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Why did Jesus give thoughtful people so many reasons to doubt and reject him?

Many of us overlook things he said and did that were outrageous—in his day. Yet to whatever extent we can think like those who feared and resented him, we too may begin to feel some of the ridiculous drama of someone who— seemed to live by his own facts and alternative sense of reality.

No wonder people of his day disagreed among themselves about whether he was a good man or someone who was tricking and deceiving the gullible. In so many ways Jesus sounded like someone we teach our children to distrust. He offered candy to people of childlike minds and promised the world to the poor.

He said he was from heaven. Everyone knew he was from Nazareth. He talked as if he could do no wrong, yet ye attracted the worst sorts of people. He claimed to understand Moses and God while saying that unless people ate his flesh and drank his blood they could have no part of him. No wonder so many of those who wanted to believe in him—simply couldn’t.

Even today, honest people have reasons to wonder. Jesus didn’t read the Scriptures the way we are taught to literally read them. He had what we might be inclined to call—the gall—of saying that if people believed in Moses, they would believe in him, and that if they didn’t believe in him, neither did they believe Moses.

Even though Jesus likened himself to so much of what we call our world, he— and those who claimed to speak for him— seemed to know that they were talking about something so different.

A river not like our rivers. A Father, yet not like our fathers. A consuming fire, yet not like our fires. A source of peace, yet not like our peace. A king not like our kings. Truth not like our truths. A Messiah, yet not like any Savior we’ve been waiting for.

And I’m thinking that’s just the beginning. Fill in the blank. Jesus said, “like a……” but not like any …….. we’ve ever seen before.

So how then do we explain our fascination with him?  And why do we wish everyone would just believe in and trust him? Is it because when he says “…………….”, we believe and trust that he’s thinking of something—far better than we are?

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209 Responses to “Outrageous!”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Mart, I was just about to turn off the computer and go when I seen your “outrageous” new subject.

    I wonder why it is we spend so much time trying to figure out what Jesus *did not* say as what He did?

    Thinking of course for myself it is the *hope* that Jesus offers that is more than a fascination of Him for me.

    Because without Him and His promises there is no hope for me, for my loved ones and certainly not for the world.

    Only a dark unforgiving life and then death with no justice for any, especially for the weak and vulnerable of mankind.

    Sadly or by design the very people who should have known who Jesus was at that time did not recognize Him. So He had to introduce Himself, but because they did not recognize Him He spoke in riddles and in mysteries.

    He is someone we all have to figure out in our own minds and hearts, the reward is “peace which surpasses understanding.”

    30 degrees under cloudy skies this morning.


  2. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    Mart, you ask:

    “So how then do we explain our fascination with him? And why do we wish everyone would just believe in and trust him? Is it because when he says “…………….”, we believe and trust that he’s thinking of something—far better than we are?”

    Have to agree, Steve, we deeply need the hope Jesus brings us. When we take in the long generations of promises: changes in ourselves, in the world, in the power of sin and death — we are moved to believe what He says and to trust Him. The prophets told of His coming. Then He came.

    A week from Thursday we will remember what He said the night He was arrested. As He blessed and broke the bread He said, “Take, eat, this is My body.” Then, He blessed and passed the cup and said, “Drink of this all of you; for this is the blood of the covenant, which is poured out for the forgiveness of sins.”

    It seems to me that a Jesus-follower cannot simply wish everyone would trust and believe in Him. It is our way of being and relating in the world that are a living witness of His power to draw us into Himself. It is still outrageous that God loves the world so much!

    Life in God’s presence through Jesus’ victory over all darkness and death is far better than any other way to journey through this or any world. He is before Moses, He is an eternal high priest — the King of the universe.

    When Jesus and the disciples sang a hymn and went to the olive grove for the last time together, He said, “You will all become deserters because of Me this night; for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'”

    What Jesus was sent to do — what He did — what He is doing is completely outrageous.


    3C/38F here — partly cloudy. Showers forecast.

  3. poohpity says:

    “like a conqueror” but not like any conqueror.. we’ve ever seen before. Because he conquered death, sin.

    “like a leader” but not like any leader. we’ve ever seen before. Because He taught us to serve.

    “like a divider” but not like any divider.. we’ve ever seen before. Because He taught the difference in how we think and how He thinks.

    “like a ruler” but not like any ruler.. we’ve ever seen before. Because most rulers are authoritarians forcing their way or the highway rather than offering a better way that we can either accept or reject but we have a choice.

    Is it because when he says “Son of Man.”, we believe and trust that he’s thinking of something—far better than we are?

  4. joycemb says:

    I guess because I’ve known him for so long (37 yrs now), the shock of him and what he stands for has worn a bit . To me he is exactly like that friend who is closer than a brother and so familiar I feel as if I’ve always known him. He’s always available to me for Hope, help, comfort, etc. He is whatever I need when i need it, he is my peace in a weary land, both physical and emotional. I suppose if we look back in time his views were certainly radical, but I’m choosing more and more to lean and not ask so much, as well as not be surprised by whatever he says to me. Jesus has slowly become my norm. Bless you LORD as we remember and celebrate your great death and rebirth for us all.

  5. mtman says:

    I think Peter answered for all believers when Jesus asked “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am? in Matthew 16:13, and Peter answered and said “You are the Christ”.
    The prophets foretold his coming and the event occurred just as prophesied. All the acts he preformed while with us and as Peter later said “where would we go Lord, you have the words of life”.
    Then his death and resurrection leave no doubt.
    Seems to me the choice is ours, we either accept him for who he is or reject him and live life on our terms. I chose the former and and I think others on this blog do as well.

  6. poohpity says:

    Why did Jesus give thoughtful people so many reasons to doubt and reject him? I think it was because He never seemed to want us to trust blindly but to use the brains He gave us to see the facts and evidence even going as far for us to count the cost of what is meant by being His followers before we take that step of faith.

  7. jeff1 says:

    I think my fascination with Jesus comes from a need to believe that God rights all wrongs and no one else can do that.

    When I mess up there is consequences that I cannot fix but God can fix them.

    I wish others would believe and trust Him because I think it would make this world a better place.

    While I think those who reject Christ do not believe in heaven or hell I know from suffering psychotic episodes that hell exists so God sending Jesus to die for me/the world was absolutely necessary to save me/ the world from such a fate.

  8. bubbles says:

    I have never thought of Jesus the way Mart described above. When I was saved, I had been taught in Sunday School and home that He was God in a body and that he came to die for our sins. I knew I was a sinner and needed a Savior. My teacher shared John 3:16 with me and I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins. No one wrote down the date I was saved. But I KNOW that day I trusted that Jesus and forgiven me. It was that simple.

    The only thing I can think of in relation to the shared thoughts are found in Matthew 5, “blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” If one wants to know Jesus, those things He said are understood because the Holy Spirit helps us see and understand some of the things, because there is always more to learn and understand.

    Maybe Jesus spoke the way He did for those who truly wanted to KNOW Him; just like today when unbelievers do not understand Scripture because they are spiritually blind to the truth. But yet believers do not understand all things and must study, pray, and learn always.

  9. street says:

    Why did Jesus give thoughtful people so many reasons to doubt and reject him?

    made in the image of God and yet so utterly wicked.
    much ground to cover by blood.

  10. bubbles says:

    Never thought what Jesus said was to give people reasons to reject or doubt him.

  11. street says:

    someone who— seemed to live by his own facts and alternative sense of reality.

    Jesus said,”I Am The Truth”

    who is living in an alternative reality? i guess if you reject the truth you begin to make up your own truth. last i heard there are more than 5 billion truths running around on planet earth.

  12. street says:

    He offered candy to people of childlike minds and promised the world to the poor.

    the meek inherit the earth. this earth is not the one they are looking for but a new one, you really want to inherit this one. i’ll pass thank you. looking forward to the time past the wilderness and the millennial Kingdom. i am quite convinced God can do better. the really interesting thing is living in the wilderness and the coming Kingdom with promises to be fulfilled! Jesus also tells us there will be very tough times.

  13. bubbles says:

    I am sorry. I don’t understand this post. What is the point of it? I am worn out and this has added to my frustration.

  14. street says:

    No wonder so many of those who wanted to believe in him—simply couldn’t.

    Jesus Words are Spiritual and man is fleshly, you must be born again.

    John came to prepare people for His coming. those who repented and were washed believed John’s testimony, not the ones who did not repent and get baptized.

  15. street says:

    Even today, honest people have reasons to wonder.

    even John wondered if He was the “One” Jesus sent him a reply to the prison he was in. i could see why John had trouble with what was going on.

  16. street says:

    So how then do we explain our fascination with him?

    Isaiah 40:23
    He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless.

    how much much more does He make my judgment and rules meaningless. i guess this is why David could delight in His Law and receive extraordinary promises.

  17. street says:

    Is it because when he says “…………….”, we believe and trust that he’s thinking of something—far better than we are?

    Jesus said,” I Am The Way, The Truth, and The Life….” thinking far better than are dead status quo.

    it is upside down from conventional thinking.

    hope is better than giving up!

  18. bubbles says:

    I have tried logging in multiple times and cannot comment. I have never understood why John the Baptist asked if Jesus was “the one”. His parents knew. He recognized Jesus when Elizabeth was carrying him. Since they were cousins, didn’t they see each other at family functions while they were growing up? I do not understand.

  19. joycemb says:

    Mans idea of “good” seems right when it is in Gods economy so terribly wrong. There is so much to learn, always.

  20. joycemb says:

    Bubbles I did not reply to your post at 9:19

  21. joycemb says:

    Oops 9:14 bubbles

  22. marma says:

    Mtman thanks for mentioning Matt 16:13. Jesus says to Peter, “Flesh and blood haven’t revealed this to you…” There is nothing so puzzling as scripture, as truth, without the Holy Spirit to teach us. I do think that the Lord wants us to seek, and promises that in seeking, we will find.

    Understanding truth and knowing Jesus is a lifetime, and longer, pursuit. Jesus tells us, “If you continue in my word…you shall know the truth…”

    My point here isn’t exegesis, rather it is the promise of the relationship based on faith. Being willing to follow based on that small bit we do understand, and as we do, having more revealed.

    Warm sunny day in Central Florida, but high fire danger. Have a good week, all!

  23. street says:

    John did not understand that Jesus had to deal with sin prior to setting up the promised kingdom. John found himself in prison and the King is here? John did not understand that Israels rejection set up the Church age. they had no prior understanding other than a suffering servant, yet this did not work with a conquering King.

    right now we see a kingdom where the King went away to receive a Kingdom and will come back. Revelation gives you a birds eye view of this in the future. maybe soon.

  24. street says:

    God is outrageous from man’s point of view!!!
    we really do need a new heart to understand.

  25. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    The illustration above seems like an impossibility. The room is flooded with red light, yet the door does not reflect the red color. The door is either illuminated by another light source, or the red light in the room is not reaching the door. How can this be?

    Mart, you wrote:

    “Even though Jesus likened himself to so much of what we call our world, he — and those who claimed to speak for him — seemed to know that they were talking about something so different.”

    This brings to mind the conversation Jesus had with Nicodemus. Jesus speaks plainly about being born again — being born “of the Spirit.” Nicodemus’ literal grasp of being born is getting in the way. Jesus is telling the Pharisee that he is a spiritual as well as a physical being, and that the Holy Spirit can and does dwell in human beings who believe and trust in God.

    Still Nicodemus asks, “How can these things be?”

    Jesus usually told parables that illustrate the character of God and the principles of God’s kingdom — God’s presence. Jesus lives by the ways of God’s kingdom, not by the ways of this fallen world. So, He appeared like the stark white door in a roomful of red light.

    Finally, after explaining that He “speaks of what He knows and testifies of what He has seen,” Jesus reminds Nicodemus of the story of the bronze serpent Moses lifted up in the desert. Nick, knowing the story, could see that those bitten by snakes who looked at the serpent and believed God for healing, lived. Those who did not look up died of snake bite.

    It is certain that later, Nicodemus came to faith in Jesus. He received the truth that He is the Messiah. After Jesus was killed, Nicodemus and his colleague, Joseph of Arimathea, came to take Jesus’ body to prepare Him for a quick burial.

    Though Scripture does not state that Nicodemus believed in Jesus as Messiah, I’m sure he did because of his faithfulness to Him. He had overcome his literal thinking at last.

    What had at first seemed outrageous became the guiding principle of his actions after he believed, it seems to me. He laid aside his grown up mentality and his privilege to become like a child — like a poor person with no material means. The Lord was not offering Nicodemus candy, but deliverance and everlasting life.


  26. SFDBWV says:

    Even though we have had thousands of years to ponder over the Bible in its entirety still we fail to see we are not all that different than many of the characters presented there.

    Some 20 years ago while working in Winchester VA at a Plant as a maintenance technician, one of the management personnel was working with me one afternoon. Because he liked and respected me and thought me to be very intelligent he was surprised at my “Christianity” and ask “How can you believe all that stuff?”

    To him, a reserve Air Force Captain, college educated and a capable intelligent man, he found the things in the Bible to be “outrageous” as a whole.

    My simple answer to him was this, “because it is true.”

    My only ability to convince this or any other person that what is said in the Bible is true is by how I live and what they see in me.

    How I know that these things in Scripture are true, is because the Holy Spirit that resides in me bears witness of Himself. The result being I know because I know, because I know.

    It can never be through an intellectual process that one can be born again, only through the surrender to Jesus as Lord and beginning all over again to relearn everything all over again from a very outrageous point of view.

    I once thought how outrageous it was that the Hebrew people who witnessed all the miracles of the Exodus from Egypt to the parting of the Red Sea could possibly begin to doubt in just a couple weeks. Until I learned that we all forget the wonders that God has done in our life just as soon as another problem arises.

    The events, the seeming outrageous things that Jesus stated were accompanied with profound miracles that no one could deny.

    How was it that He could feed thousands from one basket of fish and bread, heal the sick and lame, restore the sight to the blind, even resurrect the dead unless He had power from God to do so?

    His outrageous statements came with outrageous proof that what He said came from God.

    Once again it seems how could anyone doubt after witnessing the miracles Jesus did? But doubt they did and worse.

    And once again how can we who have received the Holy Spirit ever doubt again, but doubt we do from time to time. As worldly intelligence gets in the way of a faith that surpasses understanding.

    30 degrees again this morning.


  27. mtman says:

    It depends on where we choose to put our faith. If we choose to reflect on the reasons Jesus gave us not to believe in him that is where we will end up.

    We may only believe in one aspect of what he presents to us in scripture and build our relationship with Him on that but it is enough. There are many facet’s to Jesus both positive and negative and we are free to choose either way.

    When I think back on when I first became a Christian and started my relationship with Him, how simple and clear everything was back then.

    As I grew in my faith and relationship things became more unclear and clouded because of “spiritual truths” that were taught in church and my study and readings.

    I think it is better to have a single firmly held belief than many beliefs (both positive and negative), which do nothing more than befuddle the mind and cause us to often question our faith.

    If we trust in Him and let Him lead us in our relationship then we will arrive at the right place. Study and leaning more about Him is not wrong but we need to hold fast to that which first attracted us to Him in the first place which we built our relationship on.

