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Trauma

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I’ve been reading a book about the effects and treatment of trauma titled, “The Body Keeps the Score.” Written by psychiatric researcher, Bessel Van Der Kolk, it describes how different parts of our brain need to work together to help us avoid and survive danger.

In general terms, Van Der Kolk describes at great length how regions of the brain stem help us sense and react to a threat even without thought. Areas of the brain’s frontal lobes help us process past experiences enabling us to see that life is more than our worst moments and greatest fears.

At best, these regions of the brain work together. At worst, trauma results in body-memory overload. With no conscious thought, our embodied minds go into fight, flight, or freeze modes in awkward and unhelpful moments—even at the hint of a past injury. This appears to be one of the reasons that hurt people like us tend to hurt one another in ways that we often don’t see or understand. Our embodied minds have a way of “remembering” sights, smells, and settings of trauma at subconscious levels.

Transition: Seems to me that original sin resulted in trauma and chaos that lingered far beyond our first parents’ loss of innocence.

Question: Do our Bibles allude to consequences that our embodied minds remember better than we do?

First example: At the first giving of the law the Lord God tells his people that, when it comes to the temptation to worship other gods, he is a Jealous God who will visit the sins of the parents on their children to of those who reject him, while showing great enduring love to those who are true to him (Exo 20:5-6).

Second example: At the second giving of an already broken Law, the Lord God, reverses the order and degree of his emphasis. This time he expresses how slow he is to anger and how merciful, compassionate he is to those who sin— while still reminding them that children will be affected by the choices of their parents and grandparents (Exodus 34:6-7).

Third example: A thousand years later, in the days of Ezekiel, the prophet hears the LORD say it is time to stop talking about how children are affected by “the sins of the Fathers” (Ezekiel 18:1-2). Now the focus is on the choice of the individual rather than on the predisposing influence of ancestors.

Fourth example: When Jesus came his disciples asked him about a blind man, saying, “Who sinned, this man, or his parents?” Without denying the sin of either the man or his parents, Jesus said, “Neither”…”This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.” (John 9:2-3).

Seems to me that, at the very least, these varying and maybe even seemingly contradictory statements each —like the varying regions of our own brains, are intended to work together to help us avoid hurting ourselves and one another…

Could it be that the first, looking forward, says to U.S. and  to A.L.L. there are a lot of implications of real trauma wrapped up in the choices we make. (Rather than thinking a personal choice is just a personal choice.) (Exo 20:5-6)

Looking back, the second gives us reason to say, there’s still hope for people like U.S.  I wonder what O.U.R. story really. is. (Rather than judging A.L.L.) (Exo 34:6-7).

The third tells us that there is a time for U.S. and for  A.L.L. to say, “It’s time for us to make our own decisions. (Rather than thoughtlessly doing to others what has been done to us). (Ezekiel 18:1-2)

The fourth enables U.S. and A.L.L. to say, there’s far more hope for U.S. and A.L.L. (in living with the trauma of our broken lives– now, and in the life to come) than we ever dreamed possible. (Rather than just trying to make up our own minds— to stop hurting one another­ on our own). (John 9:2)

P.S. Yeh, this is a bit much to absorb… But since it builds on what we’ve already been considering, am hoping it might be worthwhile for those who have the time and inclination to wade in with me :-)…


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141 Responses to “Trauma”

  1. jeff1 says:

    We are all in this together regardless of country, culture, religion, male or female.

    Brokenness is part of who we are and having seen the brokenness of my mum, dad and brother’s lives even till their death I believe that it takes death and the resurrection of God’s live in us to make us whole.

    I cannot be whole this side of Heaven is my belief but that may be because I have seen the brokenness of so many right up till their death’s.

    I cannot prove God’s existence nor does He ask me too but I can uphold my belief that God exists because I believe the Bible has the truth of the Gospel though man through the ages has taken his interpretations and confused himself when it comes to knowing God.

    God has always known man better than man knows Himself but will men ever accept that.

    Some do accept it but in this modern world a younger generation are turning away from God and that is down to the religions of this modern world who have managed to make God look like something He is not.

    It is as individuals that we must seek God but history repeats itself showing that human nature is to follow the pack.

    All like sheep and have gone astray tells me that it is God who knows what He is doing, always has, and always will whether I believe it or not.

  2. joycemb says:

    Good morning all and thank you Mart for so carefully laying out your thoughts on what amounts to in my thinking as the depths of redemption. I’m familiar with Van Der Kolk as I have spent the last 30 years or so trying to find a way out of the maze of C-PTSD to no avail mostly, but God has been my sure and constant strength throughout. I studied my fathers’ traumatic life which also helped me to see the greatness of the power of God in bringing Him to Glory. But the bottom line is still confession of sins without qualifiers, only humility. Before I read your new post I read this: Psalm 66:16-20 16

    Come and hear, all you who fear God,
    and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
    17 I cried to him with my mouth,
    and high praise was on[a] my tongue.[b]
    18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
    the Lord would not have listened.
    19 But truly God has listened;
    he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
    20 Blessed be God,
    because he has not rejected my prayer
    or removed his steadfast love from me!

  3. joycemb says:

    Add: I used to wonder why I was born of and into the family I was born into. In other words you don’t get to choose your parents! Now though I see others in desperate situations all over the world and wonder the same thing, but the hope we all have is a God who loves us in our brokenness more than we can think or imagine even, and our neighbors too!!! And all He asks of us in return is to love Him and love our neighbors! Awesome!

  4. jeff1 says:

    Joyce says:

    And all He asks of us in return is to love Him and love our neighbours!

    I have to be honest, Joyce, and I do not hold to your opinion that it is not difficult to love as God loves.

    Do I love the teacher who made my school days miserable and scarred me until this day?

    Do I love the bully who bullied me at school until my mother threatened her to make her stop?

    I see both of these people to this day and although I do not hate them or wish them no malice I could not say I love them or have forgotten the pain they caused.

    I think the more I realize the facts about being a Christian the more I begin to realize how far I am from God and His ways.

    Words come easy to some but what I have learned in life is that a man’s actions speak much louder than his words ever does.

  5. SFDBWV says:

    Mart you are so right this subject is a lot to absorb in so far as responding to. I am late coming to it as well, the results of a busy life with priorities, like all of you I am sure.

    For the moment I am drawn to the fourth example Mart gives; John 9:2-3. Staying focused, it is clear that this man was born blind and lived a difficult life without sight including all of the heartache and anguish he lived, as well as his parents and all who were connected to him, by God’s design.

    By God’s design.

    Somewhere in all of the noise of “church talk” we have forgotten that it is written that God is no respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34 KJV). My study Bible tells me that statement means that He does not favor one nation over another, but rather does give divine favor to individuals all over the world regardless of nationality.

    Yet here we see a man “chosen” by God to live a difficult life for His (God’s) purposes. This man found favor with God in order to be used by Him.

    So when people carelessly pray to be used of God, believing they will gain some “ministry” of their own choice or desire they had better realize “if” God blesses them with being used of Him they had better be ready for His use of them, even if it means a lifetime of being blind.

    I promised to stay focused on that one item, and so have.

    58 degrees at 11:30 am, cool but nice.

    Steve

  6. joycemb says:

    Was the man chosen to live a miserable life or did God choose to heal him to show His glory? We are all lost, everyone, but we are all chosen to be saved is how I look at it. Some more dramatically than others, but for His reasons.

  7. joycemb says:

    Viv the more dimly the world around us becomes the closer to God we get and don’t have so much distraction, and we are able to love as He’s loved us. When we see the mean ones as hurting and angry just like we are then we can start to apply grace to them. It’s a process, and not an easy one. To carry a cross is to carry the shame/blame/hurt joyfully for Jesus’ sake. Then we are loving as God loved us.

  8. poohpity says:

    It seems to be very obvious that it was not by design that God wanted His creation to suffer as a matter of fact he warned time and again what would happen when people left the comfort and security of His presence to adventure out on their own away from God’s will for them. The very first trauma of leaving that secure place of trust to be mislead into thinking that one could become like God in pride which caused the very one tempting them to be thrown out of heaven but was given the dominion of the world.

    Knowing that the very same thing that happened in the garden has followed generation after generation for the human race they needed to follow their own way despite warning after warning what would become of us when left to our own choices and denying the omniscience(all-knowing) of God. The rebellion, pride and desire to have it my way has traumatized the human race from the very beginning and has inflicted that pain ever since. BUT

    God knew and from that same beginning also had a plan in mind to soothe that trauma for healing and restoration that will not have full measure until that day when we see God face to face in His paradise. Until that time however He has offered us a shelter, rest, a haven of peace when we stay close to Him. He knows we will never have it all together but has offered to never leave or forsake us when the storms of life often appear actually told us that our lives would not be free from trials, troubles and suffering but that He would be with us through them.

    God’s design was for us to have a relationship with Him and rather than hide from Him to go to Him for the help we need to live this life.

  9. bubbles says:

    This is probably too simple. Is this saying we are responsible for our own choices and actions, but also what our actions and choices are will affect others? This can be cause/effect but also only cause?

  10. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Pooh, it is fear of God that makes me hide because I believe I have failed Him.

