not that ours is “condemned” or anything. It smells slightly of sulphur and is heavy in iron deposits. I have tried liking it but just can’t seem to enjoy it while drinking it. I have no problem cooking with it or showering though.

    Steve, I hear there is a “nor’easter” setting up for Monday and Tuesday next week which could reach as far as my area to affect it somewhat. How much snow depends on the track of the storm. I read that colder air is being ushered in from Siberia and Greenland which doesn’t recognize international borders. It will spread into the US which will feed the snow. Jokingly….the news outlets in the US always say that the cold Arctic air comes from Canada. I say “that is what good neighbours do. We warm the air up before we send it across the border to you”. HAHAHA

    Your snow is what we call “sugar snow”. Wet heavy snow in March indicates it is warm enough for the maple tree sap to flow. Sugar shacks are busy making maple syrup.

    xo

  115. jeff1 says:

    There are times when I feel over whelmed not just with my own circumstances but when I look at the world at large!

    Blinded indeed!

    Will your anchor hold in the storms of life,
    when the clouds unfold their wings of strife?
    When the strong tides lift and the cables strain,
    will your anchor lift or firm remain?

    We have an anchor that keeps the soul
    steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
    fastened to the rock which cannot move,
    grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love!

    Will your anchor hold in the straits of fear,
    when the breakers roar and the reef is near?
    When the surges rave and the wild winds blow,
    shall the angry waves then your bark o’er flow?

    We have an anchor that keeps the soul
    steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
    fastened to the rock that cannot move,
    grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love!

    Will your eyes behold through the morning light
    the city of gold and the harbour bright?
    will your anchor safe by the heavenly shore,
    when life’s storms are past forever more?

    We have an anchor that keeps the soul
    steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
    fastened to the rock that cannot move,
    grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love!

  116. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you all for your warmth. Thank you Pooh that you accept my point.
    Maybe I will stretch you too far when I say to you, I feel a little sad that you do not say sorry. But I am only saying that this is how I feel. Overstretching you, for saying sorry about writing: knickers down, you guys are so easily offended.
    It makes it extra difficult for me as at that point you yourself were hurt, or offended.
    I may make it difficult now for you Pooh
    But this is my own point to you: You write so often how gracious God has been to you, that is beautiful! So wonderful!
    My question to you is: Did God ever say to you:
    Knickers down, you are so easily offended Pooh?

    If God did say so to you, I am sorry that I wrote this.
    Then that is the way God treated you, and that is how you treated us. You pass it on to us, and I have to deal with it.

    Take my pain to God and let Him give Me His Balm.
    ‘There is a balm in Gilead’

    My point is, saying sorry can help.

  117. foreverblessed says:

    That scripture in Hoses, thanks for giving it. I am meditating on it, and will come back about it, so God wills.

    And thank you sloop much Pat, for your story about the tulips, you know what? I felt like I recieved a big bunch of tulips from you!! And they are now standing in my room, so to speak!
    Flowers, who describe the beautiful character of God, lovely and merciful, and tender, brightening up your room, or inner room!
    I want to be more like Him!

  118. SFDBWV says:

    Not surprising to hear from our friends across the Atlantic. It must be mid-day there by now.

    The weather forecasters said the snow would end around midnight with only about an inch of accumulation.

    When I looked out at 4am it was snowing as hard as it can. So after getting Matt squared away I plowed off the roadway and shoveled pathways, fed the birds and took snow measurements an additional 2 ½ inches over night for a total of 6.7 inches. Their prediction was for 1 to 3.

    Admittedly the weathermen are not “blinded by the right”.

    I received my copy of “Decision” magazine yesterday and there is a “They Still Speak” article with writing from Charles Spurgeon and a quote I will. “Do you know what Bible the wicked and worldly man reads? He does not read this Bible at all. He reads the Christian.”

    OK one more, “It is the duty of every child of God to so live that he may confirm the witness of Christ. We should labor to do it in all of the common things of daily life.”

    It is a much longer article, but I hope you all get the gist of what is said.

    12 degrees and clear.

    Steve

  119. street says:

    i blogged earlier, “do you think being blinded by the right is an absence of love?”

    thinking further….blindness can be caused by the absence of the truth.

    the Bible speaks of Jesus growing in grace and truth. how difficult it is to grow in love and true. either one, grace and truth, without holiness is a disaster waiting to happen. grace and peace is another story all together. God bless you in His Holy Spirit and His Word.

  120. poohpity says:

    forever, forgive me if anyone misunderstood that, “So don’t get your knickers all bunched up. You guys get offended so easily even when no one had any of YOU in mind just thought it was interesting so I shared it here.” meant anything other than, no need to get upset I did not share that poem to direct it at anyone else, may have been a better way to say it.