    Sometimes we just have to hold on tight knowing that our relationship with Him over the years is what is true and right and not be taken down side paths. Keep it simple and honest and keep our grip on that aspect of our relationship with Him. Again I use the example of a telescope and looking through the wrong end. It gives a pinpoint focus and that is what is needed to maintain our relationship and not the broader view.

    That is what this old mountain man believes anyway and my contribution to the discussion.

  28. poohpity says:

    Jesus seemed to liken Himself with many worldly things of value for instance; A pearl of great worth, a Hidden treasure, a Shepard, the Son of a vineyard owner, etc. so that He could make the Outrageous seem more palatable.

    He turned what many came to believe of a God who did not want to be around them because they falsely believed that because God was Holy He could not be around sinners yet He left His high place of Honor and Glory to live among us. Now that is Outrageous. He turned our crude understanding on it’s head. So when we are faced with questions like, “Does God really care?” we can plainly see that He did and does.

  29. street says:

    thinking about unrequited love when faced with a Holy Love.
    birds of the feather flock together.
    a love for nothing, now that’s Outrages!

  30. street says:

    yet ye attracted the worst sorts of people.

    seems to me a Savior came to the right place.
    many did not see a need for One.

    He saved us while we were still sinners……

    just thinking and wondering when the sin is over with.

    And the valley of Achor as a door of hope.

  31. jeff1 says:

    1 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 drift 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.

    2 It is safely moored,’ twill the storm withstand,
    For ’tis well secured by the Saviour’s hand;
    And the cables passed from His heart to mine,
    Can defy the blast, through strength divine.

    3 It will firmly hold in the straits of fear,
    When the breakers have told the reef is near;
    Through the tempest rave and the wild winds blow,
    Not an angry wave shall our bark o’erflow.

    4 It will surely hold in the floods of death,
    When the waters cold chill our latest breath;
    On the rising tide it can never fail,
    While our hopes abide within the veil.

  32. SFDBWV says:

    To say that the Bible is complicated, yet simple is like trivializing the momentous.

    This subject exposes the difference between the literal and the implied or suggested views of What Jesus has said, opening up the door for a view of literal and non-literal views of everything written in Scripture.

    As in a literal view of a six day creation verses six “stages” of creation.

    The problem with such multiple views of what is said or written is that it is left up to us the reader for interpretation.

    In such a use of Scripture we tend to “bend” things so as to concur with what we want it to say rather than what is actually written.

    Personally I think that Jesus “explained” the deeper truth of what it is that has been written rather than change its meaning.

    As in all of us have an earthly father, but God is our heavenly Father. Through by whom everything was created. So He is the Father of us all.

    We can relate and understand what a father is.

    Jesus corrected the earthly view of God from a harsh overseer to a loving Father.

    Jesus went on to use terms people were and are familiar with in order to explain that which we do not see nor understand.

    Such as fire, river, king, truth and yes “living water”.

    We live on planet earth in real time. This is all we know and understand. Jesus is the connection between this realm of existence and a spiritual realm of existence which we cannot yet fully understand and brought reverences between the two into His teaching.

    “For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known.”

    Is it so hard to imagine that life as we know it originates and is sustained by a “moving force”/ *river* of “subsistence”/*living water* that flows from the “presence”/*throne* of God. Without which there would be no earth as we know it nor life as we live it?

    Let us not trivialize the momentous, nor emphasize the less important things as being any more than they are.

    51 degrees and raining, snow by Thursday and Friday, so we are told…


  33. poohpity says:

    There is a very vivid description of what is meant by a day in scripture and if the bible says a day then it means a day. I have never found any other meaning. One of the sure signs that someone has not read the bible is to say it says something other than what it says. You are right Steve people use it and abuse it by applying it to their own purposes or making their own points but some share God’s point through it. The more one reads it the deeper one grows closer to the Lord. It is outrageous that it is words that are inspired by God, how can that be? Sadly not many even care.

    As one reads it they can see what is literal, analogies, metaphors, stories to make a lesson fit what we are able to understand and read the process of revelation to the secret of God which was revealed in Christ Jesus.(1 Cor 2:7 NLT; Romans 11:25; Romans 16:25; Matt 13:35)

  34. street says:

    “For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am known.”

    5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

    Matthew 5:8
    Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

    He said:

    “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
    Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
    Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
    Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
    Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
    Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
    Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    Thinking God is a consuming fire and we have a fire to pass through. i am reminded that when things were brought into Israel they had to pass through fire, if the could not be passed through fire the option of passing through water was available. some things are never to be brought into Israel. the righteous shall live by faith. Outrageous Love!

  35. poohpity says:

    When I explain my fascination with Jesus I simply tell of what my life was like and after close examination of my heart I needed forgiveness, mercy and grace. No one on this earth could offer me that even after apologizing the shame and guilt remained. I needed to experience something that would change my life inside and out and that is what I found in a relationship with God Almighty. I needed to be firmly loved and accepted that is what I found in Jesus. No one can take that away from me not even when I still mess up He never lets me go and never gives up on me that is why I am so fascinated with Him. I AM IN AWE!!!

  36. saled says:

    One of the most outrageous things that Jesus said is found in the parable of the laborers in Matt. 20:1-16. How can it be that those who worked for less time would be rewarded as those who had “borne the burden and the heat of the day”? Outrageous, but I love it. It is so like Jesus to do the unexpected. Chapter 20 begins by saying that the Kingdom of Heaven is like this householder. Imagine living in a kingdom where this kind of grace was the rule of the day. I pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

  37. joycemb says:

    From my readings today from Thomas a Kempis,

    There will always be many who love Christ’s heavenly kingdom, but few who will bear his cross. Many are eager to be happy with him; few wish to suffer anything for him.

    Many love Christ as long as they encounter no hardship; many praise and bless him as long as they receive some comfort from him. But if Jesus hides himself and leaves them for a while, they either start complaining or become dejected. Those, on the contrary, who love him for his own sake and not for any comfort of their own, praise him both in trial and anguish of heart as well as in the bliss of consolation. Even if Jesus should never comfort them, they would continue to praise and thank him. What power there is in a pure love for Jesus – love that is free from all self-interest and self-love!

  38. street says:

    joycemb that’s outrageous!

  39. street says:

    Hebrews 13:13
    Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore.

    outside the normal.

    37-41 When he finished that talk, a Pharisee asked him to dinner. He entered his house and sat right down at the table. The Pharisee was shocked and somewhat offended when he saw that Jesus didn’t wash up before the meal. But the Master said to him, “I know you Pharisees burnish the surface of your cups and plates so they sparkle in the sun, but I also know your insides are maggoty with greed and secret evil. Stupid Pharisees! Didn’t the One who made the outside also make the inside? Turn both your pockets and your hearts inside out and give generously to the poor; then your lives will be clean, not just your dishes and your hands.

    had trouble understanding Luke 11:41 till i ran into this. only Jesus can clean the inside. changing your mind in how you see things is a gift from God.

  40. SFDBWV says:

    At the time of Jesus’ actual emergence into the story of the Bible the religion of the Hebrew people was the Law of Moses.

    The creation of the Hebrew people, their very existence were part and parcel of the Law and the story of how it came to them as well as a long history of Prophets who brought messages to them directly from God.

    When Jesus began preaching to the “house of Israel” what He was saying seemed to be at odds with what the *keepers* of the Law interpreted them to say.

    It was not only “outrageous” in their eyes it was *blasphemous* and under the “Law” punishable by death.

    However the very miracles that Jesus performed shown the *ordinary* and some of the more educated among the Israel people that He was *Someone special*.

    Jesus’ words of truth stung the keepers of the faith because they were guilty and the heat of facing their guilt immediately transferred to a hatred for Jesus and a way of silencing Him.

    Or so they thought.

    The most “outrageous” of events then being that the very God they thought they defended by obeying the Law, they would have tortured and killed upon a Roman form of execution, the crucifixion.

    But like an Alfred Hitchcock written plot there is a twist to this story as well.

    As outrageous as it sounds it also seems that the entire sequence of events were ordained and prepared in God’s plans from the very beginning of creation.

    “God’s will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

    45 degrees, I can’t see the stars, but there is no rain in the forecast today.


  41. jeff1 says:

    How difficult it is to imagine the world from God’s view because it is such a mixed up world of religions, cultures and people.

    It is often difficult to get it into my head that God is with me in Spirit as He is with others.

    What I see in the world i.e. the hate, violence and suffering is often difficult to forget, and the battle for me is that it should not crowd my mind so that I forget that He who is with me is greater than the voices in my head.

    When I stop focusing on my own view and focus on ‘Christ’ I can once again see hope for a better world to come because outrageous as it is that is what ‘Christ’ died for to save the world from itself.

    What ever my view of the world God’s plan for this world will be accomplished because it is His plan and His outcome and when I am mindful of this I can then start seeing this world from a different view because it renews my hope in knowing that the God who created our world is well capable of sustaining it.

    I believe that for every drop of rain that falls
    A flower grows
    I believe that somewhere in the darkest night
    A candle glows
    I believe for everyone who goes astray, someone will come
    To show the way
    I believe, I believe

    I believe above a storm the smallest prayer
    Can still be heard
    I believe that someone in the great somewhere
    Hears every word

    Every time I hear a new born baby cry,
    Or touch a leaf or see the sky
    Then I know why, I believe

    Every time I hear a new born baby cry,
    Or touch a leaf or see the sky
    Then I know why, I believe

  42. joycemb says:

    Luke 14:13-21

    13 “But when you give a big dinner, invite those who are poor. Also invite those who can’t walk, the disabled and the blind. 14 Then you will be blessed. Your guests can’t pay you back. But you will be paid back when those who are right with God rise from the dead.”

    The Story of the Big Dinner
    15 One of the people at the table with Jesus heard him say those things. So he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in God’s kingdom.” 16 Jesus replied, “A certain man was preparing a big dinner. He invited many guests. 17 Then the day of the dinner arrived. He sent his servant to those who had been invited. The servant told them, ‘Come. Everything is ready now.’ 18 “But they all had the same idea. They began to make excuses. The first one said, ‘I have just bought a field. I have to go and see it. Please excuse me.’ 19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen. I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’ 21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. “Then the owner of the house became angry. He ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the town. Bring in those who are poor. Also bring those who can’t walk, the blind and the disabled.’

  43. joycemb says:

    Lent meditations for each day

    WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5, 2017
    Frederick Buechner

    And now brothers, I will ask you a terrible question, and God knows I ask it also of myself. Is the truth beyond all truths, beyond the stars, just this: that to live without him is the real death, that to die with him the only life?

    Source: The Magnificent Defeat

  44. foreverblessed says:

    I am one of those christians who believe that the creation days are not to be taken literally. That to explain how the earth was created was much too complicated to do in one chapter, so instead, God used an allegory. Also because these days have to say something about the work of the a
    Holy Spirit is doing in a humans heart.
    The earth was created, and it was chaos. So the Spirit hovered over the waters. That is a description of every human being. And God’s Spirit is around us to see where Be can get attention.
    And then God said, let there be light
    2 Cor 4:5
    For God said: ” Let light shine out of darkness”,
    made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

    Other christians may see this different, I love them anyway, and respect them. Neither do I see that I came up with this through my own thinking, but I have prayed about it a lot, and have asked the Spirit to reveal to me what is meant by Genesis 1. Through lots of prayer I came to this.
    And it also helped that Augustine wrote 1600 years ago, (or just about) that he hoped that Genesis 1 would not be used as an explanation how the earth was created. So this is not modern thinking, but very old.

    And by the way, this is not essential Christianity,
    The central theme is that Christ went through the Passion, right up to the Cross, so He could be our Savior. That all who believe in Him would be saved!

  45. foreverblessed says:

    To what Joyce wrote, April 4, 9.15 pm, about Thomas a Kempis, who by the way lived in the Netherlands, about Christians and suffering,
    2 Cor 4:7-18 and
    2 Cor 5:1-10
    All about this life being temporary, and the suffering will bring glory to God, through more and more souls that will be reached, 2 Cor 4:15
    And 2 Cor 4:17

  46. SFDBWV says:

    Dear friend Foreverblessed it is ok with me that you believe differently as I whereas a six day creation is concerned. It is not with me that you disagree, but what is written.

    The title of this subject being “Outrageous” I can think of many things written in Scripture that sound “outrageous”.

    A boat built by a man and his sons in whom all of the animals of the earth would find refuge from a flood that killed every other living thing.

    People living to the age of several hundred years.

    A river that turned from water to blood.

    A sea that parted and provided a “dry” pathway through, only to then collapse upon the enemy of God’s chosen people.

    The wheel that Ezekiel seen.

    The fiery chariots that came and took Elijah up to heaven.

    An axe head that floated.

    The dead restored to life some right away, some hours after, and one four days in the grave.

    And yes the virgin birth.

    All to be seen or taken as literal, or interpreted to mean something else.

    For me the lessons of the Bible mean that I have to put away intellect, and reason in favor of a faith that what is written is what is true.

    It is outrageous to believe such things, but then Jesus through by whom all things were created, brings to life all of what is written and is outrageousness personified.

    52 degrees f and rain.


  47. jeff1 says:

    Whatever God’s reasons trusting Him is not outrageous when I realize how little I know Him.

    It has taken me a lifetime to understand God in a small way. Is there a limit to knowing God or is it God who limits me because He knows my wants are not my needs?

    How do I know that what I think I need aligns with what God knows I need?

    The heart is deceitful above all else!

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

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

    To all life thou givest, to both great and small;
    in all life thou livest, the true life of all;
    we blossom and flourish, like leaves on the tree,
    then wither and perish; but not changeth thee.

    Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
    thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;
    all laud we would render: O help us to see
    ’tis only the splendour of light hideth thee.

  48. jeff1 says:

    Today, even what Jesus says sounds outrageous but what about those of us who are in need of healing?

    Mark 2:17

    On hearing this, Jesus told them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.

  49. poohpity says:

    Genesis 1:3-5 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. Genesis 1:8, 13, 19, 23, 31 If we have been lied to what is the use to believe any of the rest of the bible? If God is unable to speak things into existence then He is not a very omnipotent God but rather He is impotent.

  50. poohpity says:

    It would be like reading Aesop’s Fables with their allegories than reading a truthful history of God and His creation.

  51. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    8C/46F Here with a steady drizzle. All the spring flowers are well-watered!

    Mart, you wrote:

    “Many of us overlook things he said and did that were outrageous—in his day. Yet to whatever extent we can think like those who feared and resented him, we too may begin to feel some of the ridiculous drama of someone who— seemed to live by his own facts and alternative sense of reality.”

    Many outrageous personalities have been part of — and have even dominated — the world scene over the millennia. The drama of public life can become bizarre and ridiculous.

    It seems to me that the outrageous things Jesus said and did looked much different on the other side of the cross.

    His crucifixion, death and resurrection cleared the air for those who saw and experienced Jesus risen and alive with new life.

    On this side of the cross, faith in Him still rises in hearts and minds because of the supernatural signs He performed.

    The things Jesus claimed have also either been made evident:

    “Then He began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.”

    — or are on the way to being made evident:

    “And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.”

    We have not yet seen the full extent of the outrageous works of God the Son in our midst, it seems to me.

    Wave your palm branch on Sunday! It is a political act.


  52. mtman says:

    I would like to weigh in on this discussion on Genesis and the creation and point out that man was not made until the last day before God rested. Our concept of time is not the same as God’s time. It is said in 2 Peter 3:8, that it is as if one day (our measure) is like 1000 years to God. God’s time is not like the way we measure time so that question seems a waste of time to me.