    This song is so very comforting when I feel overwhelmed by life and circumstances.

    Oh well, I’m tired and so weary
    But I must go alone
    Till the Lord comes and calls, calls me away, oh yes
    Well the morning’s so bright
    And the lamp is alight
    And the night, night is as black as the sea, oh yes

    There will be peace in the valley for me, some day
    There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray
    There’ll be no sadness, no sorrow
    No trouble, trouble I see
    There will be peace in the valley for me, for me

    Well the bear will be gentle
    And the wolves will be tame
    And the lion shall lay down by the lamb, oh yes
    And the beasts from the wild
    Shall be lit by a child
    And I’ll be changed, changed from this creature that I am, oh yes

    There will be peace in the valley for me, someday
    There will be peace in the valley for me, oh Lord I pray
    There’ll be no sadness, no sorrow
    No trouble, trouble I see
    There will be peace in the valley for me, for me

  11. poohpity says:

    I don’t think we can ever fail someone who already knows what we are going to do or what we even think. If we think that God does not already know those things then He would not be omniscience. We can disappoint ourselves and others especially when their/our expectations are so high no one can measure up to them or so low no one wants to even work at being better using our own measuring stick but GOD KNEW! And made a plan.

  12. street says:

    Without denying the sin of either the man or his parents, Jesus said, “Neither”…”This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.” (John 9:2-3).

    thinking of God working through the pillars of the Old Testament and New. being “saved” while we were still sinners. God working and willing through U.S. on a daily basis. God’s Spirit dwelling in U.S., sinful flesh, waiting watching living hoping for an incorruptible body, a glorious body. by Him, for Him and through Him. Life.

  13. street says:

    i forgot to mention God working through A.L.L.
    it’s tough to wrap your mind around God’s Sovereignty in human history, but it is true.

    my grace is sufficient…..

    5
    “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
    But now my eye sees You;
    6
    Therefore I retract,
    And I repent in dust and ashes.”

  14. foreverblessed says:

    God working through A.L.L.
    When I was in Italy, in South Tirol, in Lombardy, in Piemonte, such a beautiful countryside, like Paradise: mountain, white on top, waterfalls, trees in all sort of shade green, flowers, birds singing, just lovely. I read about there history, and it is from war to war, either fighting invading nations, like Atilla the Hun, or the sons of reigning aristocrats, who will inherit what.
    ( Of course in history only the highlights are mentioned, probably there were peaceful times in between)
    But it seems like a curse: Fighting, I had an explanation worked out: since the fall we have lost confidence that anybody would look after us, so we are afraid, and in fear we react. Now Mart talks again about the fall, how drastic that was, we lost a safe haven, and it is a trauma. Passed on to the next generation. I probably do still not get the depth of the fall, and how lost we became. Just as I cannot grasp the depth of God’s saving Grace either.

    But while thinking about all these peoples living there, the words of a Psalm came in my mind:
    For you guide the nations of the earth!

    Psalm 66:4-5

  15. foreverblessed says:

    I meant Psalm 67:4-5
    The Psalm Mart talked about a few topics ago.

    God is with these nations!
    He is working through A.L.L.

  16. foreverblessed says:

    4 examples Mart gives, I had to think about it, I could think that I understand God, and then Jesus comes with a more deeper meaning, the 4th one I find the best! Wow!
    Is there a hint of that in the OT?
    “His lovingkindness is without end” Psalm 136:1,2,3,4 etctil v26

    I was thinking, when we are in heaven God will explain much and much more, things He cannot tell us now, but that His salvation goes on and on.

    And now I say something that is from myself, ( some irritation coming with it now, may God be merciful to me):
    I sooooo dislike it when Christians say that at the judgment day it is all over, either you are in, of you are out, point.

    This goes so against my inner knowing of God’s forever being lovingkind.
    Maybe His mercy goes there where we never though He would go, saving ALL Be has made!
    A.L.L.

  17. tedmgossard says:

    I love this, Mart. Shows once again the breadth and depth of scripture, and how God meets us as we really are, in real life.

    Yes, and how that correlates to how our brains are in their healthy state, no surprise, really.

    I like the thought here how God (through Jesus, of course) covers all the angles of our lives, so that we get the needed input from all directions, to first of all warn us, but in the end uphold us, even when we do stumble along the way. Reminds us once again of how we need all of scripture.

  18. SFDBWV says:

    Promising I would stay focused, I always enjoy reading the story of the blind man as given in John 9:2-3 KJV. This man’s condition was from before his birth orchestrated by God, so that at that given time Jesus could demonstrate His authority and the glory of God.

    Jesus takes dirt and His spit and makes eyeballs where eyeballs had not existed before. Changing the man’s facial appearance, but still recognizable as who he is. My personal interpretation.

    To witness such an astounding event had to be as frightening as it was enlightening. The “birth” of Christianity had to be as undeniable as was the flight from Egypt in order to show those who witnessed it that it is God who is at work here.

    But the best of this story comes after the miracle of sight.

    The unbelieving authorities of the Synagogue gave him and his parents the “third degree” over and over again, trying to frighten them into denying that this man was ever blind at all. But his parents stayed true to that fact. After repeated brow beating from the authorities the man remained steadfast in crediting Jesus as being a man or prophet of God.

    When Jesus comforts the man after his interrogation, this man accepts Jesus as Lord and obtains salvation along with his sight.

    All of this man’s life of suffering is forgotten as he is made new.

    It is a wonderful story.

    How any of this fits into a psychiatric study of the genetic development from Adam to me is the view of another “focus” for me to center on.

    33 degrees and clear this morning.

    Steve

  19. jeff1 says:

    From someone who was brought up with religion rather than scripture I have to say I have little knowledge of the Bible.

    My religion is important to me because of the fellowship with others but the other side of religion is that it is also divisive.

    Even to this day I know of Catholics who believe Protestants are going to hell because there’s is the one true religion and likewise I am tired of listening to Protestants who believe the same about Catholics.

    If there is one thing true of this world today it is that many are confused and when I listen to Ministers who try to get young people on God’s side by preaching hell and damnation then I realize that time does not change things much.

    I listened to the same preachers in my younger day and like my son today it turned me away from God instead of sending me running to Him.

    I can remember my mother telling my father he was too trusting of what she called the pillars of society and that he himself was a more honest and godly man than those he looked up to.

    People always let us down, we let ourselves down and that means that ultimately it is only God we can trust.

    I have not needed scripture to find that I need God because life has taught me that and it has also taught me that I tire of this world because as I approach my senior years I realize that this world does not change in that every day on television there is appeals from charities too numerous to mention showing that it is still a very unbalanced one.

    The biggest barrier for Christians today is that they believe God is on their side when as my dad always taught me it is for me to make sure I am on God’s side.

    My dad lived life making choices that he believed would please God irrespective of his beliefs and irrespective of hostility from others, he put others first before his own needs and I believe he did all he could to walk the walk and that is all any of us can do while living in a world that is becoming more and more secular.

    Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone you’ll never walk alone.

    He wasn’t a man who talked the talk like so many I knew because he was much more focused on walking the walk.

  20. street says:

    Areas of the brain’s frontal lobes help us process past experiences enabling us to see that life is more than our worst moments and greatest fears…….

    Transition: Seems to me that original sin resulted in trauma and chaos that lingered far beyond our first parents’ loss of innocence.

    Question: Do our Bibles allude to consequences that our embodied minds remember better than we do?

    in the book of job, job accuses God of cosmic treason or chaos in the world in which he lives. after a brief but joyful encounter with God job racetracks his complaint to God and is ready to return to the ash heap. job had seen God and was no longer grouping in the dark. his faith in God was the pathway through bad theology and suffering on a scale we are not accustom too. i am thinking of johsiah who was given very high marks in the Bible. he was given very high marks even before the book of the law was even found in the temple. to me this is very humbling. i am not saying it is better with or with out scripture. i am saying God is not hindered to accomplish His will. if you notice after the book was found he put it into practice with a vengeance. vengeance might be the wrong word here. what are we living by? the law, the Spirit, or Christ. thinking all these things work together in an river of grace from heaven. may we be found faithful.

  21. street says:

    Question: Do our Bibles allude to consequences that our embodied minds remember better than we do?

    yes they instinctively know they are moral no matter what our brains might think. the christian, from what i understand, is dead, yet alive to God. being alive to others is a lot harder.

  22. SFDBWV says:

    I usually don’t like to write in the afternoon as I have far too many interruptions and my tolerance level is getting low. I may say some things I really don’t want to.

    Anyway since we had a morning of difficulty getting to ODB and so BTA I am going to try and say what it is that is on my mind regarding this subject.

    Too many years ago to mention I read two books which were fascinating and at the time opening up a desire to perhaps go for a degree in Psychiatry. Many other things got in my way, but the respect for the science of Psychiatry remained.

    Psychiatry being very different then psychology. Don’t ever think that a psychologist and a psychiatrist are the same, they are not.

    Over the years there has developed a belief that actually transcends what is known or understood concerning the brain. It has brought a different focus or possibility concerning generational development. This different approach to discovering illnesses and behavior goes beyond the brain to the DNA and even what is called “cellular memory”.