    I am sorry that was taken to mean something else and thought it offensive. My fault. I was trying to use humor about the knickers.

  121. joycemb says:

    I appreciate your apology pooh and there is a lesson to be learned through it all. That for those of us who are ” highly sensitive” as I am we do take offense more easily than some. It’s not a sin it’s just who we are and the gifting God has given us. Personally I don’t care for B Moore as I can’t handle her crazy personality and can’t learn from her so stick with those more quiet teachers who give me the time I need to process what I’m hearing. I appreciate you pooh for your diligence in studying the Word as you know that only Jesus has the way to life! Everlasting life! He’s grand and such a difference from other so called role models we experienced growing up and into adult hood. We do have our scars also so we need the patience of those that grew up without the severe struggles we had. Yet we know that “all have sinned…” which levels the playing field so to speak. Have s blessed day, Joyce

  122. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, indeed, thank you for your feedback Pooh! That clears the air! Thankfully!
    Then I must apologize that I totally missed that humoristic part! I am very glad though, that I asked about it now!

    I know that many Americans don’t like the British sense of humour, ( humor for the Americans).
    Thanks, many thanks Pooh for your feedback!

  123. foreverblessed says:

    I thought that Joyce had commented about Hosea some time ago, and I wanted to give a comment to that:
    Hosea ^6:1-3
    “Come let us return to the Lord.
    He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us;
    He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds.
    After two days He will revive us;
    and on the third day He will restore us,
    that we may live in His presence.
    v3 Let us acknowledge te Lord,
    let us press on to acknowledge Him.
    As surley as the sun rises, He will appear;
    He will come to us like the winter rains,
    like the spring rains that water the earth”

    It was that scone and third day that triggered me!

    Could it be that this is also a prophecy about Jesus, what God says He would do unto us, He has asked Jesus to take it instead?
    If we hide in Jesus, He will get the blow for us.

    It is because in the 40 days before Easter, I got a bible teacher who was saying that the cup of God’s wrath about which Jeremiah is speaking of in chapter 25
    Jeremiah 25:15-38
    God is saying that the nations will drink the cup of God’s wrath
    “SO I took the cup from the Lord’s hand and made all the nations to whom He sent me drink it..” verse 17

    BUT..then we go the the garden of Gethsemane,
    ANd here it is that God asks Jesus, the cup that I gave to the nations, do You want to drink it?
    THe cup which is full of God’s wrath, or in other words full of the sins of the world.
    And God asks Jesus, will you drink it?

    Jesus is greatly struggling with this. A great turmoil He is. Jesus, who is absolutely Holy and Perfect, is seeing that He will drink that cup and will be identiefied with our sins, the sins of the whole world. He will become filthy, and as dirty clothes, He will be abominable to God, and God will tutn away from Him.
    This is so terrible, Jesus gets terrified, and is in great fear.
    You might say, as much as we may be afraid of God, we will never be as much afraid as Jesus was for our sins.

    He became sin in our place, and with sin I mean, our depressions, our irritations, our inabilities, things we could not help, due to our fallen state.

    So it seems God is telling the nations what He will do to them, and then it turns out, God asks Jesus to take it up.

    So may it be with the prophecy of Hosea 6:1-3
    on the second day He will revive us, and on the third day He will restore us.
    And as we know from the Gospels, that is ecaxtly what God did to Jesus!

    Just a few thoughts from me on this 40 day meditatian on the Passion of Christ.

    God bless you all

  124. joycemb says:

    Yes forever I caught that also. Remember also how Jonah was in the belly of the whale 3 days before he was “resurrected” to bring the good news of salvation from sins to Nineveh? That most evil community was given a chance at life just as we all are today. Such good news!!! It is so good to remember the struggles of our fellow creatures, and Jesus especially as it makes us more grateful for what we’ve been given-life abundant!

  125. foreverblessed says:

    OK, Joyce, is that why you gave that scripture of Hosea.
    Good that you did not give that explanation with it, so I could see it myself!
    And about blessing! Ain’t that terrific?! It really works in prayer, and with the help of these Holy Spirit! I starting doing that a few years ago. And in a praying mode, telling God that He told me to bless and that I wanted to obey Him from the heart but also with love in my heart. If He would please fill my heart with His love!
    It does not work immediately, it took me discipline!
    But it makes my heart glad sooner and sooner!
    So I want to encourage you to keep the blessing up!
    God bless you!

  126. foreverblessed says:

    With the help of the Holy Spirit, not these…

  127. joycemb says:

    Thank you forever I will!

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