    As Steve pointed out there are many things that happened in the old and new testament that defy our logic. We like to have everything in its place, explained via logic, and in order. God does not think that way. His way is not our way. When Jesus was with us he spoke in parables because our finite minds could not grasp God’s ways in their totality.

    The bible is full of God’s ways, and additionally we have trouble believing Noah survived in the belly of a whale and a host of other stories. I recall a Priest once telling me that Jesus did not walk on water but was walking on shore and it just looked like he was walking on water. I was dumbfounded. Of course he did – the priest didn’t know who He was if he thought that. He restored sight to the blind, healed the sick, brought the dead back to life and preformed many other things.

    If we get hung up on what our logic tells us and not what our heart tells us then we don’t really believe in Him as we should. As for me I don’t even question these things as not being totally true. There are many naysayers that would like us to believe differently but we need to avoid those self appointed people who seem to express themselves well.

    I remember a geology professor once telling me that it is ridiculous to debate the age of the earth. No one knows for sure anyway and it is a waste of time. Same with those things we can’t explain in the bible. Why even question them unless they can be used to strengthen our relationship with God instead of continually putting Him to the test.

    I am a mountain man, have been for over twenty years and I live with the wild life and nature. I can on any day look at what God has created and witness that this didn’t happen by chance or evolution as many claim. Who put the ability in a tiny hummingbird for instance to migrate for hundreds of miles and at the right time migrate right back to the precise spot it left 6-7 months ago? That a tiny bird with the brain smaller than a early pea can stop at exactly the same flower each year on its migration route. Who gave the bear the instinct to come right up to me for a sniff and feel safe?

    That is not chance or random selection and it all points to one – God Himself, and His Son Jesus who came to redeem me and many from our sinful life. You don’t have to live as I do to see it as it is all around us. When we convert God’s time to our measure of time we only distance ourselves from God.

    I personally believe that my God is more than capable enough to have done every one of those ‘hard to logic’ things in the bible and don’t waste my time on questioning any of them. I try to develop and improve instead my daily relationship with Him…Just as Moses couldn’t look at him and hid in a cleft in the rock we can’t look at him either but I know in my heart and soul who he is and I believe and trust him. Is it even worth while to try to logic through how long it took him to build heaven and earth?

    Just my contribution to the Genesis discussion and the outrageous comments on scripture.

  53. poohpity says:

    Yes time as indicated by Peter when the Lord will return we can not measure because we have idea what soon is to God. But Jonah who stayed in the belly of the great fish was compared to the length of time it would take between the crucifixion and the resurrection. To me it is all truth which is more fascinating but if it were not truth than it is only another lie meant to deceive. It is easier for people to believe in Superman because it is a myth than for them to believe in the truth.

    I spend my time searching for truth not only in what is going on around me but spiritually too. Truth stands the test of time, not truth as I understand it but what is actually fact. I get so perplexed in hearing lies which we are surrounded by almost all day long, everyday that knowing what is real and what isn’t is something solid to base my life on. I know others are OK with fantasies but I would rather have some foundation of the unchanging to be secure in.

  54. street says:

    We have not yet seen the full extent of the outrageous works of God the Son in our midst, it seems to me.

    Wave your palm branch on Sunday! It is a political act.


    maru i think we have seen the full extent of God’s Outrageous work in Christ in the life death and resurrection, by faith. what we have not seen is all things returned to a corruption free state. nor have we seen the our faith tested to the shedding of blood. the fact that we do believe leads me to believe God is still active and His Kingdom is here. yes still hidden from the world. just thinking

  55. SFDBWV says:

    I agree with mtman watching nature is an open window to seeing God’s hand in creation. Proof that He is.

    It is so sad that so many never see any wildlife except what they see on TV and it is accompanied with the *lie* of evolution.

    There is an eel that lives out its adult life in the depths of the oceans. Similar to salmon in returning to where they were born, these eels return to Ireland’s rivers and work their way upstream to where the streams are not much more than small creeks in order to breed.

    What makes these eels so special is that as the small creeks curve and course through the terrain, the eels in the dark of the night as well as in the light of the day will leave the creeks and slither overland returning to the creeks and thus eliminating the curves of the creek and thus speed up the time it takes to get to the springhead of the creeks by going in more of a straight line.

    How do they know where the creek is once they leave it and how do they find their way across land in the pitch dark of night right to where they were born?

    Not by accident, but by design.

    Then there is the African termites who build enormous towers the equivalent to humans building skyscrapers miles high, complete with air conditioning from subterranean waters with a series of louvered water drop collection structures vented throughout the tower nest.

    The very structure made of the saliva of the termite allows oxygen in and discharges carbon dioxide out, similar to our lungs.

    And these tiny little insects do it totally in the dark as they are blind to our understanding of sight.

    I can go on and on, but I will leave us this morning with the “discovery” of DNA. So complicated and so aligned with mathematical *order* that the only intelligent explanation for this foundational building block of life is that it was *designed* impossible to have “evolved” into being.

    To deny creation is to deny God, to accept evolution is to accept the lie.

    29 degrees f this morning and snowing.


  56. jeff1 says:

    When I was young it was not unusual to hear preachers preaching that failure to keep the commandments would mean eternal damnation.

    About ten years ago my son who was then a teenager attended a funeral of his young friend who had died from a drugs overdose.

    My son came home very upset because the preacher had said very little of the young man but that he was doomed for hell and that if they were to get involved in such wickedness then they would go there too.

    My son does not believe in God today because he thinks he cannot live up to his expectations.

    Sounds familiar to me because I heard the very same preaching.

    When I heard this young man’s life it was not wickedness but sad circumstances that led him to drugs.

    As long as we have preachers prepared to pass judgement on earth instead of preaching the Gospel of Christ then there will be confusion as to who God is.

    I am old enough to know when someone is preaching their own Gospel and not the truth of the Gospel but in a world where a young generation are looking to Science and Technology for their answers the challenge today is to make ‘Christ’ the example for a younger generation and tell them of His grace and mercy but churches to day would rather focus on man’s failings than God’s mercy and so the cycle of whether God died to save the righteous or the sinner is just as big a dilemma today as it has been throughout history.

    Perhaps it is not so outrageous that there are days that my mind believes that my suffering in life is due to my failing God because it is so embedded in my beliefs.

    Man changes God but ‘Hallelujah’ God does not change and for that I am truly thankful.

  57. foreverblessed says:

    Last night I went to the Mattheus Passioin of Bach.
    In the Concert hall of Amsterdam. It was a singing together event. Everybody could sing with the chorales.
    It is such a great event, and the hall was full, all these people heard the Gospel. And I prayed that God would sow the seed of the words they were singing in the hearts of the people.

    I do take it very literal that Jesus died on the Cross, and took ALL our infirmities in Him. That as He was beaten, the Spirit in Him was stricken, and would be given out to give us healing. I take that very literal. I do believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, my Savior, and not only mine, the Savior for all the world, to all those who accept Him.

    And my prayer is that everybody will accept Him eventually!

    Steve, I do believe that everything exists because God has so designed it! I believe that everthing was made into being, because God spoke, and it stood fast!

    This morning I woke up, and the sun was shining through the clouds, and the sunrays were going in all different directions, it was such a beautiful sight!

    And I thank God for everything!

  58. foreverblessed says:

    The one thing word that hit me last night, while listening to the Passion:


    Be patient

    So I ask God to give me patience. ‘Polease God, give me patience, Your Patience.

    And run this ordeal through.

    Genesis 1:1
    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

    I take that very literal!
    God spoke and it stood fast!

    It was there!

    The heavens and the earth.

    Then something strange is happening, you would say, if God says: earth to be, then the earth must be. In one time, just perfect.
    But then verse 2 says:
    Now the earth was without formless and empty, darkness was over the surfaced of the deep,

    It was not perfect, just the first command He made.
    That is so curious!

    And then it says, the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

    It just does not say for how long the Spirit hovered, neither when that was.

    Why does God do it this way?

    Why did He not make the earth all in one, perfect?

    I believe because He wants to make a point:

    There was chaos, the Hebrew words for formless and void is chaos. And out of chaos of the earth God can create a new thing. As He can do that of this whole great planet, and make a beauty of it, our planet is just the most beautiful planet of all the ones we know,

    so as He made the earth a beauty out of chaos, so He can make our lives into a beauty.

    “That saved a wretch like me
    Once I was lost, but now I am found
    was blind but now I see”

    The beautitudes come to mind

  59. foreverblessed says:

    Those who take the 6 days literal do not take everything in Genesis 1 literal.

    As Gen 1:1-3 says that God created the heavens and the earth.

    that verse does not give a timeline.

    If science finds out that the universe is 13.7 billion years, and the earth is 4,5 billion years, or so around these years,

    then nothing in verse 1 in Genesis is gainsaying that.

    It could be any amount of time between verse 1 and verse 3, when God started to speak: Let there be light.

    And verse 1 says: The heavens and the earth,

    in that order, not the other way round, the earth and the heavens. You might think that the earth is the most important one for humans, so that was mentioned first. No, first the heavens and then the earth.

    Again, nothing gainsaying that is found in history of the earth, the earth is much younger then the universe.

    Anyway, Mtman was saying God’s time is not man’s time, so why would anyone hang on to the numan time, of 24 ours in a day? For God time is different, a thousand years to us is as one day to to Him.

    I really miss Gary this time, last time, he very well made it clear that we should not take the days as literal, as God’s time is His, and not ours.

  60. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed, please, please don’t think I am trying to make you think or believe otherwise. What you want to believe and what gives you peace is between you and God not between you and I.

    I believe in a six day creation because that is what is written in Genesis. Does it seem outrageous that all of creation came about in 6 earth days? Yes if we think like man.

    Genesis 1:1-:5 KJV gives detail to what was created and verse 5 states clearly “And the evening and the morning were the first day.”

    Each consecutive “day” of creation ends with “And the evening and the morning were the second day.” And so forth. Right up to Genesis 1:26-:31 KJV whereby is states continuing, “And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”

    The evening and the morning is one rotation of the earth and *one day* by earth standards.

    Why is this important to me?

    Because if we start at the beginning of the Bible to make it fit our views instead of what is said, there is no continuity of what is truth. Only what we pick out to be so.

    Science wants us to believe in the “Big bang *Theory*”. See there we go again with a *theory* rather than what the written Word of God has already given us.

    Big bang=instantaneous moment in time when the cosmos came into being. From nothing.

    Personally I find it interesting that no matter how far we are able to see with newer telescopes what we see is all the same. No *evolution* of the cosmos into what we know it to be today. All the same, because it came into existence all at the same moment of time.

    Physical time itself being one of the things created by God at that time.

    This is what I believe and I will stand fast on it.

    Believe what you will, I will hold no ill feelings with any who disagree.


  61. joycemb says:

    Matt 16:24
    Taking up one’s cross is not some mystical level of selfless “deeper spiritual life” that only the religious elite can hope to achieve. Nor is it the common trials and hardships that all persons experience sometime in life. A cross is not having an unsaved husband, nagging wife, or domineering mother-in-law. Nor is it having a physical handicap or suffering from an incurable disease. To take up one’s cross is simply to be willing to pay any price for Christ’s sake. It is the willingness to endure shame, embarrassment, reproach, rejection, persecution, and even martyrdom for His sake. (Grace to you dot org)

    Meister Eckhart:
    As long as we look for some kind of pay for what we do, as long as we want to get something from God in some kind of exchange, we are like merchants…By all means do all you can in the way of good works, but do so solely for the praise of God. Live as if you did not exist. Expect and ask nothing in return. Then the merchant inside you will dwell there. See! This is how the temple is cleared: when a person thinks only of God and honors him alone. Only such a person is free and genuine.

  62. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Steve, that means a lot to me. All tough when I read that I did not disagree with you but with the bible, you make me believe that I do disagree with the bible, and you don’t, and that is worrisome to me.
    But as Jesus tells me not to worry, I give all my worries to Him.
    So no ill feelings towards you.

    I only do wonder, why do you not take Gen 1:1-2 literal?

    As the start of the day, when God started speaking, is not made clear. It could be at any moment in time, after that the Holy Spirit hovered above the waters.
    And a great amount of time could have gone before that time!

  63. poohpity says:

    It seems so odd to me that people will believe other people before they believe God. They believe the created above the creator but that is how many are. So where does truth fit in among theories, hypothesis’s which are just the vain imaginations of man trying to figure things out on their own to find answers to the unanswerable. It is like a person putting a puzzle together and when the pieces do not fit they take the scissors and make them fit. Is there then anything one can be sure of unless it makes sense to their own understanding?

  64. SFDBWV says:

    Since for some reason I am cast into being in disagreement with some, I suppose I will continue.

    Be careful of what you read from others experiences with their walk with God. That is their walk and their experience and in some cases their “cross” to bear.

    The execution of Jesus upon the cross was why He came to be born into the world. It was His purpose.

    Yours and my purpose are what, why and how God has in His will for each of us.

    I like some of you have witnessed little children born with horrible disabilities that lived only a few or several years until they finally succumbed to their misfortune and died.

    I like some of you I am sure heard people say how their little lives brought so much joy to others and for some closer to God for all of their tiny little lives.

    It is in my opinion very wrong of anyone to say that someone suffering a disability or a physical malady has nothing to do with their cross to bear.

    I am sorry Joyce I disagree strongly with you on this.

    When Lazarus became sick, Jesus said “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.” John 11:4 KJV

    Lazarus’ “cross to bear” was his sickness and death.

    Many of us are ignorant of our cross to bear because we think we know how to put our cross upon our own shoulders instead of discovering that God has already.


  65. poohpity says:

    It also seems every time a person has something figured out in their own minds God comes along and turns it upside down and that includes teaching from pulpits. Having the Holy Spirit which guides us into all truths. Isaiah 11:2; John 14:17, 26; 1 Tim 4:1; John 8:31-32 NIV

  66. poohpity says:

    But Jesus meant something far deeper than this when He told His disciples to carry their cross. He said to them, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). In Jesus’ day, a cross wasn’t just a symbol of pain and suffering; it was mainly a symbol of death. What Jesus was telling them is that they needed to put to death their own plans and desires, and then turn their lives over to Him and do His will every day.

  67. jeff1 says:

    Have people got a different belief of what faith is?

    My dad believed God is omniscient and did not expect to have answers but trusted God in good times and bad believing that God turned bad into good.

    It seems to my way of thinking that other believers see their faith as being the authority on earth.

    There is a big difference in how each live their lives.

    An example being my dad judged himself harder than another, he did not agree with others because they shared his religion or culture but looked to God for guidance. He never said I told you so when he was proved right over and over again because of sound judgements because he truly believed his guidance/judgements came from God.

    To me that is walking by faith because my dad was trusting God and not on his own beliefs.

    The believer who sees his faith as representing God on earth already believes he has Gods truths and feels he has the right to judge others on earth.

    Does the bible agree with this? Has God chosen those who shall judge those who are lessor in His Kingdom?

    Just thinking here why we think different!

  68. cbrown says:

    Pooh and Steve,your posts 9:39 and 9:51 are not mutually exclusive. In my opinion Steve is talking about a specific application of what Jesus was saying in Luke 9:23.