    This concept is fascinating, but kept at a distance from textbook psychiatry, but not totally discarded either.

    Because truly intelligent people don’t close their mind to the possibility that there is more to learn than just what they have been taught.

    The idea that we can pass on experience to our offspring’s opens up a huge and clearer understanding of a great many things, including what Mart is bringing to the table in this subject.

    A scientific understanding of what we pass on to our children can be as much as a curse as it can be a blessing.

    The two books I mentioned earlier were a psychoanalysis of Woodrow Wilson and a psychoanalysis of Winston Churchill.

    Our world shaped by these two men and why.

    This is a deep subject, but also why a psychiatrist’s chair is always so big. Not so we feel small, but rather so we feel protected.

    Steve

  23. street says:

    oh bummer spell check edit failure

    after a brief but joyful encounter with God job “racetracks” his complaint to God and is ready to return to the ash heap.

    should be “retracts” his complaint…

    next one

    they instinctively know they are “moral” no matter what our brains might think.

    they are “mortal” no matter what our….

  24. street says:

    1. God will not leave the guilty unpunished.
    2.slow to anger and rich in grace and mercy.
    3. choose whom you will serve.
    4. i am blind and helpless, powerless, ignorant, and angry.

    then light.

  25. street says:

    love the pic mart….poor dog…..reminds me of a christian……flesh and blood indwelt by the Spirit of God!…….is that like filling up a model t with rocket fuel?

  26. street says:

    looking for a way to light this thing up.

  27. jeff1 says:

    When I was talking to my Reverend I said to him that I felt it was my sins of omission that made me feel guilty.

    I also thought, though I did not say it, that it might have been better for me to have been brought up in the Roman Catholic faith where I would have confessed them to the Priest and that would have been a weight of my mind.

    Thinking again that I should have been a Roman Catholic because I love that the Catholics asked the Mother of Heaven to intercede for their sins.

    I have a great belief in intercessory prayer because I have seen it work in my own circumstances and in others and I guess to my way of thinking the Mother of Heaven must have a lot more clout in Heaven than I have on earth.

    Born in a country where religion divides us I am apt to keep these thoughts between God and me because here such thinking could cause a very negative reaction from my own faith members.

    Often here I have felt that if I did not laugh I would cry and it tickles my sense of humour when I think that our idea of God is that he must be one religion or the other so you can imagine my laughter when I contemplate that both sides may have got it wrong.

  28. SFDBWV says:

    The clearest difference between Psychiatry and psychology is that one deals with a physical science as to what is or isn’t functioning in the brain and the other deals with the emotion that is a result.

    Here is an enormous thought; what happens to everything we know, who we are, all of this learned generational existence once we die?

    The brain that Mart’s psychiatrist wrote about no longer is alive. Its ability to function is over.

    Yet this “Book” tells us that we live on in a spiritual existence and that all of who we are, what we know, the culmination of generations stay with us.

    Outside of a physical existence there can’t be such things as a chemical imbalance that alters our psychology, or diseased or damaged brain tissue that hinders us in so many ways.

    Sadly there are a long list of physical reasons that will affect how we think, behave and interact with others. Things we have no control over at all, only live with in an existence of struggle and confusion. Never truly understood by our peers or by others around us.

    Is having a sick or damaged brain then hide the real person we are? Is the real person we are held captive by it?

    When we look for answers, are we then looking at God as the reason? If we look for a reason as to “why” is it a cry to God for us to understand and accept or more for help in giving us peace.

    Why indeed.

    Why do we have to live an entire lifetime before we can finally leave a broken mind behind in hope of finding peace in an existence where there is no more broken anything.

    The only peace being in a belief that there is a better life to come.

    Small wonder that psychiatrists hold the highest number of suicides within the professional medical field.

    49 degrees and clear.

    Steve

  29. jeff1 says:

    Why? Perhaps the words of this poem will throw some light on where we go wrong and why God gets it right.

    Although this poem would seem to refer to your nation we know that others are in a similar state.

    Thanksgiving is more
    than a day in November
    That students of history
    are taught to remember,
    More than a date
    that we still celebrate
    With turkey and dressing
    piled high our our plate …
    For while we still offer
    the traditional prayer,
    We pray out of habit
    without being aware
    That the Pilgrims thanked God
    just for being alive,
    For the strength that He gave them
    to endure and survive
    Hunger and hardship
    that’s unknown in the present
    Where progress and plenty
    have made our lives pleasant…
    And living today
    in this great and rich nation
    That depends not on God
    but on mechanisation,
    We tend to forget
    that our forefathers came
    To establish a country
    under God’s name …
    But we feel we’re so strong
    we no longer need faith,
    And it now has become
    nothing more than a wraith
    Of the faith that once founded
    this powerful nation
    In the name of the Maker
    and the Lord of creation…
    Oh, teach us, dear God,
    we are all pilgrims still,
    Subject alone
    to Your guidance and will,
    And show us the way
    to purposeful living
    So we may have reason
    for daily thanksgiving-
    And make us once more
    a God-fearing nation
    And not just a puppet
    of controlled automation.

  30. mtman says:

    Having our brain imprinted from our parents actually doesn’t seem far fetched to me. I look out the window and see a flock of tiny hummingbirds swarming around the feeder and they have a brain about the size of a very small pea yet they can fly hundreds of miles in migration and come to the very same feeder year after year.

    Not only that but they can stop at the same exact spot each year on their migration route. They arrive at the same time and leave at the same time.

    This is not a learned behavior but an instinct that they are born with. Much like salmon who can return to the very spot they were born having undergone hardships to get there to breed. Or the moray eel that will travel hundreds of miles to breed in a specific location at a specific time.

    Nature is rift with examples and yet we take them for granted and do not pay much attention to them or how they could apply to us too. I expect Steve’s supposition is much more accurate than Van Der Kolk’s in that it is our DNA. The DNA comes imprinted in us and determines our physical composure but does it imprint our brains with parental traits. I think so.

    As to hurting others I believe that is a choice. Some are so self centered that they do not see the hurt they cause others. Society supports and endorses being self centered and the result is that we don’t see and recognize others feelings.

    We may be imprinted with parents DNA and traits but not to the point that it controls our decision making or choices. Those are fully in our power to make and how we make them is entirely up to us.

    We can be predisposed to making poor choices that hurt others and the Lord has given us the tools to deal with those sometimes bad choices. When we forgive others or turn the other cheek we benefit mostly. Going to your brother who has offended you is another good example. Sadly we take from the scriptures what we want and like (another choice) and ignore the parts we don’t like or agree with.
    We may be predisposed to be a certain way but that doesn’t mean we have to remain that way. It all boils down to our choices and we can’t in the final analysis blame it on genetics, DNA, environment or anything else. Not everyone makes consistent bad choices. We alone make choices and must be responsible for what we do. When we became Christians we left behind the imprinting and became new again. It is how we deal with our choices that is important.

  31. poohpity says:

    mtman, it seems like you have waded into what Mart was trying to get us to see. The results of trauma or hurt in our lives and whether we deserve to hurt back or take responsibility in choosing another path. I believe it is something born into the human condition since the beginning when it was hard for our first parents even to admit wrong without blame. We are responsible for the choices we make which may/not result in hurting others however we are not always responsible for someone hurting us but it is our response that seems to be important.

    The reason it seems why people do as they do may have hidden agendas that comes from parenting, environment, illness, etc. but it does not always have to be the reason we react as we do fight, flight or freeze. We can learn another way especially understanding there is another way.

  32. poohpity says:

    I was thinking about the different responses of David when he was pursued by Saul even after being loyal to him and even when David’s own son was trying to take the kingdom from him. Then when it was David who caused trauma with Uriah and Bathsheba. From the songs he wrote whether it was him causing the hurt or was the one being hurt he took it all to God. When he was being hurt he did not retaliate or cause the untimely death of the king and when he did the hurting he prayed for different consequences. So human nature has pretty much been human nature.

  33. poohpity says:

    My hunch is what caused us to be like we are is from the dirt we were made from, lol. So would that be sort of like DNA? :-)

  34. jeff1 says:

    It seems that as the world advances so does the truth as it is because of DNA that those who have committed crimes in the past can now be brought to justice.

    Also there is fathers who will not take responsibility when a girl is left pregnant and now with DNA tests they cannot deny if they are the father.

    With this in mind DNA just might make people make better choices when they find they cannot escape the consequences of them.

  35. street says:

    When we look for answers, are we then looking at God as the reason? If we look for a reason as to “why” is it a cry to God for us to understand and accept or more for help in giving us peace.

    Why indeed.

    Why do we have to live an entire lifetime before we can finally leave a broken mind behind in hope of finding peace in an existence where there is no more broken anything.

    The only peace being in a belief that there is a better life to come.

    if we are looking for answers and reason i think we short change ourselves and put God in a box. thing God is not the answer or the reason, but the solution. foolishness to the western mind. each of us will be forced up against the wall brought on by evil and injustice. we will find a solution in our own self righteousness or in the righteousness of God.

    why the here and now…..8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

    we are on display to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. one thing else comes to mind is intercession. just thinking…..the blind man glorified God and so will we.

  36. street says:

    John 9:40-41

    40 Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.