  69. poohpity says:

    One has to do with life struggles and the other has to do with following God’s will over mine. Life struggles effect everyone that is not bearing their Cross, the Cross was a sign of doing God’s will. To me two different things entirely. Although we were promised suffering, struggles, trials just because we live in a fallen world but following Jesus is turning our hearts, minds, trusting and depending on God isn’t that what Jesus did in carrying His Cross?

  70. poohpity says:

    If a person was beaten, hanged, tortured because they were following God and doing His Will that would be carrying a Cross.

  71. cbrown says:

    “One has to do with life struggles and the other has to do with following God’s will over mine”. Again,not mutually exclusive.

  72. cbrown says:

    A friend was dying of cancer and she lived out her belief that “God does all things good all the time” through her last day on this earth to her Church,family and friends.

  73. cbrown says:

    Galatians 2:20New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and [a]the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

  74. mtman says:

    Trying to keep up with the comments is confusing me because they seem to be going all over the place. What I am sure of however is that when I get to heaven I won’t be asked if I believe how the earth and heaven were created and how long it took God.
    I think I will just wait for the next topic…

  75. poohpity says:

    It is not about knowing those things that make much of a difference but it is growing in a relationship with God that counts. If a person is let’s say married when they first meet they know each other very dimly but after they live together for longer periods of time they know each more intimately and they get closer. That is similar to our relationship with the Lord we desire to know Him more intimately and we are given His very word as a means to do that.(2 Peter 1:2-8 NLT)

    Chris, I hear what you are saying. Let me ask you this; Did that person get cancer because she was sharing the Good News or doing anything else in God’s Will? I understand that it was her faith in God that saw her through that struggle but it was not doing the will of God that caused the cancer. There is often a misconception as what is meant by carrying one’s Cross, I just ask that maybe taking another look at the concept.

  76. street says:

    It is not about knowing those things that make much of a difference but it is growing in a relationship with God that counts.

    i think John had it right when he said Christ must increase and I must decrease. the growing part is correct. the question remains, ” what are we growing on?” ourselves or Christ? Jesus mention two different foundation on which to build. He also mention different materials from which we can build with.

  77. street says:

    been thinking about the picture. sometimes i don’t get to see the pic right away because they sometimes do not load on my pc. i find it interesting. a room with some temperature control and a swing for our amusement. yet before us is an open door. is it worth the risk to give up what we have in order to pass through the door for the unknown? just thinking.

  78. street says:

    thinking about the swing. in the picture the swing is not moving but in reality it is. even the earth beneath your feet is moving, ever so slowly. when we do see it move or feel it move it can be the makings of a breath taking day.
    the Bible speaks of a time when the heavens and the earth will be shaken. everything lose will be removed. only the unmovable will remain. the only thing that is firm is God, He changes not, and His Word. thinking being in Christ is a great place to be. the narrow door. few that find it. let me be found in this restful place. there is no rest anyplace else.

  79. joycemb says:

    That’s outrageous street, that as we grow in our relationship with Christ we actually become less and less until we cease to exist as I posted about earlier today. The door is very narrow indeed. The cost of being loved with an everlasting love! Outrageous!

  80. foreverblessed says:

    Joining beenthinking, I did that at the time because Mart de Haan talked like this:
    It seems to me….
    Could it be that….

  81. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed, of course you are right. It seems here that whatever we may think ends up having to be defended or explained.

    It makes for a very unpleasant experience. I am sorry I will try to do better.


  82. jeff1 says:

    While I long for the fulfilment of God’s plan there is no knowing if I will see it on this earth.

    God’s timing has to be God’s timing and not ours.

    I must remain His obedient servant until He says otherwise.

    To do this I must focus on ‘Christ’ because by doing so I will become more like Him, patient, kind, longsuffering.

    It is when I take my eyes off Him that I run into difficulty, waywardness and confusion.

    What is outrageous is that He never turns me away regardless of past failings and so whom else would I run to when I am lost.


    Apple blossoms bursting wide
    now beautify the tree
    And make a Springtime picture
    that is beautiful to see…
    Oh, fragrant lovely blossoms,
    you’ll make a bright bouquet
    If I but break your branches
    and make your beauty mine,
    You’ll bear no fruit in season
    when severed from the vine…
    And when we cut ourselves away
    from guidance that’s divine,
    Our lives will be as fruitless
    as the branch without the vine…
    For as the flowering branches
    depend upon the tree
    To nourish and fulfil them
    till they reach futurity,
    We too must be dependent
    on our Father up above,
    For we are but the branches
    and He’s the Tree of Love.

  83. jeff1 says:

    Precious Lord, take my hand
    Lead me on, let me stand
    I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m worn
    Through the storm, through the night
    Lead me on to the light
    Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

    When my way grows drear, precious Lord linger near
    When my light is almost gone
    Hear my cry, hear my call
    Hold my hand, lest I fall
    Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home

    When the darkness appears and the night draws near
    And the day is past and gone
    At the river I stand
    Guide my feet, hold my hand
    Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home

    Precious Lord, take my hand
    Lead me on, let me stand
    I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m worn
    Through the storm, through the night
    Lead me on to the light
    Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home (lead me home)

  84. poohpity says:

    Had Jesus never come the Pharisees and other teachers would have stayed stuck in their old beliefs never growing by being challenged in their way of thinking, traditions, doctrines which would have prevented them from knowing that people did not have to go through them to have a relationship with God. Solomon put it this way, “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” (Proverbs 18:17) Ravi Zacharias puts it this another way, “Let my people think” because he realized that if we listen to the same ol’ same ol’ and just believe without thinking about things it is similar to brainwashing.

    It would seem that we are often stuck in listening to many teachers and they often seem to trust in the fact that no one will challenge anything they say but take it as fact. It is not belittling or a personal attack to have traditions, thinking, opinions challenged it just means we want to think so we can learn and grow in our understanding. God does not seem to want us to go to others but to come to Him asking for wisdom to learn about the very things He Himself has inspired and had written. It is something that everyone has available to them if they really want to know.

  85. poohpity says:

    It is just another means of control, oppression and pride if we never want to have anything we say challenged. Meanwhile God seems to sit back and chuckle that we think we know so much when we just don’t really have a clue and then argue over our ignorance.

  86. poohpity says:

    Now this to me is “Outrageous”

    “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

    For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Romans 5:1-11)

  87. joycemb says:

    So how then do we explain our fascination with him? And why do we wish everyone would just believe in and trust him? Is it because when he says “…………….”, we believe and trust that he’s thinking of something—far better than we are?

    “Follow me” So many think following carries negative connotations as we are programmed by this world to think. But Jesus is so different! Following Him means getting out of the stew and into a better kingdom where love, joy, and peace rule because He is the ruler! Outstanding and outrageous!

  88. street says:

    It is just another means of control, oppression and pride if we never want to have anything we say challenged. Meanwhile God seems to sit back and chuckle that we think we know so much when we just don’t really have a clue and then argue over our ignorance.

    when job was taken to task, he was asked how much he really knew. if i remember correctly he could not answer one of God’s questions. yet as a seeker of truth and willing to go where the truth leads him, job found what he was looking for. it cost him much, but he was a Righteous man. i sometimes forget that and get lost in the events that unfolded in his life and my own. it is when and only when i return to Christ that things are put into perspective. paul claimed he only wanted to know Christ and Him crucified. this is true, later he said so for the reason to know Christ Resurrected life! Happy Easter my fellow travelers!

  89. street says:

    trust and obey,
    for there is no other way,
    to be happy in Jesus,
    but to trust and obey.

    Hebrews 1:9
    You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”

    our joy is in Christ.

  90. jeff1 says:

    To my way of thinking this modern world has new challenges for followers of Christ as Science and Technology increase and believers in God decrease.

    There is a younger generation who are turning away from Godliness as they are being educated into a new world system.

    Religions which dominate the world want to attract people to their church as opposed to Jesus’s way.

    They forget that God has His ways too, I know this because I see Him at work so its business as usual for those of us who trust God and in doing so allow ourselves a peace that seems alien to this world.

  91. joycemb says:

    NLT john 16:33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

  92. poohpity says:

    Viv, what you said about religions also pertains to governments as well. I am reading this book about how religions are used to dominate people. The name of the book is “Lies We Believe About God” by Wm. Paul Young the guy who wrote “The Shack” it is very interesting. It combats a lot of false beliefs, not saying I agree with everything it says but a lot of it makes sense.

  93. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Joyce, we must be focused on God and not on what others say as false beliefs are widespread but God is always with us in Spirit regardless of what happens to us in the flesh so that we too shall overcome the enemy whether it comes from within or from around us we are conquerors with Jesus who has overcome the world and the evil within it.

    Stand up! stand up for Jesus!
    Ye soldiers of the cross;
    Lift high His royal banner,
    It must not suffer loss:
    From vict’ry until vict’ry
    His army shall He lead,
    Till every foe is vanquished
    And Christ is Lord indeed.

    Stand up! stand up for Jesus!
    Ye soldiers of the cross;
    Lift high His royal banner,
    It must not, it must not suffer loss.

    Stand up! stand up for Jesus!
    The trumpet call obey;
    Fourth to the mighty conflict
    In this His glorious day.
    Ye that are men, now serve Him
    Against unnumbered foes;
    Let courage rise with danger.
    And strength to strength oppose.

    Stand up! stand up for Jesus!
    Stand in His strength alone;
    The arm of flesh will fail you;
    Ye dare not trust your own.
    Put on the gospel armour,
    And, watching onto prayer,
    Where duty calls, or danger,
    Be never wanting there.

    Stand up! stand up for Jesus!
    The strife will not be long:
    This day the noise of battle,
    The next the victor’s song;
    To Him that overcometh
    A crown of life shall be;
    He, with the King of Glory,
    Shall reign eternally.

  94. jeff1 says:

    Listening to the gospel hour this morning on the radio and the words of this song reminded me of truths that I can so easily forget.

    I never said I would give you silver or gold
    Or that you would never feel the fire or shiver in the cold
    But I did say you’d never walk through this world alone
    And I did say, don’t make this world your home

    I never said that fear wouldn’t find you in the night
    Or that loneliness was something you wouldn’t have to fight
    But I did say I’d be there by your side
    And I did say I’d always help you fight

    ‘Cause you know that I made a promise I intend to keep
    My grace will be sufficient in every time of need
    My love will be the anchor that you can hold onto
    This is the promise, this is the promise I made to you

    I never said that friends would never turn their back on you
    Or that the world around you wouldn’t see you as a fool
    But I did say like me, you’d surely be despised
    And I did say my ways confound the wise

    I didn’t say you’d never taste the bitter kiss of death
    Or have to enter chilly Jordan to enter into rest
    But I did say I’d be waiting right on the other side (yeah, yeah)
    And I did say I’d dry every tear you cry

    ‘Cause you know I made a promise that I’ve prepared a place
    And some day sooner than you think you’ll see me face to face
    And you’ll sing with the angels and a countless multitude
    This is the promise, this is the promise I’ve made to you
    So just keep on walkin’, don’t turn to the left or right
    And in the midst of darkness, let this be your light
    That hell can’t separate us and your gonna make it through
    This is the promise, this is the promise I made to you, oh
    This is the promise, this is the promise I made to you

  95. foreverblessed says:

    This morning I posted a comment, but it was lost in transition.

    Error conncecting to database

    Thanks Steve, thank you very very much, you are welcome!

    what I was trying to say: God did not rebuilt the earth from chaos into a beauty in six literal 24 hour days.

    That is what I wanted to say, neither did I state that God was not unable to say :

    Let there be light, and there was Light. In fact, if you read carefully what I did say, is that God is very very well capable of doing that,m not only to the earthly things, but even more importantly: To our spiriual status of our hearts. And that the whole reason of the bible is for God to have an intimate relation with our hearts, through jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Lord and Savior!

    Now, Paul became a Greek to the Greeks, and a Jew to the Jews. So if we want to spread the Gospel to unbelieving people, and say this;

    God created the earth in 6 days, 6000 years ago.

    Why? they ask. We answer: because Genesis 1 says so.

    That would be totally ridiculous to scientist, who found out that the universe and the earth are multiple biliion of years old (indeed it is impossible to say exactly how old, but more than a couple of billion years it is for sure, so that is way more than a couple of thousand years)

    Now, it is not about what you believe yourselves, you can believe that God created the earth 6000 years ago, and that God gave the earth a history in its geology that makes it seem as if it is 4,5 billion years old. It looks like that from this side of history.

    That the bible, if taken literally says it just happened in 6 days, is no proof to a scientist.

    Let me explain, by paraphrasing the creation of the earth with God creating a tree:

    If God would create a tree just now, He creates it with year rings. There is history to the tree so to speak.
    When I can believe that God created it in 6 minutes. It would be easy to believe it if I actually saw that happening.

    but …. someone else who is not there, who did not see the miracle, and comes in later, when the tree is alreaday there. And I say: God has done a miracle, this tree he created in 6 minutes. The person looks at the tree, and he make a cut, and starts to count the rings, and then says: Well, that is not true: I count 30 rings, and so the tree is 30 years old.

    ANd now you start to answer: But that is science, do not believe science, It says in this book, the bible, that God made this tree in 6 minutes, and you open the bible, Gen 1 and there it talks about the tree being made in 6 days. (As a paraphrase of the creation of the earth)

    That unbelieving person would start reading, and then say to you: It is allright that it says so in this book, but when I do an inspection on the tree I see that it has 30 yearrings and it is 30 years old. So what about that book of yours, is that all fantasy?

    If you would like to get the message of the Gospel to that unbelieving person, keep the exact way of how God created that tree as He described in Genesis 1 as being literal, keep it to yourself.

    Do not start to try to persuade that the literal meaning of the bible is true, as science shows a whole history to that tree with his own eyes he can see it.

    See what I try to say? The bible is about Jesus, the Son of God, coming to earth, and saving mankind from eternal death. Giving them eeternal life, to all those who do believe in Him.

    Well, that is a miracle, a person who sees Jesus! That is the message of the bible.

    And we screw it up totally to the scientists to show out of the bible that the earth is made in 6 days, and even more exact: 6000 years ago.

    THAT is what I am trying to say.

    We want to save the scientist, the unbelievers. ANd talk to them as Paul became a greek to the greeks.

    The thing that you can say to a scientist, and unbeliever, is this:

    The first law of Physics is that energy goes from one stage to another. There can be no energy unless there was some form of energy before.

    SO the Big Bang, could not have happened, according to that first law of Energy.


    The first law of thermodynamics is a version of the law of conservation of energy, adapted for thermodynamic systems. The law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system is constant; energy can be transformed from one form to another, but can be neither created nor destroyed.)

    Do you see what is stated there?

    Can neither be created ….

    So in science itself there is a means of trying to persuade the scientist:

    If you say there is No God, No Big Bang could have happened.

    There you go!

    You do not start to say that the big bang did not happen, as many christians believe that it did not happen, as for me, if God created within a split second but started indeed with a big bang, the first matter into being, then there is evidence of a big bang to be found in the universe, and it is no use of saying it was not there.

    Am I clear now?

    We are trying to save the unbelievers, and the scientists. We use the bible to show that God wants a relation with us, the God of the Beginnings, there is No energy, if there was not a first Cause, and that first Cause we believe is God.

    To rehearse what I was trying to say:
    (Yes, I have been a teacher)

    “Do not count the tree rings (we call them yearrings in Dutch), just read the bible in Genesis 1 and see how it was made.”