  37. street says:

    I’ve been reading a book about the effects and treatment of trauma titled, “The Body Keeps the Score.” Written by psychiatric researcher, Bessel Van Der Kolk, it describes how different parts of our brain need to work together to help us avoid and survive danger.

    keeping score?…..it’s best to keep score at the cross.

  38. poohpity says:

    street, amen!

    I am going through a time right now of great hurt and my first fleshly response is the desire to return that hurt, literally thinking of ways to do that. I have prayed and read several Psalms that just told me to be still and put it in God’s hand before I do or say anything. It seems a fight of doing things myself or trusting God to work and that means to be patient in waiting. Not to do anything to the other person but to work in my heart. Each thing I have read and even watched on TV was about walking in His grace and trusting God. I watched, “Cry, the Beloved Mountain” wow did it speak to my heart in a big way.

  39. jeff1 says:

    Waiting is difficult, Pooh, I am learning to immerse myself in God’s goodness so that He strengthens me as only God can.

    I find when I remain patient the temptation to give into the flesh diminishes and I feel so much better for not having lashed out.

    You can be strong with God’s help.

  40. joycemb says:

    The best revenge is love; for God, for myself, my enemy and my neighbor.

  41. street says:

    Why do we have to live an entire lifetime before we can finally leave a broken mind behind in hope of finding peace in an existence where there is no more broken anything.

    thinking of paul’s argument to the Ephesians that we are made alive in Christ, where we use to be dead to God. the life is here and now. His very Own Spirit has been given to believers by a work of God not man. we need to understand what has transpired in the past on our behalf in Christ Jesus and the life/power that is made available now. God leaves nothing up the chance in the salvation of a soul to a sinner. yet He uses sinners to spread salvation’s message through the world. too me the difficulty is sitting standing and walking in this new life. the struggle of sorrow powerlessness failures. the phrase there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus comes to mind….hope and peace where there was none. another verse comes to mind where God says there will be a distinction between the righteous and the unrighteous. where as now it is blurry in our vision. we must stay focused on Jesus our Lord.
    Proverbs 29:18
    Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law.

    happier are they that know God.

  42. street says:

    paying for you poo

  43. bubbles says:

    Was “Cry, the Beloved Mountain” written by Alan Paton?

  44. saled says:

    The Paton book was Cry, the Beloved Country, a story that no parent will ever forget.

  45. SFDBWV says:

    Along with dealing with psychiatry the darkest of human behavior comes forward in the study of “behavioral science”.

    Well known is the fact that serial killers are also associated with pornography. In that pornography has a base in the killers reasoning to kill.

    I spoke a few subjects back about a neighbor of our son who is about the same age as Matthew, my son. That when Eric was just a small child around 6 or 7 he enjoyed stepping on little baby chicks and killing them.

    We may have never known little boys who have actually been guilty of pulling the wings off of butterflies, but we all have heard of such cruel behavior.

    Most of us remember the University of Texas shooter who from a tower shot at random several people to death and was only stopped when he himself was killed. Popular belief from that disaster was that the shooter had a brain tumor that may have altered his “reasoning”.

    Today we see multiple killings take place almost on a regular basis. The victims just targets of the shooter or slashers rampage to kill. The basis from what has been “religion” and in too many cases just “baseless”.

    Are these acts of a normal healthy brain? Or is it because the “hard wiring” of their brains are short circuited?

    Or is it a “choice” that the inner being or spiritual being of that individual has made?

    It would seem that in this view science and “religion” agree such behavior is not conductive to a healthy co-existence with others. How to resolve the issue then becomes a matter of combining both in keeping society safe and the healing of the offender.

    Why do we hurt others? Some people just like to do it because they can. It gives them a feeling of power over others. A superior feeling in order to counter their inadequacies.

    Deep subjects require deep thought.

    53 degrees and cloudy. I see snow is in the forecast for the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, I hope mtman is not affected.

    Steve

  46. bubbles says:

    Yes, I have read that book.

  47. jeff1 says:

    I believe, Steve, that the fact remains that only God knows the heart and the real reasons and motives behind what individuals do.

    People lie, lie to themselves, lie to others and lie to the authorities but you cannot lie to God because God is both love and truth combined.

    My mother was one for talking and she used to say lies will always find you out.

    That is because God wants us to tell the truth regardless of the consequences but fear of consequences is what makes us lie and so we create a cycle of confusion that God never intended.

    I say I trust God but if I really trusted God then I would always tell the truth, the fact that I lie to myself and others is proof that I am not trusting God.

    I have to be honest with myself and see that I am not trusting God which means I am causing my own blindness.

    God wants me to see but the trauma of the past can overwhelm me into believing that I am too bad for God’s goodness and blessing as I believe I deserve my suffering which has been my beliefs that I would reap what I sowed.

    God has made us unique and it is because of that uniqueness that it is impossible for two people to behave the same i.e. what will stress one, will not stress another which means we cannot really understand another person which seems to be God’s intention so that ultimately we call on Him.

    We call on Him
    Whenever storm clouds gather
    We call on Him to light our darkest day
    Why must it be that only when we’re lonely
    And hopes are dim, we call on Him

    Why don’t we call on Him before we lose our way
    To count our blessings and thank Him while we may

    We call on Him when no one else will answer
    We ask of Him a reason to go on
    When our cup of joy becomes a cup of sorrow
    Filled to the brim, we call on Him

    Why don’t we call on Him before we lose our way
    To count our blessings and thank Him while we may

  48. poohpity says:

    Yes bubbles and saled. How one can stop hurt turning into hate with the help of God. I did not read the book but watched the movie so I bet the book was better. I prayed that I could act like the African preacher and just cry and pray rather than react to hurt with rage, anger and hatred.

  49. poohpity says:

    He had trauma upon trauma but it does not have to make us into monsters that want to cause trauma for others.

  50. poohpity says:

    His brother in Christ and fellow preacher asked, “why does not God show him mercy?” from all the struggles but to me having Christ in him did show mercy by giving him strength not to retaliate and just feel the trauma. No excuses or blame.

  51. poohpity says:

    Like both Job and Jesus. Wow to be that trusting and mature in my faith sure does cause one to be speechless.

  52. poohpity says:

    Now that was a good example of allowing the Spirit to have control resulting in having self control.

  53. foreverblessed says:

    Beautiful song Jeff, why don’t we call on Him…

    This topic is a bit over my head.
    I think Mart is having a series on blessing and the curse, the curse mainly through the fall.
    As I said earlier, I do not know the depth of the fall, but it is deeper than I think it is.
    But… neither do I know the depth of our salvation, bug it is much deeper than I think it is.

    In the Gospels it is often about evil spirits that hinder people. We in the west don’t talk about that. I used to think: well, that is easy, just blame the evil spirit, but… if they really do bother us, since our safe protection is gone since the fall, then… yes, then it is best to know something about it. I have been to christian conferences, with Graham Powell, he is really gifted through the Holy Spirit, to free people from them, but only when the Holy Spirit tells him so. Otherwise he does nothing.
    But all the evening, he himself has his eyes fixed on Jesus, singing songs of praise to Him. That makes me feel comfortable.

    Today’s My Utmost, is very good, in my life too, I should my eyes have on Jesus. He will show in due time what is wrong with me, and otherwise I can sing songs and psalms.

    I do not know if this all is helpful in the thread, but may God bless you all, and that IS helpful!

  54. joycemb says:

    Todays Seedbed is very good also. He talks about the pain of betrayal and how the pain may never leave us yet we have Jesus to help us bear it.

  55. mtman says:

    In all this dialog we don’t seem to recognize the presence of Satan in our hurting others and ourselves. We may be predisposed to certain traits based upon our DNA but that doesn’t mean we need to succumb to them. They do not need to control our lives.

    To ignore the ravenous lion and his influence in the world seems to work in his favor. We look for flaws, medical defects, explanations and such in those who do wrong when in reality they may simply choose to do wrong because they like it. Those predisposed flaws that may be in our DNA and imprinted in our brains is all fertile material for Satan to exploit as he whispers in our ear. While we may know it is wrong we let him convince us we deserve it and it will be good for us.

    The hard truth is that we possess free will to make our own choices – good or bad – in spite of our predispositions. If we make excuses to ourselves and for others then we are simply allowing the natural side of us command our lives. It is called submitting to temptation.

    I know of others, myself included, who have been severely tempted and resisted. Like Paul said: I do what I do not want to do and do not do what I want to do. All through life we are faced with choices and it is up to us to make the right ones and be strong enough to put our natural side aside.

    We can resist through prayer, advice of others, scripture, and exercising our free will and following our heart. When we became Christians we became new creations and we need to remember that as we go through life. Satan would like us to believe we have not left that behind but we need to leave Satan behind. The idea we can’t help ourselves when in reality we really can but sometimes it is easy to take the easiest path. All we need to do to expel Satan is call on our Lord. If we deny Satan exists then we may be lost.

    Satan and his minions are a strong influence in the world and our lives so we need to recognize where these temptations to depart from who we are called to be come from. Resist and rely on the Lord in prayer, the Holy Spirit in guidance and exercise our will. He who perseveres to the end will win the prize….

    There is much evil in the world about us but we are to be lights in the darkness. I consider it a waste of time to try to explain it or understand evil but instead try to focus on being the person God called me to be and keep my attention on the finish line of the race of life.

  56. joycemb says:

    Seedbed discusses John 13:21-27 and I was struck by the scripture saying “Satan entered into him”. Seems as you say mtmn our choices have a lot to do with our actions.

  57. street says:

    Trauma
    seems to me as traumatic as a sinful life is here on earth there is no amount of good decisions or works to atone for the grievous injuries to God and His law. nor can they save us from the impending death due to such lawless ones.
    in trauma there is a thing called the golden hour. doctors know if intervention is not made in this short window of hope there will be no recovery. body system failures lead to shock and death. thinking of the shock…..did that sin really happen? the real shock is the complete depravity and helplessness of the human body. yes the human body does need a Savior and yes He will raise it from the gave, but not before He conforms it to the image of Christ for the purpose of life, our hope. many will be raised with no hope. find your hope in Jesus the Savior. no other name is given for Salvation. Jesus is the One Who disposed of sin properly. we are incapable of doing this.

    sharing in the suffering of Christ. don’t suffer as a lawbreaker. love suffers much. love is stronger than hate. the love of Christ is the strand that holds our hearts secure in heaven. shall anything separate us from the love of Christ?

  58. joycemb says:

    There is also a term called trauma bond, where two- or more even- involved in the same traumatic incident become bonded through it, through mutual experience. I think many of us who are Christ followers understand this–understanding somewhat of His suffering, though willingly and with no sin. But sin is universal to all, there are no degrees of sin in Gods economy and no victims. Another author on trauma Dr David Chu wrote that in the end we’re all “victims of victims of victims”. Yes, the love of Christ alone holds us, along with the fellowship of the saints for help here on earth.

  59. SFDBWV says:

    Staying focused…Wondering if the real person we are or could be is born that way, made that way through environment, or existed before birth with God.

    Was the soul created at the moment of conception, or was that moment of conception when the soul was united with the flesh.

    There are some people who cannot be “cured” of their particular “sin” by medical or scientific means. Even when such people become Christian believers, their “sickness” never leaves them. They only forever suffer with guilt or abstinence of acting upon their “urges” in an effort to be or feel they are in obedience to God. Or for some deny that their “urges are a sin at all.

    Not surprising all of these particular “sins” are associated with “lust” or “sexual” desires.

    I have read studies that indicate rapists brains are “hard wired” differently that “normal” men. The same can be said of pedophiles and yes I am sorry to say “homosexuals”.

    Can any of these people be delivered from their “urges”? I would have to say yes that God is able to change anyone’s hearts. It may be that He does all the time, we just don’t see it in our academic or life experiences.

    Life is trauma from the moment we are born until the moment we die. Facing truth is one of the most traumatic experiences I know of. Facing life without hope is the saddest thing I know of and the only hope I see for any of us is by and through Jesus of Nazareth the Son of God, our Lord and Savior.

    If it is true that His desire is that none should parish, then I have to believe that “none shall parish.”

    I would have to say we just need to be kind and gentle to each other, but recognize that from time to time we will fail.

    80 degrees and partially cloudy.

    Steve

  60. jeff1 says:

    Just thinking back to when my brother was diagnosed with Schizophrenia as a teenager (would have been 67 this year).

    I can remember my mother saying the doctor said that they can be hostile towards their nearest and dearest and he wanted my mum to let my brother move into a place of his own but my mum would not hear tell of it but she had a difficult life as my brother spent his younger life in and out of a mental hospital getting electric shock treatments and seeming as if he was cured but the treatment was only temporary and he would become unwell again over time.

    Mental illness can run in families as can alcohol addiction. My mum knew families where often the alcoholic’s father and grandfather had also drink problems.

    We cannot know when God is working in others lives but only see when He is working in our own.

    I agree Steve, we need to be kind and understanding because we have no idea of what difficulties others have been through and I often find that my difficulties fade when I hear what others have come through.

    God never asks us to be perfect in doing so that is a trait of mankind but they do say that practice makes perfect so if at first you don’t succeed try and try again.

    It will please God to see us try so that should encourage us even if we have moments of weakness we know God understands.

  61. SFDBWV says:

    Evolutionists would have us believe that our brains evolved from a chemical soup into the complex organ it is.

    That over eons of time our brain learned how best to survive.

    That learned or repeated activity enabled the brain to succeed, the successor then able to procreate more of its kind.

    Taught in schools and universities is what is considered the evolution of man and more to the point the successful man, Cro-Magnon.

    The excepted thinking being that Neanderthal man became extinct because he either couldn’t adapt, or was killed off by his more successful cousin Cro-Magnon.

    The accepted thinking always that the larger the brain, the more intelligent the being.

    That wonderful bit of writing from Shakespeare holds quite a lot of wisdom that stated “There is far more in heaven and earth then dreamt of in your philosophy Horacio.”

    Recent finding show that Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal bred together, something rejected only a few years ago. Thanks to DNA science there are some undeniable facts out there that just ruffles the feathers of the experts and causes them to accept facts they would rather ignore.

    DNA science concludes that we, all nations of people, all races of people came from the same ancestral mother.

    We have a Book that tells how all of us became who we are. More to my point it tells us that we arose from the earth with an already developed brain complete with all of what we needed to succeed being human.

    Created by God as we are today with the exception of what we have come to know as the fall of mankind.

    The question remains for me, if Adam had a choice as we have choices, are we actually all that different then from Adam and Eve mentally or did the fall of Adam and Eve produce the broken mental state of man today?

    Yes there is more in heaven and earth than dreamt of in our philosophy. Sadly we don’t like some of the answers we see written in Scripture and so complicate our lives by trying an end run around them.

    60 degrees this morning and somewhat clear.

    Steve

  62. mtman says:

    Perhaps science evolutionists could explain how the monarch butterfly goes from larvae stage into pupa where inside the cocoon it releases an enzyme that turns it to liquid. Then that liquid reforms into a beautiful butterfly. Science can’t explain how that happens – just that it does happen.
    Or if we evolved from monkeys or apes why there are still monkeys and apes and why have they not evolved.
    Or we can believe we came into being as described in Genesis…

    Or we can believe that the universe came from a mysterious explosion and the planets fell into perfect place and orbit in precise paths around the sun and then one life evolved. Who caused that single big bang that fell into perfect order? Or we can believe what it says in Genesis.

    Some people whether scientists or otherwise can present a very persuasive argument and the non informed is not able to dispute so is influenced and act on same.

    Some would have us believe we humans have evolved but can’t explain how the monarch butterfly transforms inside the pupa. Nor can they explain how a hummingbird knows how to migrate and stop en route to each exact feeding station and then returns to the exact spot (inches) that it migrated from.

    Science knows how DNA defines our physical attributes but how far it goes in other area’s is still unknown. It is used to identify us and just the fact that each persons DNA is individually unique and not like any other is mathematically mind boggling. That is about as far as science has taken DNA. Or we could believe Genesis…

    Seems to me that it still all boils down to choices. Do we believe those who can present a persuasive scientific theory or do we believe Genesis. Our choices actually are very important and our salvation depends on how we choose. Are we influenced by what sounds right or are do we know within our heart and soul that the bible is the right choice.

    When choices are brought to this level they suddenly become very important. We can’t afford to make the wrong decision when it comes to this or be misled by alternative theories.

  63. SFDBWV says:

    Mtman our Bible tells us to look to nature and the night sky and to do so is proof that there is a Creator God. I love it…

    I could tell so many amazing nature stories and never tire of doing so, but today I have no time at all left.

    I especially like that the monarch butterfly takes 3 generations to complete its migratory trip from Mexico to Canada and back.

    I hope that if you had any of the snow we are seeing on the news, it was of no consequence to you except enjoyment.

    Steve

  64. saled says:

    It seems to me that Mart’s four examples show a progression of maturity in our concept of how God deals with sin. The first example seems to say, “Be good or God will get you. The second seems to say, “When you have sinned, God will be merciful towards you.” The third seems to say, “Choose not to sin.” And the fourth seems to say, “Don’t judge. What looks like the result of sin may not be, but may be so that the power of God may be seen.”

    Number 3 bothers me. Someone mentioned Paul’s words, “That that I would, I do not; and that that I would not, I do.” I always thought that Paul was saying was that while he knew the right choice, he struggled with putting what he knew into action.

    Fascinating subject, how the wiring and chemistry of our brains affects who we are. After seeing many special needs students, I suspect that who we truly are is buried way deeper than others, and maybe even ourselves, can know. Maybe it is not about grabbing ourselves by the bootstraps and making something of ourselves. I loved what Mart wrote a few posts back about how God turns things upside down. He said something like the first being last and the way up being the way down.

  65. jeff1 says:

    Number 3 is what I find is what is wrong in my life and many others I know i.e. they know what they should do but the flesh is weak.

    This is a country where we talk the talk but when it comes to walking the walk I understand Paul completely.

    That is why I can now see how disciplined a life my father led because he never talked the talk but he always walked the walk and I know today just how rare it is to be able to put into actions what you know is God’s will rather than allowing the flesh to have its way.