    That is the impact of how many creationists try to persuade the unbelievers and scientists.

  96. foreverblessed says:

    And Jeff, thanks for these two beautiful songs.

    The first one, Stand up stand up for Jesus

    That song I sang in church when I was 6 years old. and “What a friend we have in Jesus”

    And at the end of conventions we would sing “Till we meet, till we meet, God be wiwth you till we meet again”

    and several others. Till the heads of church decided that the words were not found in te bible literally, and the songs were taken out of the songbook.

    The wording was not literally from the bible! Imagine.

    I was about 9 when they decided that. And I did not have the notion, nor would I have had the guts to make my decision and leave that church. But God has forgiven me.

    And now I sing these songs with so much intention! Loving every word of them

  97. jeff1 says:

    Why are we trying to prove God exists when it is faith that pleases God or am I missing the point?

    I am not trying to be difficult but just wondering about your post, Forever, as I would tend to think that it is God who extends His mercy to unbelievers as Jesus would say ‘Forgive them Father for they know not what they do’.

    I am glad you enjoyed the songs.

  98. joycemb says:

    Interesting study on the meaning of ‘day’. This is from the Torah times dot org:

    The development of the meaning of “day” started with Genesis 1:5, where God defined it as the “light”. This is the default definition of day in a biblical context, and even the 24 hour definitions of a day pay some heed to it. (No one ever calls a “night” off by itself without some part of a day before or after it a “day”.) In Genesis 2:4, “day” means a period of time that indicates 6 days. In Genesis 2:17, the word “day” means a period of time lasting one thousand years. So also with the “day of the LORD”. Even in English we might say, “He was a strong man in his day”, and the way we tell the difference between this idiomatic usage and the literal usage is simply context, the main rule being that if the first definition makes good sense, then it is the sense meant, otherwise look at the others.

  99. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, indeed, you are missing my point.
    But never mind, I do not think that you try to persuade an unbeliever into believing that God created the earth in 6 days, so this is not an issue for you.

  100. joycemb says:

    Think I’ll stick with Jewish translators to translate what they wrote in the first place.

  101. joycemb says:

    I personally love all things scientific but they still can’t figure out how things all began and must admit to an unknowable source, yet the word of God tells us the Source and like you said Viv we take it by faith or not. An unbeliever whether a scientist or a dog catcher both need to submit to a higher power at some point. (Not all scientists or dog catchers are unbelievers)

  102. jeff1 says:

    There is always the possibility that God will use science to prove Himself and so put an end to the disagreements.

    It takes a believer to believe that it is man who messes up and God who cleans up and to that end the best has yet to come.

    Known only to Him are the great hidden secrets
    I’ll fear not the darkness when my flame shall dim
    I know not what the future holds
    But I know who holds the future
    It’s a secret known only to Him

    In this world of fear and doubt
    On my knees I ask the question
    Why a lonely, heavy cross I must bear
    Then He tells me in my prayer
    it’s because I am trustworthy
    He gives me strength far more than my share

    Known only to Him are the great hidden secrets
    I’ll fear not the darkness when my flame shall dim
    I know not what the future holds
    But I know who holds the future
    It’s a secret known only to Him

  103. joycemb says:

    I personally think the biggest difficulty the scientific mind has is understanding the outrageousness of being loved without conditions, reason, comparisons, measure etc. Two different parts of the brain involved there also. Which one do I need to develop more?

  104. joycemb says:

    I’ll leave the apologetic to scientists like forever though as I surely don’t have enough training! Fascinating though, truly fascinating! My training was in liberal arts.

  105. poohpity says:

    Scientists had to grow a tree from a sapling to understand how to measure it’s life by the rings. They did not just cut a tree down and determine what the rings meant. As science measures time it is also just speculation or theory because they have no basis to measure it to. So if they say something is 10 billion years old what do they have as a genesis point to base it on? Listen of read some of Os Guinness’s stuff or RZIM

  106. poohpity says:

    Some of science’s explanations are just as outrageous as what we find in the bible.

  107. street says:

    Why did Jesus give thoughtful people so many reasons to doubt and reject him?

    1 Timothy 6:4
    they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions

    2 Timothy 2:14
    [ Dealing With False Teachers ] Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen

    thinking about two people on the Titanic auguring over how the deck chairs should be arraigned.

    on an even more outrageous note….an elderly woman drops two mites into the treasure in which it will be completely destroyed in a few years….and God takes special note of it.

    isn’t the One who made the outside of the dish the same One Who made the inside?

    Matthew 22:21
    “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

  108. joycemb says:

    Isaiah 55:1-2 NIV

  109. poohpity says:

    In the beginning there was no chaos because there was nothing for chaos to happen. It was created intelligently, with purpose and in systematic order. Scientist have tried to recreate things only to have devastating flaws and the reason that I know that is because the lower half of my body is made of metal replacements and trust me they do not work as well as the original for just one of a vast many examples. Or cloning look at how that worked out.

    To share the Good News we have proof of what has happened in our lives. It is the Lord who draws people to Himself and uses our mouth to tell His story. He does not need us but we are part of Him and His community and we need to feel useful so He gives us that privilege. He gave so many reasons to doubt and fear Him because He will not force anyone to love Him and when they realize the love He has for them/us it casts out fear.

  110. SFDBWV says:

    Yesterday being Palm Sunday this is the week Jesus spends in Jerusalem with His friends as He presents us with the Last Supper or Seder.

    It is this week that Jesus prays for His Disciples and we are given so much knowledge and hope in His comments as recorded in John chapters 13 through 18 and of course the events in the Garden of Gethsemane, His arrest trial, torture and murder.

    It is this week in history whereby the outrage of the original sin is paid in full through Jesus of Nazareth and any or all of us can have hope in a better life and certainly in a better eternity.

    This week is rich with Christian doctrine and I for one want to think about that each day.

    There within the pages of my Bible is a tuft of hair I had the nurses cut from Matt’s hair when he lay in a coma awaiting what the doctors said would be his last hours. It is there at John 14 where my hope is explained and where I find peace in the words and promises of Jesus of Nazareth, “Let not your heart be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in Me.”

    Happy Easter week.


  111. jeff1 says:

    Joyce April 9 3.55 pm post

    I personally think the biggest difficulty the scientific mind has is the outrageousness of being loved without reasons, conditions, comparisons, measure etc.

    My dear Joyce it may surprise you to know that I struggle with the same truths.

    The mind is where the struggle is because my heart tells me much more about God and if it where not for the heart I would not understand God in any shape or form.

    Home is where the heart is
    And my heart is anywhere you are
    Anywhere you are is home
    I don’t need a mansion on a hill
    That overlooks the sea
    Anywhere you’re with me is home

    Maybe I’m a rolling stone
    Who won’t amount to much
    But everything that I hold dear
    is close enough to touch

    For home is where the heart is
    And my heart is anywhere you are
    Anywhere you are is home

    Maybe I’m a rolling stone
    That won’t amount to much
    But everything that I hold dear
    is close enough to touch

    For home is where the heart is
    And my heart is anywhere you are
    And anywhere you are is home

  112. foreverblessed says:

    Again a beautiful poem Jeff!
    THis is the week that in the garden where Adam and Eve screwed it up, now in the same garden Jesus sat everything straight again>
    The Chaos in our lives He sets right again.
    In Him all things are possible.
    No sickness is too severe He can’t heal.
    No sin is bigf enough He can’t forgive.
    ( well, the sin against the Holy Spirit, but that is not what I want, so I do not worry about it)

    In Christ we are victorious!

    This is for Pooh:

    Genesis 1:1-2

    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

    And the earth was in chaos and empty.

    darkness was over the face of the earth, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

    Hebrew words: tohu is chaos, confusion, waste land, see Strong’s concordance 8414

  113. foreverblessed says:

    And Joyce, thank you so much for trying to understand what I am trying to say! Many many thanks!

    We can say: oh, science has got it all wrong. Or we can go alongside the scientist, and see where we can have a point of interest. Like Paul walked in Athens and saw the shrine for the unknown God.
    So I find that the Big Bang is a better place to start, there is no Big Bang according to the first law of thermodynamics, as I gave yesterday.
    There must be a First Cause, the Origin from where energy/matter comes from. It is impossible for matter just to appear out of nothing.

    THAT is the part where with we can talk to scientists, and unbelievers. Not that science has got it all wrong. They could be wrong a million years here and there, but that is in the realm of billion years where of we speak, not such a big deal. Or they could be wrong a thousand years here and there, but in the thousand upon thousand of years not a big deal. It is still much more than a day.
    (energy and matter are according to Einstein the same thing in differnet forms)

  114. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    So appreciate your 5:02 a.m. post, Steve! Here we are, having shouted Hosanna! Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord! on Sunday.

    The church around the world will journey with the Lord Jesus this week — until on Thursday night we re-member the meal at which He gave bread and wine a new meaning in our lives.

    On Friday, we will re-member Jesus’ outrageous surrender of His life for our sake. Hallelujah what a Savior! It is our privilege to make this perfected Exodus with the rabbi from Nazareth, who makes all things new.

    Blessings to all who keep watch and pray until Resurrection Day!

    1. Man of Sorrows! what a name
    for the Son of God, who came
    ruined sinners to reclaim.
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!

    2. Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
    in my place condemned he stood;
    sealed my pardon with his blood.
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!

    3. Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
    spotless Lamb of God was he;
    full atonement can it be?
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!

    4. Lifted up was he to die;
    “It is finished!” was his cry;
    now in heaven exalted high.
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!

    5. When he comes, our glorious King,
    all his ransomed home to bring,
    then anew this song we’ll sing:
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!


    5C/41F in the valley with a pause in the rain — forecast to pour later today. Ah, Spring! April showers, you know.

  115. poohpity says:

    forever, out of the void which means complete emptiness and darkness then started a formation. There were no planets or stars until the fourth day. I am not arguing, I just believe what the bible says from the experience of not finding anything yet that disproves what it says. I have searched not mindlessly but with much thought,study and a lot of faith. So to present someone with the Gospel even if they are a scientist or whatever I do not have to have all the answers about creation but I do have to believe in what I believe. I could not point someone to read the bible if I did not believe in it’s authenticity, truth, authority and reliability which I do. I have many questions but I go to the source or in other words the author of life itself.

    “And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

  116. poohpity says:

    I also believe since it was Moses who wrote Genesis that it was God who dictated or described to Moses so he could write it down. I do also believe that God does not lie nor would He lead us astray. I also believe in God’s omniscience, a power to great for my mind to fathom. Read Job 38

  117. joycemb says:

    Hallelujah! What a Savior!

  118. poohpity says:

    That great powerful God who because of His love for His creation had a plan from the beginning to lay down His deity and power to walk among us for the sole purpose of restoring a relationship with us because we hid from God. This week we celebrate that purpose and each week as we gather together we take communion in remembrance of that reason. To be reminded everyday not just this season that God desires an intimate relationship with us, not just us but with the whole world. That we should celebrate every single day of our lives not just the Passion Week.

  119. jeff1 says:


    God of love – Forgive! Forgive!
    Teach us how to truly live,
    Ask us not our race or creed,
    Just take us in our hour of need,
    And let us know You love us too,
    And that we are a part of You…
    And someday may man realize
    That all the earth, the sea and skies
    Belong to God who made us all,
    The rich, the poor, the great, the small,
    And in the Father’s Holy Sight
    No man is yellow, black or white,
    And peace on earth cannot be found
    Until we meet on common ground
    And every man becomes a brother
    Who worships God and loves each other.

  120. street says:

    Even today, honest people have reasons to wonder. Jesus didn’t read the Scriptures the way we are taught to literally read them. He had what we might be inclined to call—the gall—of saying that if people believed in Moses, they would believe in him, and that if they didn’t believe in him, neither did they believe Moses.

    to delight in them and love the Author?
    i admit it is hard to rejoice in persecution or even in death. thinking rejoicing in Christ is a better alternative, the resurrected One. He is LORD of the living and the dead.

  121. street says:

    teach us to love….
    following Jesus will do this or it will kill us.
    the stumbling stone.

  122. foreverblessed says:

    The bible is all about Jesus our Savior.

    In Dutch Savior means Heiland.

    Heil is well being, an old dutch word, we do not use it anymore. But christians use the word Heiland, and that is very old fashioned. Redder would be a more modern word.

    But anyway, Heiland is the word, and weiland is a meadow. So in a program on tv, where a christian interview people who have lost the faith, Adieu God, is the title. The person said: I knew what a “weiland” was, but I didn’t what a “Heiland” was.

    It is tradition here in Western Europe that the Mattheus Passion is on before Eastern. In churches everywhere it is being heard. Tonight in our big city church, a very old church, from 1300 somewhat. And the whole story of the Passion from Matthew is played in music and singing.

    That is so wonderful, many people who have left the faith, still go there every year, and listen to it. We went last week, as I told you, my son and his girlfriend were there too. My youngest son, he knows in the back of his mind God is there, I know, God will call him sometime. And I am praying for his girlfriend, she is very atheistic. That God would reveal Jesus in her heart!

    That is the big miracle, that Jesus is revealed to people.

    And we are the walking and talking bible!

  123. foreverblessed says:

    I want to say to Pooh:

    You are very well capable of bypassing the literal meaning of Genesis 1.

    You just dismiss the Gen 1: 2 meaning of the word Tohu.

    So I guess you would be allright if you would find out, that God did not create the earth before He created the stars and sun.

    When I was about 6 I was being told that in Genesis 1:14 I should read that God b rought forth the light, as He had said in verse 1 that He had created the heavens already, so the stars were there already. So I do not have a problem with the fact that maybe, the earth was younger than the sun.

    But I was worrying that you Pooh, would tell God: If I have been lied to about the earht not being made before the sun and stars, how can I trust the rest of the bible? That you would start to think that God did not send Jesus either, to save us.

    You said that you did not mind to be challenged in your faith, so that is why I ask this:

    It could be possible, did you ever consider it, that when you are on heavens door, that an angel could take you to the side and say: Pooh, we have seen what you have stated in April 2017, we want to tell you right now: God did not make the earth before the sun and stars, He meant to say: He brought them forth, so as to tell all the heathen nations, the sun and moon and stars are not to be worshipped.

    Now that you know this, our question to you is:

    Pooh, do you still believe that Jesus is your Savior?

  124. SFDBWV says:

    Upon Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem He stopped and lamented about the fact that because they (Jerusalem) did not recognize the “time of your visitation” destruction was coming. We wept.

    The first ting Jesus does is throw the money lenders out of the temple.

    Why do you suppose the personification of grace and forgiveness had no tolerance for these men?

    Maybe to show His authority. Maybe in order to cleanse the temple in preparation for His teaching. Maybe because it is written that the love of His Father’s house would be His undoing.

    It is said that if the money lenders did their business outside of the temple there in the streets of Jerusalem it would not have mattered, but it was disrespectful to God in order to conduct business inside the house of worship.

    This upset Jesus.

    It sometimes is hard for us to think of Jesus being angry at any. But in the coming days He displayed His anger in two ways by countering the attacks against His teaching with truth and sometimes by just walking away.

    From the outset the Chief Priest and scribes sought to have Him killed. To silence Him.

    Why do you suppose they hated Him so?

    Maybe because He told the truth and the truth stung them to fury. Maybe because He was popular with the people. Maybe they seen Him as a threat to their special privileges and place in society. Maybe because they were jealous.

    Anyway they sought to have Him Killed as soon as He entered Jerusalem filled with people for the Passover over celebration.

    This is an exciting week filled with treasured teaching from our Lord and the fulfilment of a promise from God at a horrible cost.

    51 degrees and clear under a full moon.


  125. SFDBWV says:

    Watching a little of Billy Graham TV this morning with Franklin Graham showing the persecution of and determination of Christians in Iraq and Sudan.

    I am both ashamed and thankful to live in such safety and peace here in the USA while our brothers and sisters are being tortured and killed for their faith today in this area of the world.

    They ask for prayers.

    Odd, it seems that if all it took were prayers they would not be in harm’s way at all. I wonder what we are not doing in order to help them that we can and should.


  126. jeff1 says:

    Thinking Street that we ‘may’ have to go through persecution and death for the sake of the truth of why Jesus came!

    It is evident in the Bible which is about Jesus and His followers that suffering was a big part of their lives.

    It is also evident that they lead anything but sinless lives and yet God used them to His good purpose.

    That means that even today God may use the most unlikely characters to accomplish His Kingdom.

    God is not like us He does not cherry pick as to whom He uses which makes Him unpredictable in His choosing.

    God will use others whom would not be on my Christmas card list to make me eat humble pie and submit to His authority showing me that He decides who enters His Kingdom.

    Thinking of my country and who is in authority and they would not have been my choosing so you see were I am coming from!

    What is outrageous? Me thinking I have control over what or whom God chooses! God has a way of bringing me right back down to earth!

    God is teaching me truths about myself that I have been trying not to face!

    Somebody Cares

    Somebody cares and always will,
    The world forgets but God loves you still,
    You cannot go beyond His Love
    No matter what you’re guilty of-
    For God forgives until the end,
    He is your faithful, loyal friend,
    And though you try to hide your face
    There is no shelter any place
    That can escape His watchful eye,
    For on the earth and in the sky
    He’s ever present and always there
    To take you in His tender care
    And bind the wounds and mend the breaks
    When all the world around forsakes…
    Somebody cares and loves you still
    And God is the Someone who always will.

  127. poohpity says:

    forever we do not have to wait to get to heaven to know those things that is why He left His Spirit here to teach us and lead us into all truths also to correct us when we have wrong thinking, for those who really want to know. Without first having a relationship with Christ I doubt if the desire to even read the bible would be there nor would there be the Helper to be our guide.

  128. joycemb says:

    Thinking of this special week of remembrance of our faith. When I think of all Jesus went through to atone for our sin, what Paul said to the Galatians comes to mind, “I have been crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me”. It’s costly to lay down my sins and make room for Jesus. Belief is easy, dying is the hard part. Interesting how the less there is of me the more of Jesus in this human shell. (I don’t always give up easily).For every agonizing step Jesus took-physically, mentally and emotionally it became grace and an opening for me to squeeze through. Just a closer walk with thee….its up to me how close I want to get to Him. No one can do it for me whether through coercion or lies even. Watch out for the devil this Holy Week, he’s extra busy hating and misleading; often using our unknown sins against us to divert attention from our Messiah Jesus who has won the battle for life everlasting. It is finished! The war is over but the battle is still on and we have the power to receive Gods truth or not. Choose wisely this Holy Week whom you will serve. Your life depends on it.

  129. mtman says:

    I think to understand the comments here – which is confusing to me, it is wise to read the Barna poll on the State of the Church. Just because some refer to themselves as Christian does not mean all actually are Christian. Beliefs are all over the spectrum.

    I wonder whether you ascribe to the big bang theory or the creation as described in Genesis what difference this dialog has made. I haven’t seen any minds changed – just purported Christians digging their heels in harder to support their personal belief.

    I happen to believe just like I stated before. God is a powerful God and capable of doing precisely what the bible says. The debate on what it says proves nothing except how we Christians can take a part of the bible and debate it to a stand off.

    How old is the world; which was created first; the heavens or the earth is a waste of time as none of us were there so we don’t know. Science says the earth is a certain age but they don’t actually know for sure so why dispute the issue. If they say 6 billion years let them have it. What I do know is each scientific journey to prove the bible wrong fails.

    Moses wrote Genesis? No one knows for sure and that is pure speculation. Native American tribes passed history down by word of mouth accurately for generations. What difference does it make if Moses wrote Genesis or if Tom Jones wrote it. You either believe it or not. That is what faith is all about.

    I personally believe that debating these biblical parts does not do anything but put distance between us and God. This is Holy week and instead of placing our focus on the events that took place and rejoicing over what was done for us to reconcile us to God we draw lines in the sand over something we can’t prove or disprove because we were not there. Trying to one up each other doesn’t seem Christian to me.

    Personally I find the dialog in these comments wasteful and distracting and believe what ever you will – it doesn’t make a bit of difference in the long run. Like I said before when I get to the gates of heaven I don’t think one of the questions I will be asked will be who wrote Genesis or specifically which was formed first the earth or heaven.. Nor will I be asked how old the earth is…

    I wonder what those who do not contribute by making comments on this blog think of Christians after reading these comments.

    It seems to me that more people are drawn to being Christian by seeing how we live our lives and why as opposed to how well we can articulate the age of the earth or heavens or who wrote Genesis.

  130. SFDBWV says:

    Joyce I always loved the hymn “It is Finished”.

    “It is finished, the conflict of the ages. It is finished there will be no more war. It is finished the battle is over. It is finished and Jesus is Lord.”

    I love that old song, but many of us the battle had only begun.


  131. joycemb says:

    Yes I also love that song Steve! A triumph of Jesus overcoming death and the devil!

  132. poohpity says:

    Isn’t it a little hard to see how others live their lives since we are writing on a blog and discussing topics? It would make no difference if we saw their lives anyway again we are completely unable to know what is in a person’s heart or mind that is God’s area of expertise not ours.

    What is your definition of a Christian, mtman?

  133. joycemb says:

    Mtman I saw that Barna poll result the other day also. Not surprising really. We live in the age of “easy believe-ism”, “cheap grace”, and with tolerance (fear really) on the throne. It’s a narrow walk, I’ve always seen it as a foot path with lots of obstacles but I can always hear my saviors voice calling and compelling me not to get too distracted with all things “Christian” or otherwise. Bless the LORD oh my soul.

  134. jeff1 says:


    In this fast-moving world
    of turmoil and tension,
    With problems and troubles,
    too many to mention,
    Our days are so crowded
    and our hours are so few,
    There’s so little time
    and so much to do…
    We are pressured and pushed
    until we are “dizzy,”
    There’s never a minute
    we’re not “crazily busy,”
    And sometimes we wonder
    as we rush through the day-
    Does God really want us
    to hurry this way?
    Why are we impatient
    and continually vexed,
    And often bewildered,
    disturbed and perplexed?
    Perhaps we’re too busy
    with our own selfish seeking
    To hear the dear Lord
    when He’s tenderly speaking….
    We are working so tensely
    in our self-centred way,
    We’ve no time for listening
    to what God has to say,
    And hard as we work,
    at the end of the day
    We know in our hearts
    we did not “pay our way”…
    But God in His mercy
    looks down on us all,
    And though what we’ve done
    is so pitifully small,
    He makes us feel welcome
    to kneel down and pray
    For the chance to do better
    as we start a new day,
    And life would be better
    if we learned to rely
    On our Father in heaven
    without asking “why”…
    And if we’d remember
    as we rush through the day,
    “The Lord is our Shepherd
    and He’ll lead the way”…
    So don’t rush ahead
    in reckless endeavour.
    Remember “He leadeth”
    and “Time is forever”!

  135. joycemb says:

    Speaking of Christian, Francis Spafford wrote in a book about how the term Christian was first used by unbelievers to shame those who followed Jesus because of the guilt they all shared (being the community of the guilty) and helping the poor whom they couldnt identify with. Blessed are the poor, meek, etc. Jesus said. Its a very narrow path. Lord have mercy.

  136. mtman says:

    Definition of Christian is: ‘A follower of Jesus Christ’. If you were looking for something more detailed than that you are going to be disappointed, it is that simple.

    If the debate stimulates your love of the Lord then it is good but if it does not do the same for the other debating parties then not so good. I see the debate on this blog distracting not stimulating – therefore not drawing people closer to Jesus but farther away.

    I see how Steve lives his life by what he writes. I don’t think it is that hard if one only looks carefully. Tell me one person whom you know exactly what is in their heart? Are you sure, because we are often deceived and I can tell more about a person from how they live their life,of which there are only a couple on this blog that appear to fit that bill. There are others that like to distract and make mountains out of mole hills.

    I think you missed the entire point in what I wrote. Debating to a stand still or deadlock makes no sense to me as a Christian. You might want to look at that Barna poll as to how some Christians view themselves.

    I could call myself a chicken too but if I can’t lay eggs, cackle. scratch the ground for food with three toes, sadly I’m not a chicken but just a deceived make believe.

    I think if a mindless and un-provable debate is desired then take it off the blog to a chat room where it belongs. All I see on this site now is people taking the subject topic on side tracks that go no where which doesn’t attract others to Jesus but serves as a very poor example.

    Mart starts a discussion and then it heads off in another direction and debate or disagreement ensues. I don’t see it coming to a good end and its not building other Christians up but trying to demean them. Others may not be as strong as you are with all the answers and creating doubt or debate doesn’t help them much.

    My opinion strictly and personally I’d like to see a blog that does more than this and helps others not by empty placating words but sincere effort. Example: ‘I have been where you are and ______ helped me but it took time’. Instead I see argument and superiority.

  137. poohpity says:

    That is what you see from your perspective but it does not make it a reality. Yes it is that simple a Christian is a follower/disciple of Jesus! One who learns from Jesus and what he taught. What did Jesus teach His disciples?

    Anybody, believer or non-believer, can do good things for people that does not make them a Christian. It is how one treats those who they disagree with or those they deem as enemies or those who have differing skin color, gender or socioeconomic status, mental illness, the one’s that people will go to the other side of the street to avoid, that shows what and who we believe in. I for one do not follow Steve nor do I look to him as an example to follow because I follow Jesus and that is good enough for me.

    Who has taken the discussion off topic? So much of what we have been talking about has so much to do with the topic even the outrageousness of the creation in 6 days. Who filled in the blanks or answered the questions Mart posed? Did you mtman? I know you did not but the complaint about whether others did or not still surfaces. So is it a matter of do not do as I do but as I say? Maybe it could be people who do not learn from what others write think they know it all already.

  138. poohpity says:

    Anyone who knows that the bible is available to everyone as well as the Holy Spirit to the believer feels no superiority to others because we all should realize we are all still learning and if we are followers of Christ we are His students for our entire life. So that does not make anyone any better than anyone else because after all it is a matter of the heart, soul and mind and that only God knows for sure, nothing is hidden from Him even if one tries to fool others about how godly they think they are.

  139. poohpity says:

    The ground at the foot of the Cross is level for everyone.

  140. joycemb says:

    Mtman yes you are right but it will never make a difference on this blog. Best to take a walk and dwell on simplicity. That’s what I’m going to do:-)

  141. street says:

    steve asked,”Why do you suppose they hated Him so?”

    why did cain kill able?

    Genesis 4

  142. jeff1 says:

    Pooh 11.39 am post

    I am not being arguementive but everyone comes from their own perspective and that is why there is such different outlooks.

    I think we have to look at how the world has changed in order to see that non believers are not bothered about what we believe but rather that they do not share them.

    If you do not believe in God, heaven or hell then you are not thinking about consequences of sin.

    A person has to understand that their are consequences for our sins in order to know they need a ‘Saviour’.

    It takes a person of faith to look at their own sins and know how easy they got there to have empathy with another sinner.

    The challenge for Christians is reconciling their differences on doctrine that takes the focus off ‘Jesus’ and why He came to earth.

    The message is getting distorted and I don’t believe we can point the finger at non believers for distorting it but rather believers who would rather have things from their perspective than God’s perspective.

    God’s word is either final or it is not!

    My goal should be to do His will and to do that I must allow God to renew my heart and mind and with all the disturbances in this world and my own doubts and fears I am struggling but since struggling is not new to me I have become something of a fighter.

    Fight the good fight with all thy might; Christ is thy Strength, and Christ thy Right. Thanking God for His patience, mercy and forgiveness.

  143. poohpity says:

    Viv, yes everyone tends to look at life from their perspective, life experiences, who they are and what they believe but that still does not make it correct or right it just makes it biased. That is why it is good to listen to all sides and thinking before we form a conclusion but when it comes to God’s word we need to listen to God and the Holy Spirit because that is the source of those words. How does one know what God’s will is unless you have read it and then we need His power to live it? Most who ask, “What would Jesus do?” do not know what Jesus would do when it is written down because they do not bother to find out.

  144. joycemb says:

    Had a great walk! I’m thinking that there is nothing wrong with admiring or honoring even another believer. It doesn’t make me or anybody else “lesser”. Paul did a great job of noticing and giving credit to others. Now there’s a study. Yet he was able to do it with a humble heart.

    To whom much is given, much is required. Whether we have been given much responsibility or very little is Gods decision, not mine. Those in public places will of course be seen more than others. Their work for the LORD should be noticed and commended.

  145. joycemb says:

    Ah yes, that devil is so good at trying to shame the elect per 11:21am. I told you he’s busy this week.

  146. joycemb says:

    Rather per 1:21p post. To believe you are the one who has the only correct interpretation of scripture is how cults get started or you end up offending fellow believers that Christ died for. Again , Mtman, I can amen your post.

  147. poohpity says:

    Joyce if you will reread the 1:21p post it does not say my interpretation of scripture is correct it says the One who wrote it will teach us, not me. Let me say it another way in the words of Jesus in John 14:26, 16:13

  148. poohpity says:

    I apologize if saying that the Lord will teach us His words offended or shamed anyone that was not my intent. Please forgive me.

  149. street says:

    poo it is hard to offend or shame a dead person.

    He, Jesus, will lead us in a path of righteousness for His Name sake.

    i find it much easier to follow than lead.

  150. joycemb says:

    Pooh what is offensive is when you say, “because they do not bother to find out”. Those of us here are all followers of Christ and at various stages of growth. You insinuate otherwise. However if you are talking about other people you know that’s none of our business here. Its putting others down and you well know the upside of putdowns. Negativity is draining life of the ability to produce fruit in yourself.

  151. bubbles says:

    For, lo, the winter is past, the rains is over and gone, the flowers appear on the earth, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.

    I have been taking photos of spring flowers today…oh my! The backyard is full of violets! The neighbors have phlox on their hillside, and tulips are blooming. A sweet pair of
    mourning doves was sitting the blooming cherry tree. Today I am thankful for the promise of spring!

  152. jeff1 says:

    I think Joyce that Pooh is meaning me because I have said I do not read the Bible but rather then say me she is including all.

    It is my choice to know God through worship, praise, music and nature.

    I have said before I have had bad experiences of people interpreting the Bible to prove their point rather than to understand God and I am therefore content to know God takes care of me not because of my knowledge but because I am His.

    I don’t think she was referring to anyone else Joyce.

  153. joycemb says:

    Viv when one suffers all suffer. Saying the same thing over and over does not help. You hear the scriptures at church and on radio and Internet and put to music. God has given you discernment to understand what He is saying in the scriptures. He’s amazingly able to do more than we can ask or think even!