    God knows His children, those who have the strength of my father and those whose flesh is weak and He loves them all because of who He is and not who we are.

    It is God who is faithful yet we talk has if we are giving God the Glory when the Glory is God’s to begin with.

    How little we know God and how well does God know us.

    To Him be the Glory great things He has done.

  66. SFDBWV says:

    Took a little time this morning to rest after rising so early. The subject in my mind being on a collision course between the spiritual and the flesh and what constitutes our ability to have sway one way or the other.

    I believe we all have to come to terms with issues of the mind that will ultimately balance out. If not then that imbalance manifests itself in abnormal ways.

    A ‘healthy brain will “fix” the imbalance sometimes by and through dreams, so that in your “mind” things stay in balance.

    An unhealthy brain may need help by medication, but even that sometimes isn’t enough.

    The way we see everything is then seen through our brains condition.

    Especially how we might interpret Scripture.

    Trauma will introduce an immediate response as to how to resolve the situation and best protect our mental condition.

    If we can’t see a way out of a situation panic may set in and if it does then our thought process all but shuts down.

    If the mental shut down is severe enough we call it a “mental breakdown” and the result may take quite a long time before the brain can recover from it. If ever.

    In my opinion here is where our faith in not only “a” God, but the God of our Bible and especially in Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah.

    For some of us the only way out of a traumatic situation is the hope that Jesus provides. Jesus is the “Savior”, the rescuer our refuge and our safe place.

    In believing that we can be in balance once again and have “peace”.

    When we can’t find answers we can entrust them to Him and leave them on the altar.

    Did I invent Jesus so as to have an escape from reality? No, Jesus came to provide a means of escape and there is a story all about it repeated throughout thousands of years of history recorded for our benefit and for our salvation.

    The progression of how God is shown that Mart provided, isn’t that God had changed His mind on matters only how we can see the full intent of this relationship between God and us all.

    “It is His desire that “none” should parish”. I don’t think there is any power in heaven nor on earth that can prevent God from exacting His desires.

    61 degrees and cloudy.

    Steve

  67. poohpity says:

    Who am I, that the lord of all the earth
    Would care to know my name
    Would care to feel my hurt?
    Who am I, that the bright and morning star
    Would choose to light the way
    For my ever wandering heart?

    Not because of who I am
    But because of what you’ve done
    Not because of what I’ve done
    But because of who you are

    I am a flower quickly fading
    Here today and gone tomorrow
    A wave tossed in the ocean
    A vapor in the wind
    Still you hear me when I’m calling
    Lord, you catch me when I’m falling
    And you’ve told me who I am
    I am yours

    Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
    Would look on me with love
    And watch me rise again?
    Who am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
    Would call out through the rain
    And calm the storm in me?

    Not because of who I am
    But because of what you’ve done
    Not because of what I’ve done
    But because of who you are

    I am a flower quickly fading
    Here today and gone tomorrow
    A wave tossed in the ocean
    A vapor in the wind
    Still you hear me when I’m calling
    Lord, you catch me when I’m falling
    And you’ve told me who I am
    I am yours

    Not because of who I am
    But because of what you’ve done
    Not because of what I’ve done
    But because of who you are

    I am a flower quickly fading
    Here today and gone tomorrow
    A wave tossed in the ocean
    A vapor in the wind
    Still you hear me when I’m calling
    Lord, you catch me when I’m falling
    And you’ve told me who I am
    I am yours

    I am yours
    I am yours
    Whom shall I fear, whom shall I fear?
    ‘Cause I am yours
    I am yours

    Casting Crowns – Who Am I Lyrics

  68. jeff1 says:

    Charlie Landsborough has a voice that can calm my fears and the words of his songs are equally has soothing.

    Everybody needs a little help sometime
    No one stands alone
    Makes no difference if you’re just a child like me
    O a king upon a throne
    For there are no exceptions
    We all stand in the line
    Everybody needs a friend
    Let me tell you of mine

    He’s my forever friend
    My leave-me never friend
    From darkest night to rainbow’s end
    He’s my forever friend

    Even when I turn away He cares for me
    His love no one can shake
    Even as I walk away He’s be my side
    With every breath I take
    And sometimes I forget Him
    My halo fails to shine
    Sometimes I’m not His friend
    But He is always mine

    If you still don’t know the one I’m talking of
    I think its time you knew
    Long ago and far away upon a cross
    My friend died for you
    So if you’d like to meet Him
    And don’t know what to do
    Ask my friend into your heart
    And He’ll be your friend too

    He’s my forever friend
    My leave-me-never friend
    From darkest night to rainbow’s end
    He’s my forever friend

  69. poohpity says:

    The Lord seems to be the only one who can take the traumas of this life and turn them into something of purpose and for good. I guess it all comes down to whether we truly believe that God is good all the time even when we may not understand or know why things happen as they do.

    Nothing created can separate us from the love of God.(Rom 8:35-37 NLT; Rom 8:38-39 NLT) We can make a choice not to accept that love or walk away from it but that even does not stop the fact that God loves ALL the peoples of this world.(John 3:16-17 NLT)

    Judgment is assumed to be based on behavior and performance, the keeping of a record of our wrongs an activity that 1 Cor 13 states emphatically that love does not do. (1 Cor 13:5 NIV)

  70. joycemb says:

    “Any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books on astronomy. These pure and spontaneous pleasures are ‘patches of Godlight’ in the woods of our experience.”

    C S Lewis

  71. street says:

    Romans 7:5 For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death.

    Romans 8:3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,

    thinking about how we are wired to the spirit of the flesh from conception, creatures of wrath, but God quicken us by the Holy Spirit in Christ Jesus. made new. yet humbly remaining in the flesh to display the power of God. Your grace is enough for me.

  72. street says:

    this struggle with the flesh is very similier to the struggle jonah had with nineveh and christian’s have with other wills of God.

    it is a tough thing to struggle with the grace and mercy of God. when we do we claim we are more righteous than God. the thing we forget is God has great mercy and compassion for the unrighteous. mercy and compassion come from God not humans. there is a proverb that the kindness of the wicked is cruelty. we can do nothing apart from God, even sin. so what is keeping us from living fully? could it be nothing?

  73. street says:

    I believe we all have to come to terms with issues of the mind that will ultimately balance out. If not then that imbalance manifests itself in abnormal ways.

    thinking about God balancing out justice for mankind. every time we think we can balance it out, the scales go out of wack because of pride. not even mentioning trying to figure out all the false accusations. seems to me things get better when we empty ourselves, no small task, and start listening to the truth.

    paul did not have to look too far in the past to see where he came from, nor did he forget his thorn in the flesh in the present. the thing that kept him going was the grace and mercy he had received in Christ Jesus where he would always bend his knees in humble worship and try to help other understand this love in Christ. yes we live traumatic lives, but God raises the dead and heals.

  74. street says:

    Seems to me that, at the very least, these varying and maybe even seemingly contradictory statements each —like the varying regions of our own brains, are intended to work together to help us avoid hurting ourselves and one another…………by living by faith?

    (Rather than judging A.L.L.)

    Psalm 32:2
    How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit!

    Psalm 84:5
    How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, In whose heart are the highways to Zion!

  75. street says:

    the trauma of innocence…..

    thinking of a world where there is no knowledge of evil and everything is permissible. no death or injury just one insane amusement after another. like a warner brother’s cartoon. they call them loony tunes. seems to me that such an existence would be traumatic to one made in the image of God. we do not know how things would have looked if we had traveled another road, but we do know Christ is the only road or hope of a return to a paradise lost. keep the faith young christian traveler, the celestial city is not far away. in the mean time enjoy the fellowship of the Spirit of Christ. I will never leave you nor forsake you. the fruit of the tree of life.
    4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

  76. jeff1 says:

    Chorus:

    Spirit of God, unseen as the wind,
    gentle as is the dove;
    teach us the truth and help us believe,
    show us the Saviour’s love!

    1.
    You spoke to us long, long ago,
    gave us the written word;
    we read it still, needing its truth
    through it God’s voice is heard.

    Chorus:

    Spirit of God, unseen as the wind,
    gentle as is the dove;
    teach us the truth and help us believe,
    show us the Saviour’s love!

    2.
    Without your help we fail our Lord,
    we cannot live His way;
    we need Your power, we need Your strength,
    following Christ each day.

    Spirit of God, unseen as the wind,
    gentle as is the dove;
    teach us the truth and help us believe,
    show us the Saviour’s love!

  77. SFDBWV says:

    I have avoided bringing Matthew, my son’s traumatic brain injury into this subject and am not going to get too specific now.

    I don’t expect any of you to fix his and my problems so don’t over reach and try to please.

    I am just going to share that every day he deals with many inabilities due to his brain injury. Every day I try to help him in any way I can.

    There are a great many things I can’t do and that above all is the most frustrating for me.

    However over these past 18 years (June 7 1999) the relationship between Matt and I can be seen in various ways as the broken relationship between God and man. This I have observed and learned.

    Seeing Matt struggle with life and watching hope die over and over again and again is heartbreaking. Listening to him as he pleads for me to let him die as he sees only his death as his only way out of this nightmare is as real as life gets.

    The moments when we laugh, when he prays for others, when he enjoys the simplest things are always overshadowed by his waking every morning and his nightmare still with him.

    I want better for Matt, God wants better for us all.

    If mankind’s condition is because of “one” bad decision many thousands of years ago that caused “brain trauma” then to effect all of humanity. The result being that God became flesh so as to die and restore mankind.

    Why then does mankind still suffer from the trauma of that one bad decision by Eve and Adam? Why is it we all have to suffer a broken world until the end of all things?

    The simple answer is because that is the way God wants to do things and we have to endure it, albeit along with His help the comforter, the Holy Spirit. We are not alone.

    So Matthew continues to suffer and I along with him. Glenna too is caught up in the trauma of our lives here as we hang onto that thread of hope that things will get better as they get worse.

    We wait, we hope we struggle, we endure and the cycle repeats.

    It is not easy watching someone you love suffer. I want to believe it also grieves God to watch us suffer. I also want to believe He wants the best for us as we want the best for those we love. He gave all of Himself so we could be restored, we give those we love all we have as well.

    I just want to say that God suffers heartache just like we do and I think it important that we remember that.

    All out of time for today.

    Steve

  78. joycemb says:

    The fellowship of the spirit of Christ is about all I REALLY enjoy and cherish this time in my life. Whether I go tomorrow or stay makes no difference to me really. God is God and I rest in His unchangeability and the redeeming grace of Christ Jesus.

  79. saled says:

    Steve, your post about Matt’s struggles made me think of when you have written about that dream you had, about climbing the mountain and how hard it was, and being told, “this is the way you must go, but you will make it.” I hope I have quoted you correctly. That thought has stuck with me and encouraged me, this is the way you must go, but you will make it.

    Life is a lot harder than I ever expected. The needs at home and at work are overwhelming. It seems that instead of getting better, difficulties just keep adding up and intensify.

    I think I have mentioned before that my grandparents grew blueberries and the family members raked them. It’s back breaking work and my grandmother was always there to encourage us by saying, “the berries are better up ahead”. That wasn’t always true, but I always wanted to believe her. My husband makes fun of me now for my ‘berries are better up ahead” attitude. But I believe it. Somewhere, sometime.

  80. jeff1 says:

    At the family service today the children where singing and I though of how they are the future and it reminded me that where there is new life there is new hope.

    They sang the Hokey Pokey but substituted:

    You do the Hokey Pokey with
    You give your heart to Jesus

    I thought how these children where singing with such enthusiasm and it renewed my faith as this world as a way of dulling it.

    How often I have been strengthened by another’s faith because encouragement from God comes in very many different forms but He never fails to turn up and sometimes it is in the most unlikely places.

    Somewhere, my love, there will be songs to sing
    Although the snow covers the hope of Spring
    Somewhere a hill blossoms in green and gold
    And there are dreams, all that your heart can hold
    Someday we’ll meet again, my love
    Someday whenever the Spring breaks through

    You’ll come to me out of the long-ago
    Warm as the wind, soft as the kiss of snow
    Till then, my sweet, think of me now and then
    Godspeed, my love, till you are mine again

    Someday we’ll meet again, my love
    I said “someday whenever the Spring breaks through”

    You’ll come to me out of the long-ago
    Warm as the wind, and as soft as the kiss of snow
    Till then, my sweet, think of me now and then
    Godspeed, my love, till you are mine again!

  81. bubbles says:

    saled, you are like sunshine. Thank you.

  82. joycemb says:

    My evening devotion was from Psalm 32:8The LORD says “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”

    I don’t think the psalmist is talking about my circumstances so much as my relationship with Him. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Amen!

  83. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you Saled you have quoted me well. Over the years such dreams God equipped me with so early in my life have strengthened me and enabled me to continue on. In both being aware and secure in my spirit.

    What I have learned is that over time somewhere along the journey I no longer concerned myself with whether I would make it, but my concern then centered on the people I love. This the most anguishing of all because in my concern I learned that all of my concern and desires for others cannot guarantee they make the correct choices.

    I found myself wondering what good would it be for me to be in heaven knowing someone I love is in hell.

    Again it has to be how God feels about His lost “children”.

    It is when we begin to think outside of ourselves that we begin on a different journey, one with no concern of our own wellbeing, but only the wellbeing of others. Along with the knowledge that they are on their own journey and while we can give all the support we can it remains their journey between them and God.

    The most powerful thing we can do is pray for them.

    Just like Jesus prayed for His disciples and all of us.

    The common ground is always love.

    It is reassuring to know that all we need for our own journey in life God equips us, encourages us and lights the way.

    51 degrees and foggy.

    Steve

  84. bubbles says:

    Would you here please pray for me today? Thank you.

  85. jeff1 says:

    On my own journey I have found that even when I wander He uses others journeys to encourage and light the way.

    His love never fails and how blessed am I to know it.

    Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me
    I am tried and I need Thy strength and power
    To guide me over my darkest hour
    For just open my eyes that I may see
    Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me

    Lead me, guide me along the way
    For if you lead me I cannot stray
    Or just open my eyes that I may see
    Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me
    I am lost if you take your hand from me
    I am blind without Thy light to see

    Lord just always let me Thy servant be
    Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me
    Lead me, guide me along the way
    For if you lead me I cannot stray

    Lord just open my eyes that I may see
    Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me

  86. joycemb says:

    The Daily Seedbed today has very good food for thought about living in the mystery of being in two places at once, here in the body yet seated in heaven with Christ Jesus.

  87. joycemb says:

    Praying bubbles.

  88. poohpity says:

    This weekend I learned that the young lady my son dated through high school and they broke up during his first year in college and she married another is now pregnant after five years of waiting to start a family. The little baby at 19 weeks gestation has been found to have Spina Bifida. They made the choice to continue the pregnancy. It is the worse of the three types.

    They were informed that any further pregnancy may also result in the same prognoses. This will be their only little boy. They will be going to San Fransisco so that a doctor can operate on the baby while still in the uterus. They know that this will be a struggle but their faith in God will see them through.

    They are a two income family so she has to stop working because after the surgery later this month she will have to rest. Their church family as well as friends and other family have started a go fund me page to help with medical costs and for whatever else they may need. I have never heard them once say they deserve a different child but consider this one a blessing from God that they will cherish every bit of time they have with him.

    I guess how we look at circumstances and how overwhelming they may be or we can look at God and be overwhelmed.

  89. poohpity says:

    To me that little baby will be blessed to have believing parents who trust and depend on/in God.

  90. joycemb says:

    I have a couple friends who have chosen to adopt special needs children and some from other countries. They were gifted and chosen for this ministry. It’s amazing to watch the growth and care of both parents and children!

  91. jeff1 says:

    Taken from wisdom of Oswald Chambers today.

    When you are joyful, be joyful; when you are sad, be sad. If God has given you a sweet cup, don’t make it bitter; and if He has given you a bitter cup, don’t try and make it sweet; take things as they come.

    I’m only human, I’m just a woman.
    Help me believe in what I could be
    And all that I am.
    Show me the stairway, I have to climb.
    Lord for my sake, teach me to take
    One day at a time.

    Chorus:
    One day at a time sweet Jesus
    That’s all I’m asking from you.
    Just give me the strength
    To do everyday what I have to do.
    Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus
    And tomorrow may never be mine.
    Lord help me today, show me the way
    One day at a time.

    Do you remember, when you walked among men?
    Well Jesus you know if you’re looking below
    It’s worse now, then then.
    Cheating and stealing, violence and crime
    So for my sake, teach me to take
    One day at a time.

    Chorus:
    One day at a time sweet Jesus
    That’s all I’m asking from you.
    Just give me the strength
    To do everyday what I have to do.
    Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus
    And tomorrow may never be mine.
    Lord help me today, show me the way
    One day at a time.

  92. poohpity says:

    I think through the examples if we did not already know it God is a just and righteous God and our sins deserve punishment yet He showed us a His great love by taking that punishment in our place, Grace upon Grace. Look at how much time He has given us to turn to Him. He has never stopped pursuing us from generation to generation until this earth is gone.

  93. jeff1 says:

    Thinking I am glad that His ways are not my ways as I listened to the news this morning that a suicide bomber has killed 22 people (children among them) and injured over 50 at Manchester UK.

    This creature that I am feels the old nature stirring up again and it is then that I realize how far I am from being Godly.

    Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

    For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
    For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

  94. SFDBWV says:

    I haven’t heard the “liberal” media this morning denouncing the inane act of murder that took place in Manchester England last evening. I haven’t seen demonstrations about whose life matters turning into an excuse to riot. No the liberal media only attacks conservative ideas and Christian values.

    Dealing with Matthew’s brain trauma the doctors are pretty certain they know which areas of the brain control what and so by seeing where the damage is they can try and predict what the outcome is. Experience has taught them that recovery from brain injury is not a very good prognosis.

    Equally they have had to come to terms with how often their prognoses are challenged by the brains ability to heal itself.

    The fact remains that the brain remains a mystery, even with all they have learned about it from a clinical approach.

    What is it that makes one person evil and another “saintly”?

    Is it the biological makeup of brain matter or is it something outside of “medical science” and identified more as “spiritual?