  154. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Joyce, I am amazed at how He communicates with me. I know He wants me to get the bad memories out of my head so that I can move forward and not backwards. I believe I just need time to heal and there are so many people who need time to heal because of wounds of hurt because sadly hurt people lash out and hurt other people.

    We need to be able to understand this that not everyone has the self control to do what is right in a given moment. I was fifteen when I had my first taste of violence on the streets of Londonderry and it was bloody and violent and frightening.

    Time is a healer, I know this for I have seen God work in others and I know God uses time to bring us to a new dawning.

    God’s way is so different to man’s way patience, mercy and forgiveness and I have seen what happens when God’s way is not applied and the outcome is ugly indeed.

  155. joycemb says:

    Getting the bad memories out can indeed be a lifelong process as I well know. I’m amazed that at my age God is still healing me. But then none of us will reach perfection until there is nothing left of us. Hold fast to what you know and expect more from God every day! He is indeed good.

  156. poohpity says:

    No Viv it was not intended for you at all. It was for everyone to depend on God to teach them, period. I am in no position to judge the relationship anyone else has with God that is not my business. Joyce simply assumed again that her thinking is how I think even applied to how she reads what I write. If I have something to say to someone I do not speak in generalized terms or hints of it being applied to someone without saying their name, I will say it directly to the person. I am not a coward.

  157. poohpity says:

    Joyce takes things out of the context of the whole sentences I write then assumes or jumps to conclusions that really have nothing to do with what I was saying. Then others read what she or other’s write and follow her/their twisted and false assumptions/perceptions like a domino effect.

  158. poohpity says:

    Just like how rumors and gossip get started.

  159. joycemb says:

    Pooh I don’t need to gossip or spread rumors your words speak for themselves. I try to confront you about your damning generalizations but you can’t hear me which I’m actually not surprised about as I’m not the only one you seem to not hear.

    I let a lot go by but some days I just can’t and even though I pretty much know you will set up a straw man instead of taking an honest look at yourself I do it for me and others who get hammered on.

  160. joycemb says:

    I’ve gotten so much stronger on this blog to the point now where God seems to be using my new found strength to confront abuse of some people in my building who have not been able to even share coffee and conversation in the lounge with some who think they are better when in fact they are the ones in need of a savior. Its truly amazing to see how Gods presence causes confusion first then wonder. Looking forward to seeing some changed lives hopefully. Prayers welcome!

  161. poohpity says:

    According to Lifeway research and an article in “Christianity Today” called “The Epidemic of Bible Illiteracy in Our Churches” which I hope people will read here is an excerpt from their article.

    “Christians claim to believe the Bible is God’s Word. We claim it’s God’s divinely inspired, inerrant message to us. Yet despite this, we aren’t reading it. A recent LifeWay Research study found only 45 percent of those who regularly attend church read the Bible more than once a week. Over 40 percent of the people attending read their Bible occasionally, maybe once or twice a month. Almost 1 in 5 churchgoers say they never read the Bible—essentially the same number who read it every day.”

    “LifeWay Research found 90 percent of churchgoers “desire to please and honor Jesus in all I do.” Almost 60 percent agree with the statement, “Throughout the day, I find myself thinking about biblical truths.” It’s striking that while most of us desire to please Jesus, few of us take the time to check the Bible to find out if we are actually doing it. Clearly, there’s a disconnect.”

    So not reading the bible is the more popular way of people living their professed Christian life, it is the norm not the exception.

  162. poohpity says:

    Joyce yes the words I write do actually speak for themselves beyond how you twist them to fit your own narrative and thinking. Half the time I have to go back a reread them to try and understand where you come up with the stuff you come up with which most often is off the wall but it is the norm for here often.

  163. joycemb says:

    People don’t care how much we know but how much we love.

  164. poohpity says:

    Look how Mart writes these topics but yet many come away with a complete different understanding or meaning rather than what he wrote. So is it a problem with reading comprehension or a person’s perception?

  165. joycemb says:

    Marts topics have never been misconstrued as abusive, baiting or negative. Nice try.

  166. poohpity says:

    lol thank you Joyce for proving the point I was making.

  167. joycemb says:

    I guess…

  168. joycemb says:

    Well anyway, God bless you pooh have a good nights sleep.

  169. poohpity says:

    street, one could also say why look for the living among the dead. I get your point about how much easier it is to follow than leading.

    Joyce you tear me apart then wish me a blessing and a good nights sleep how ironic and hypocritical.

  170. SFDBWV says:

    I have read some say that the crucifixion actually occurred on Wednesday. That being because of the comment of being in the tomb 3 days (John 2:19 KJV)

    Looking back to the establishment of the Law there are several special Sabbaths. The thinking then being that Jesus’ crucifixion occurred during one of those special Sabbath periods, His death on the cross Wednesday and entombed a full three days raising then on Sunday morning the day after the regular Sabbath.

    I don’t know, it is just food for thought.

    After cleansing the Temple as Jesus began teaching the people the Chief priests and scribes and elders of Israel gathered together and ask Jesus, “Tell us by what authority are you doing these things? Or who is the one who gave you this authority?”

    Jesus answered with a question, “Was John’s baptism of heavenly or of human origin?”

    Jesus tripped their trap and so they could not answer without getting themselves in trouble with the people. So they said they just did not know.

    So Jesus said “Neither shall I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

    These experts liked to quote Scripture, pray in public, look and sound as though they were “Godly”, but they did not even recognize God, His words nor was their lifestyle reflective of what the heart of the Law expressed.

    Jesus is able to teach proper “Kingdom” behavior by comparison to such men. So are we able to recognize proper “Christian” behavior from improper un-Christian like behavior as a comparison.

    There is a lot compacted in this week as Jesus taught in the Temple. Time was running out and there were many who needed to hear His words.

    Just like right now as time is running out and many still need to not only hear His words, but receive them in their hearts.

    53 degrees after a brief shower this morning.


  171. jeff1 says:

    Thanks, Pooh, for clearing the misunderstanding. English was one of my worst subjects at school and while my spelling and grammar were not so bad my comprehension was terrible and why I have to read things repeatedly to grasp the context of what is being said.

    Thinking how difficult it is to live a Godly life in a world where there is so much ugliness.

    The reason I find it hard is that I wander as opposed to follow and the reason I know I wander is because I had a dad who was lead by the Holy Spirit and understood who was leading him.

    My dad did not have to question his own discernment because it was align with God’s teaching and he knew it.

    The difference in my dad and me is that he did not listen to other people who would lead him astray but focused on what was right in God’s eyes.

    Much more difficult to do than one might think because it required discipline and my dad had discipline in abundance which is why his decisions aligned with God’s.

    Some are chosen for higher calling while others are not because God knows his children and their strengths and weaknesses.

    Why should I feel discouraged and why should the shadows come?
    Why should my heart be lonely and long for heaven and home?
    When Jesus is my portion, a constant Friend is He,
    His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.
    His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.

    I sing because I’m happy;
    I sing because I’m free;
    His eyes is on the sparrow
    And I know He watches me.

    Let not your heart be troubled; these tender words I hear;
    And resting on His goodness I lose my doubts and fears;
    Though by the path He leadeth but one step I may see;
    His eyes is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.
    His eyes is on he sparrow and I know He watches me.

    I sing because I’m happy;
    I sing because I’m free;
    His eyes is on the sparrow
    And I know He watches me.

    Whenever I am tempted; whenever clouds arise;
    When songs give place to sighting; when hope within me dies;
    I draw the closer to Him; from care He sets me free;
    His eye is on the sparrow and He watches over me.
    His eye is on the sparrow and He watches over me.

    I sing because I’m happy;
    I sing because I’m free;
    His eye is on the sparrow
    And I know He watches me…

  172. joycemb says:

    Viv God gives not according to our abilities but our disabilities often. Fleshly leaders will soon find out just how weak they are, but godly leaders know from where their strength comes. Apostle Paul was one such leader with a painful thorn God would not remove from him.

    Pooh just because we don’t see eye to eye doesn’t mean we can’t have a difficult conversation yet still with the love of God bless one another. It’s Gods love not mine that transcends human failings. Bless God mine is weak but His is strong. Quite outrageous, isn’t it.

  173. SFDBWV says:

    Luke records the first teaching of Jesus in Jerusalem to be the parable of the tenant farmers.

    The heart of this parable is that God sent prophet after prophet to Israel only to have them mistreated and rejected by those in authority.

    So God will send His Son whom they in authority will throw out of Jerusalem and have Him killed.

    Jesus quoting scripture goes on to say, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”

    The scribes and chief priests sought to lay hands on Him that very hour, but they feared the people, for they knew He had addressed the parable to them.

    People haven’t changed much, they still don’t like hearing the truth.

    The truth is getting under their skin.

    But instead of repenting they dig in and anger at the one who exposes their guilt turns to hate.


  174. jeff1 says:

    Joyce, that is not what I was trying to say. I was making a point that God has His leaders on earth i.e. someone like my dad disciplined to God’s purpose where I am more of a follower than a leader with the added weakness of wandering when I should be following.

    I am saying that God uses even the weaker for His purpose because of His mercy and grace and not because of my righteousness whereas my fathers strength was from God which made him righteous in the sight of God.

    There is a difference in Godly leaders and followers as God is just and rewards accordingly and my portion may be less than my dad’s whose discipline will be rewarded by God.

  175. poohpity says:

    Steve , is that why you have so much hate for me? Isn’t what Christ did for us enough to get rid of guilt and shame? I think you were referring to me but as usual not enough courage to name me but to use only innuendo’s. To know whether someone is godly wouldn’t they have to know God first and foremost and if they knew God then wouldn’t they leave the judgements about others to Him and not look to what “they think” is truth?

    It seems God looks at the people of the world as dearly loved and wants the best for them that is why He left His place in heaven not to judge them but to save them.

  176. poohpity says:

    Viv, your portion is just the same as your dad’s. God does not seem to show favoritism, we are all loved equally. It is us who determines how close to God we want to be or if we are satisfied with holding Him at arms length. The closer we get to Him the more we understand that is where He has always wanted us to be.

  177. foreverblessed says:

    it was only last friday that I got to see the picture Mart gave.

    You walk in a corridor, and see a white door, and think that you enter a white room,but no, lo and behold: It is totally red! and a Swing in it.

    It reminded me of Jesus, who did not read the bible literally, the laws and regulations, like walking in a white hall, meaning walking in all the laws and regulations of the TOrah, the first books of Moses.

    But He came to show the way of the Cross: Totally emerged in the blood of the Lamb, we can sit on the swing, like a child, and lean on that Grace.

    Deut 18:18

    The discussions go into all directions, I agree. I did my part in it, by talking about the literalness of the 6 day creation. Sorry for anyone who got overstretched by it. But Joyce got my point. Thanks Joyce!

    Then I want to thank Pooh, for saying it is allright to discuss this, and that is perfectly fit into what Mart’s topic was.

    Anyway, now it seems that Joyce takes literally what Poh writes about people not readinmg their bibles personally, Pooh takes what Steve write as personally written for her. And so on and on ….
    Instead going to God and ask, Is that what You want to say to me?

    I take it that anyone has anything against me, they just name my name. Otherwise I do not see it as a personal thing, (unless I hear the Spirit talk to me saying: this is for you too!)

  178. foreverblessed says:

    Steve, what you wrote about the 3 days and 3 nights:
    (Now this is about the 3 days, if that is overbearing for you, just push the pagedown button, and scroll on)

    I was raised in a church who believed that Jesus was crucified on Wednesday afternoon.
    Lev 23:5
    That Jesus was the Passover Lamb, that was at twilight of the 14 th day of the first month.

    That the Sabbath day that started at sunset was the first day of unleavened bread. Lev 23:6
    John 19:31
    And in my church, a christian church, we would keep that Holyday of the 15th of Nissan. Being a different date every year. According to the jewish calendar. But we were not Jewish, we believedin Christ, He being the Messiah, Who died for our sins.

    Now that would mean that Jesus was in the grave 3 days and 3 nights. As Jonah was.
    Then Jesus would have risen to life on Saterday night, after sunset, and after sunset would mean that that was already the first day of the week, according to jewish counting. where the days start at sunset.
    But that would mean the night still had to come.
    John 20:1 That ear;y on the first day of the week Mary did come to the Tomb. Jesus would have risen to life hours before. The Gospels of Mark, Luke and John do not say when Jesus was risen, only that He had already risen when they appeared at the Tomb. Only Matthew may seem to say that is happened at dawn.

    Jonah was in the fish three days and three nights.
    And nobody takes it as offensive that Jesus would have been in the Tomb from friday night into sunday morning.
    So there is something literal not right, and nobody sees it as a problem.

    But that is my point this topic, taking things literal, the one thing we take literal, the other thing we do not mind. We fall over the one, and not over the other.
    Jesus came to show that the laws and regulations are all pointing to Him, and Paul, the apostle has been busy explaining that further on. It is all about Jesus, by Whom we are saved.

  179. foreverblessed says:

    I would like to say to Joyce, please do not take it personally when Pooh writes about people who do not care to read the bible. It is not about you. As she said. Just bless her.
    It does remind me of Gary, who would keep on warning about those who believe in once saved always saved. I could not read about that item anymore. And so whenever his name appeared, I would just scroll down. I did not need anyone trying to warn me against something that I did not want anyway.
    May God bless Gary, and keep him, may He shine His face on Him and give him peace.
    And I do literally mean that!
    And I mean that with all my heart.

  180. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends —

    The topic “Outrageous!” is wide open to thinking about why the power brokers of the day distrusted and victimized Jesus.

    During Holy Week, it is worth thinking about this, since God used the complex struggle among the factions and forces of the day to accomplish the miracle of the sacrifice, death and resurrection of His Son — to the eternal good of all who believe Him.

    Jesus was arrested on Thursday evening. He spent that night and the next morning being detained, questioned and beaten by the temple and Roman authorities. Condemned Friday morning, He was marched to Golgotha.

    He died at about 3:00 p.m. on Friday. His family and friends rushed to prepare the body and place it in Joseph of Arimethea’s grave before the Sabbath began.

    Recall that the day always began at sunset & the appearance of the evening star every day for the nation of Israel.

    Jesus was in the tomb a few hours on Friday (day one). The sun set. Saturday began (day two). Jesus remained in the tomb all day Saturday. Saturday ended at sunset, Sunday began. Jesus rose from the tomb before dawn that day, the first day of the week — the third day after his death.

    Mart, you wrote:

    “So how then do we explain our fascination with him? And why do we wish everyone would just believe in and trust him? Is it because when he says ‘…………….’, we believe and trust that he’s thinking of something—far better than we are?”

    The risen Christ says, “…go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending t my Father and your Father, to my God and to your God.'” (John 20:17)

    See how Jesus includes His disciples within the fellowship of Father and Son. Soon, He will instruct His disciples to remain in Jerusalem. He will say, “This is what you have heard from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:5) Pentecost will welcome God’s people fully into the fellowship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    So, we are sealed until the trumpet blows.

    Lenten Blessings,

    9C/48F and raining here. Forecast to be dry this afternoon, with possible thunder storms.

  181. remarutho says:

    My Scripture reference should read:

    ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and to your God.’” (John 20:17Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)) Sorry for the typo. Maru

  182. cbrown says:

    Good morning all! Forever, I did not see the room in that light.Thank you.

  183. cbrown says:

    Maru, thank you for your post. I have always wondered how to counted the 3 days.

  184. cbrown says:

    Once we say something on this site it is etched in stone.

  185. jeff1 says:

    I do not believe that Pooh, it is not a matter of God showing favouritism but that I believe God will reward justly.

    I have lived a comfortable life where I have been allowed to practise my faith while other believers have been tortured and persecuted for theirs.

    They have come through a lot more testing than I have and while we are all equal here on earth God sees how we respond or do not respond to His prompting and while He bestows Grace to His all I think it is naïve to believe that God will not reward righteousness to those whose lives have reflected it.

    For myself, I am happy to be saved from hell but there are believers who have risked their lives to preach and take the Gospel to the world and I do believe God will reward that kind of steadfastness.

    While it is Grace that saves us, how a person chooses to lead their life has consequences in this life and while God cleans up our messes I do believe we may suffer loss in heaven as a result of them.

  186. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks Cbrown, and Maru.
    3 days, as saying, 3 days and 3 nights.

    Not that it is of vital knowledge for our salvation.

    The vital knowledge is that we believe:
    that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He died for our sins, and that we may Live in His risen Life
    in faith.

    Matt 12:40. Jonah 1:17
    I made a mistake on the 3 days and 3 nights thing:
    Jesus would have risen before sunset, Saturday night, not after. So as to make it 3 days AND 3 nights.
    So Jesus was buried on the eve of the yearly Sabbath, and was risen on the weekly Sabbath.
    But if you do not keep these Old Testament Sabbaths literally you do not know what this all means.

    just skip it then.

  187. poohpity says:

    God will measure us with the same measure we use for others. (Matt 7:2 NIV) Since when has it become a bad, evil thing to promote bible reading? Isn’t that a means God has given us to get to know Him better and to train us in doing what is right for the person reading it?(2 Tim 3:16 NLT)

  188. mtman says:

    Often when a wild animal is in pain or being attack it will bite anything around it and sometimes even itself inflicting pain all around. When that happens it can’t be soothed rationalized with or comforted because it is in a frenzy.

    That seems to be what I’m seeing here. What we write is taken totally out of context and the person strikes out at others inflicting pain or hurt. I seriously doubt that Steve hates anyone but he is now accused of that. Others are made to feel small over things that are equally accusatory, myself included. So the question hangs is it all writers or just one that keeps the pot stirred?

    Personally when I get push back or think I’m going down a wrong path I do some circumspect soul searching until I can get a handle on what it is and redirect my ways. I think that is what our Lord teaches. I do a lot of back tracking it seems.

    There has been much talk about being led by the Holy Spirit but does that same Holy Spirit instruct a person to strike out against those who disagree with them? I think not.

    It seems the harder some try to clarify their comments that they are attack even more intensely. Perhaps some day I will have all the answers. Right now I don’t so to stay and contribute to this blog site I will simply skip over comments that incite, inflame and talk down to the other contributors.

    Probably not a totally Christian thing to do and the same as murder (I’m pointing my imaginary .45 cal at another and they no longer hold relevance to me). None the less sometimes it is like Jesus said to Saul – why kick against the goad? So I plan to take only what I can handle and avoid interaction with those who bait, push hot buttons, attack or goad others. (A goad is a stick which is used to move animals in a certain direction)

    There is much to be gained from a friendly respectful discussion so I plan to confine my attention to that aspect only.

  189. poohpity says:

    “When Jesus rebuked Saul (who would soon become the apostle Paul) for kicking against the goads, He was telling the proud Pharisee that he was only hurting himself in resisting the truth and teaching of Christ.” “Where have you increased your suffering because you continue to kick against the goads? And when will you yield to the truth and teaching of Christ? When Saul finally reached that point, nothing could stop him. He poured out his life to bring the Gospel to the nations, and no earthly obstacles would deter him – not the whip, not false witness, not trials or tribulations, not even an excruciating thorn.” Rev. Tommy Boland

  190. poohpity says:

    I use a Glock 21 but never do I imagine a person when I am shooting at a target at 60 feet but I would use it to defend myself when my life is threatened. But the words of others do not threaten my life nor do I hate them for expressing their selves.

  191. mtman says:

    That was metaphorically said and no one is threatening your life with an imaginary gun so holster your Glock 21. Simply stated when you continue to attack myself or others I simply write you off and you do not exist for me. That is not Christian but sometimes necessary when you are dealing with someone who doesn’t understand plain and simple language and turns everything you say into what you want and not what was said or intended
    It is hard enough to discuss topics in person with someone who twists words and meanings. On line it is impossible so I will not respond to your attacks or insults any further, nor do I intend to read your posts.. And for clarity I do not hate you but I will not continually be frustrated by your machinations. Others may deal with you as they please but my words can’t be much clearer.

  192. poohpity says:

    I understood fully it was used metaphorically unlike others I try to really listen to each person and understand what they are truly saying. I am not attacking anyone when I just disagree, it is nothing personal at all in any way. It would be nice to discuss topics with out it becoming personal. The sharing of information, thoughts and beliefs are what makes us different and unique which is something I embrace the uniqueness of each individual. Read what you write then say something to me about personal attacks and you may see that it is not me who is doing the attacking personally but maybe disagreeing with information makes one think it is personal when it is not.

    Old dogs can learn new tricks, well unless they believe that they know it all and can not be taught anything new. I can say with much certainty we are all students and have found that people will hang around only with those they agree with thus never learning anything new because it may threaten their hard nose beliefs. Just as the religious leaders were threatened by Jesus with His new teaching but if they had paid attention it was actually nothing new at all and was seen many years in advance but they were stuck in the old so much to the rejection of the new.

  193. poohpity says:

    I have asked repeatedly for someone to show me where and when I attacked someone personally but the replies have always been silent because I do not attack people but I will say something against teaching I know to be untrue or false.

  194. jeff1 says:

    Personally speaking God has taught me more from my enemies than He has through those I hang round with and also God teaches us through people who are not always believers.

    I think there is much wisdom in the cliché the least said, soonest mended for misunderstandings often come through words while actions speak louder.

  195. SFDBWV says:

    Good afternoon. I fully enjoyed the commentary about the 3 days. I only brought it up because it is Wednesday of Holy Week and whereas I have heard different views on when the crucifixion actually occurred, I had forgotten the technical points about it.

    I thank Foreverblessed and Maru for both their commentary on the matter.

    I suppose for me it doesn’t make all that much difference because Sunday morning the tomb was empty.

    Mtman I came to the point of not reading anything pooh writes some time ago as it is always meant to insult and incite. She just enjoys causing trouble and getting attention. It is best not to give her the satisfaction of having succeeded at either endeavor.

    And the only way I can join in the conversation.

    Feeding the birds as I do, I enjoy listening to the little song birds, but the squawking of the blackbirds is of little or no enjoyment, but they both come in to feed.

    I had a long meeting this morning with our flood plain manager he and I have a lot to do in the coming weeks. He is new to the job for us and we needed to get acquainted with each other. Matt enjoyed meeting him as Matt is a year older than him.

    There is a lot of information that is given prior to the Passion narratives coming tomorrow. Such as paying taxes, the resurrection, the question about David’s son being the Messiah, the denunciation of the scribes, the poor widow’s contribution, the coming destruction of the Temple, signs of the end and more.

    I am certain we can find some value in discussing these things as these things have value.
    Tomorrow when we take communion in remembrance of Jesus, let us also remember Him every day this week for the pearls of wisdom His teaching provided right up to and including the time on the cross.

    Enjoy and be blessed.


  196. phpatato says:

    Always around the full moon. Always.

  197. street says:

    29 As the crowds increased, Jesus said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah. 30 For as Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so also will the Son of Man be to this generation.

  198. street says:

    35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. 36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.”

  199. joycemb says:

    Forever I always ask God if what I hear is from Him or the flesh. Thanks for the concern.

  200. joycemb says:

    I’m not given to arguing with God.

  201. bubbles says:

    jeff1, you wrote you struggled with English in school. If I am mistaken, please forgive me. Do you live in Ireland? When you were in school, were your lessons presented in English or Gaelic? If that is the wrong language, please forgive me. Was English your first language? Languages and Ireland fascinate me. I would like to learn about your culture. I hope this is acceptable to ask here, especially in light of the current conversation thread, in addition to the length of time it has been posted. Thank you. English is complicated, and I am probably using horrible gramar myself! Thank you.

  202. jeff1 says:

    Bubbles, I was brought up in Northern Ireland which is British.

    I learned the English language but just was not very good at it.

    I know much more about the British than I do the Irish as I am of Ulster Scots myself.

    The Gaelic is learned by those who were raised in the Irish culture and see themselves as Irish and do not recognise the British as being here.

    There is no Irish language taught here as a rule but you will get Roman Catholic schools that teach it.

    It is in the South of Ireland that Gaelic is taught but English is still the main language there too.

    There is a debate going on to bring in the Irish Language Act to Northern Ireland but it is causing conflict and division again within the communities.

    This is a very divided country that has managed to get a peace settlement but because of the differences in culture and religion it is proving very difficult to Govern it.

    Hope this answers your questions.

  203. bubbles says:

    jeff1, Thank you very much for your information. Two of my grandparents’ ancestors are from Ireland, one from Ulster, and I am assuming the other from County Cork; she had her great grandmother’s Claddagh ring.

    I wish I could hear you speak; I am certain your voice is beautiful.

    I am so sorry about the division there; it must be very sad and difficult. May God bless you.

  204. joycemb says:

    Thinking of Jesus last days and suddenly the picture of Jesus or Peter packing a glock or a 45 and oh how the passion week would be told quite differently. Athiests sadly think the blog is a hoot. Lord have mercy and shine your spirit through the blog in spite of us. I know that you Lord are able to do all things well. Amen

  205. bubbles says:

    Jeff1, one more question, please. Is your place of residence a place that is dangerous to live? I do not see much news about Ireland over here. I hope you are in a safe place.

  206. foreverblessed says:

    Before I go on with my comment, Bubbles, the IRA have laid down arms years ago. They stopped fighting, I believe in 2005. After a 10 year peace negotiations.

    Jeff did you hear that the ETA wants to lay down arms, it was in the news just a few days ago, april 7:

    Basque separatists ETA lay down arms

    There were 800 deaths since the 1960s.
    I was immediately thinking about you. Many families with tragedies.

    I was reading on Wiki, the murder of Robert MacCartney, January 31 2005. That murder was one of the last one, the one that did much damage to the goodwill towards the IRA.

    The death of an innocent person often brings forth a change.

  207. foreverblessed says:

    So you could say, the Robert was a type of Jesus Christ, He taking up the sins of all the world

    I was doing a search on “three days” on Biblegateway,

    In the beginning of His ministry Jesus talked about three days and three nights, Mat 12:40. But at the end He only talks about, after three days.

    I was laughing a bit about this. We can talk about three days, and even have a heated debate about it: three days and three nights or after three days.
    But in the end: both are all right. How that can be is an other thing. But it is true.

    But what I found that Jesus has been instructing his disciples three times in advance about His death.

    Right after Peter was so clear in announcing that Jesus was the Christ, Mark 8:31-33 Jesus explains for the first time, what must happen to Him:

    “That the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief prietst and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again”

    Then Peter immediately takes Him to the side and began to rebuke Him!

    Imagine that!? Peter gainsaying what Jesus was trying to explain them.

    Immediately after that Jesus explains in Mark 8:34-38 that if we want to follow Him, to deny ourselves, that is our earth life, (and our old man, as Paul later explained.) The one that Street often cites.

    And then the next chapter Jesus again told them:

    Mark 9:31 The Son of Man is going to be betrayed in to the hands of men. Thy will kill Him, and after three days He will rise.

    But they did not understand what He meant and were afraid to ask. ”
    Imagine, they remembered how Peter was rebuked by Jesus.

    And again, in the following chapter Jesus tells them, this time he gives a little more information Mark 10:32-34:

    “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn Him to death and will turn Him over to the gentiles, who will mock Him and spit on Him, flog Him and kill Him. Three days later He will rise

    This time it seems the disciples do not react to this message, it only says: Then James and John come to Him, to ask Jesus a favor. (sitting at the right and the other at your left)

    Three times Jesus tells the disciples about His upcoming ordeal, but they do not seem to get it.

    Jesus did very well know the details in advance what would happen to Him, the betrayal was a big part, that it was by the priests and teachers of the law. The mocking, spitting, the flogging, and then the killing.

    But He always adds:
    After three days He will rise.

    He, in the third person. Not: I will rise.
    That I also find curious.
    BUt before this all happened, the disciples had been instructed, And yet, this message did not come through to them.
    I was thinking, how much of Jesus’ message does not come through to me? The outrageous things Jesus said.

  208. jeff1 says:

    Bubbles, The area I live in is safe and as Forever as said the paramilitaries on both sides have laid down their weapons.

    There is however still lawless areas in the two main cities that unless you live there you would not choose to go into them.

    If you come here as a tourist there is bus tours into them but to go in there as an individual could be dangerous as they do not like strangers entering their domain.

    We have just had an election but the parties on the two sides cannot agree on how to Govern so we may have to go to the polls again and people are very tired of the fact that politicians cannot agree on how to go forward.

    Forever, I did not know about ETA because I have stopped watching new or reading papers except for what I hear on my local radio which did not cover that story.

    It is for the good of my health that I focus on my church, my family and friends. Like most ordinary peoples who live together respecting each others culture I am tired of all the disagreements and the fact that it is the extremists on both sides who are dictating how the country is governed.

    I will attend the Passover this evening and remind myself that it is God who cares, for in the midst of unrest it is so easy to forget that He is still in control of our destiny.

    Thinking Forever, that we are very much like our ancestors, forgetful about what Jesus has said but the good news being that He did say it and the very, very, great news that unlike men God keeps His promises.

  209. SFDBWV says:

    In Mark, Judas goes to the high priests just after the woman had anointed Jesus’ feet with oil in order to work out a deal to betray Jesus. In Luke it is said Satan entered Judas for that purpose.

    I am wondering if Satan had to enter Judas in order for him to betray Jesus or if without Satan Judas would not have done so.

    Jesus adds to my wondering when He says “woe to that man by whom He is betrayed.”

    This for me once again opens up the question of whether or not Judas ever had a choice in this part of the story.

    Clearly this entire event is ordained by the actions and will of God. But was it necessary to have a betrayer and if this is God’s will did the betrayer have a choice in being cast into that roll?

    Was Judas damned by the fact that he was open to receive Satan and thus became the betrayer? And so as Jesus stated “woe to that man”, woe because he, Judas, was open to Satan, or was Judas used of God in order to accomplish His, God’s, will?

    The question for me opens up a frightening scenario whereby only by the “sealing” of our salvation through Jesus of Nazareth are any of us safe from the internal influence of Satan.

    There will be trials and as Paul says “fiery darts” thrown at us, but we will forever be safe within the armor of God and under the seal God has put upon us.

    But what of those who are open to Satan’s influence? Apparently they are not safe because they are not sealed.

    Even though Judas spent all that time with Jesus, he did not receive Jesus into his heart nor accept Him as who Jesus is.

    More food for thought.

    31 degrees and clear.


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