    The question then comes as which controls which, does the condition of the physical brain determine our actions between “evil” and “goodness” or is such “choices” the result of the spiritual?

    Paul says we fight not against flesh and bone but against things of the spiritual world.

    Daniel speaks of that spirit world, Jesus spoke of the spirit world and so we have Scripture evidence of a spiritual world of influence that is all around us. Fed by us, encouraged by us, and if allowed, it controls us and our actions/choices.

    When I think of the physical health of the brain, I can’t help but recall the times the Bible tells of bringing people back to life.

    Lazarus was dead 4 days, the brain starts to die without oxygen in about 15 minutes. The ability for Lazarus to walk out of his grave is quite an unbelievable act from a clinical point of view.

    Yet here is the story of the authority and power of Jesus of Nazareth over the natural things of creation.

    When we see senseless acts of violence such as last night’s incident in England, is it because of a broken brain or the influence of something otherworldly? Of an evil presence that can control the willing brain to make senseless acts of evil?

    More to learn than already known.

    43 degrees and cloudy.

    Steve

  95. jeff1 says:

    The questions that have evaded men from one generation to another are still with us today showing us how much we need God to increase His knowledge and power in this world.

    When Christ returns to this earth and sets up the Kingdom of God, He will restore Israel to its position of leadership in the world (Isaiah 11:12;14:1-2). A humbled, obedient people will then fulfil the leadership role God intended for them.

    What a friend we have in Jesus
    All our sins and grieves to bear
    What a privilege it is to carry
    Everything to God in prayer

    Have we trials and temptations
    Is there trouble anywhere
    Our precious Saviour
    He is still our refuge
    Take it to the Lord in prayer

    Some things we have not
    Because we ask not
    When we have a friend who’s there

    When we’re weak and heavy laden
    Cumbered with a load of care
    We should never be discouraged
    When we take it to the Lord in prayer

    Some things we have not
    Because we ask not
    when we have a friend who cares

    Oh what peace we often forfeit
    Oh what needless pain we bear
    Oh what peace we often forfeit
    Oh what needless pain we bear
    Oh what peace we often forfeit
    Oh what needless pain
    Oh what needless pain
    Oh what needless pain we bear
    We should never be discouraged
    When we take it to the Lord in prayer

  96. poohpity says:

    No matter if people have experienced trauma in their life or have brain injuries there is usually enough there to be taught right from wrong. The brain functions well enough in most so that body works. But if a person is not taught what is right and wrong and allowed to continue in offensive and destructive behavior by making excuses for them(anti-social) and in some being brainwashed in methods of evil we still also have a spiritual component to our person.

    It is God’s work in a person that can change them to do good rather than evil. The devil can suggest as mtman said but it is up to us to make decisions especially when we have been taught. We have been taught what is right and wrong one by the spirit and by leaders(parents). Taking responsibility for ourselves when we do wrong leads to change but as long as one makes excuses and blame is present it will always be the fault of another and nothing changes.

  97. joycemb says:

    “The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places. But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater.”
    J R R Tolkien

    Good day/evening all I was hoping for a change of subject and mood but alas! Gods will be done in spite of my feelings-(. I pray Gods richest blessings on all with love,
    Joyce

  98. joycemb says:

    “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4

  99. jeff1 says:

    Fight the good fight with all thy might;
    Christ is thy Strength, and Christ thy Right;
    Lay hold on life, and it shall be
    Thy joy and crown eternally.

    Run the straight race through God’s good grace,
    Lift up thine eyes, and seek His face;
    Life with its way before us lies,
    Christ is the Path, and Christ the Prize.

    Cast care aside, upon thy Guide,
    Lean, and His mercy will provide;
    Lean, and the trusting soul shall prove
    Christ is its Life, and Christ its Love.

    Faint not nor fear, His arms are near,
    He changeth not, and thou art dear.
    Only believe and thou shall see
    That Christ is all in all to thee.

  100. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you very very much Joyce, for your encouraging comment
    ” Set your hearts on things above ”

    With that verse you help me what to write, as I had promised to react to a comment you made two weeks ago, on depression.

    You said, we have to embrace depression, and I said: you have to fight it with all your might, with the help of God.

    Now, there is a time for everything!
    1-When first diagnosed with depression it is best to face it! It does no good to ignore it.
    Bringing it to the Cross. And it takes a while to do that.
    I was diagnosed with depression 20 years ago. Having been in a Christian church that had the laws of God higher than the Grace of God, no idea had I what living in faith in Jesus was. And then exhaustion comes one time or another, and depression.
    I went to see a Christian psychologist, she helped me talking through it, and she always pointed me to Jesus.
    When I would go to Christian conferences, I would always cry when the singing started, and it felt every time, as is the tears were cleansing me.
    Till Christians around me started to get impatient: I should stop crying.
    But the By Spirit softly spoke to me that the work of comforting was not yet over.
    In that time Iearned to listen to the HS, instead of other Christians. However well-meaning they maybe.
    Nobody knows the depth of our being but God!

    That took 3 years.
    And slowly the growth was, to joy, real joy!

    Now after that time, thoughts of depression still came into my mind. And then I learned that there is also a time to fight! “Fight these thoughts” was the message the Holy Spirit gave me. Fight them with all your might.
    And He showed me that when I set my thoughts on things above, ( the verse you have this morning) that it is easier to fight them!
    Fill your mind with positive thoughts!
    The negative that had happened to me, I had gone through it, no need to go over it again and again.

    Praising God, praising Jesus, singing spiritual songs and Psalms, studying who Jesus was, and what He did in the Gospels.

    And somebody gave me the book
    Battlefield of the mind by…I forgot her name.
    And Oswald Chambers is exhorting a lot too. That’s how I came to this site!

    But…. driving out the thoughts that I now know so very well by now:
    ” It is all not going to work”
    ” I failed again, I will never make it”
    ” Oh no, another day started, what on earth will I do”
    ” Why do I not feel happy”

    Out with them!
    If I linger too long on them, the depression comes back!

    None of it, but instead:
    ” In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome this world”

    Yes! That is our Jesus! Our Conquerer, our Loyal Friend!
    Our Diverer!
    Alpha and Omega!

    The beginning of my life and the End, and all letters in between Psalm 119 is about Jesus being my guide!

    Yesterday I woke up and had heavy thoughts on the co.ing day, but I grabbed them turned my eyes to Jesus and said: You are my Guide, You know this day, I am anxious to see how You will fill it.
    My eyes are on you.

    And some amazing things happened that day! Miracles, small miracles, but nonetheless!

    2-So you see that is why I said:
    Fight the depression with all your might

    Set your thoughts on things in heaven

  101. foreverblessed says:

    The song Jeff gave says the same, I took more words!
    Thanks Jeff, for a your songs!
    And Bubbles I have been praying for you too.
    And for the young couple Pooh mentioned!

  102. foreverblessed says:

    Jesus our Deliverer.
    Jesus our Salvation

  103. joycemb says:

    Oh yes Foreverblessed I understand what you meant and thank you for sharing your journey!

    I just ate some beef roast which I cooked a couple days ago. It was too tough so had to let it slow cook another hour and the results were stunning as it became tender and good to eat. The process of healing for whatever it is we go through is long and tough, yet there’s a purpose in it. Whether we are depressed due to biological/nature reasons or due to an unhealthy environment or both if we have our eyes on things above we know there will be a good outcome that brings glory to God which is why we endure day in and day out. That’s the conclusion I have come to through years of struggle. I think it’s easier if you understand that the process is part of the journey.

    Steve I pray that God would give Matt the ability to understand this bit of knowledge to comfort him in his journey, and yours.

  104. jeff1 says:

    Forever, I too, struggle with mental anguish but I have learned to fight it my own way and that is to focus on hymns, gospel music or any music or comedy that lifts my moods.

    I watched a little of the news this evening which I normally only listen to on the radio but it helped to see the people of Manchester uniting to help each other, cab drivers giving free transport to those effected by the atrocity, a homeless man giving aid to children who were badly injured, others giving a bed to those who could not get home. It also showed people of all denominations coming together for a minute’s silence and donating blood and making teas.

    It reminds us that there is much goodness in the world as well as evil and we must not allow those who commit the evil to take our focus from the kindness and generosity of many.

  105. bubbles says:

    joyce: thank you for sayin you would pray
    forever: thank you for sharing your thoughts because they make sense and are practical and not empty words. Thank you. It is good to reas and know them.

  106. bubbles says:

    Touch screens do not allow typing to go well

    Please please pray for me. Thank you.

  107. jeff1 says:

    Hear the cries of the shackled from the onset of time,
    For the chains of defeat there’s no key.
    See the tears of the broken, the cries of the slaves:
    Is there no one worthy to set us free?

    Then the crying is stilled as the chorus rings out,
    The shackled released from their chains.
    And thousands of voices are swelling the song:
    Worthy the Lamb that was slain.

    Worthy, worthy,
    Worthy the Lamb that was slain
    Worthy, worthy,
    Worthy the Lamb that was slain

    Then all the archangels, the saints of all time,
    Holding their crowns in their hands,
    Fall down before Him joining the song:
    Worthy, worthy the Lamb!

    Worthy, worthy,
    Worthy the Lamb that was slain
    Worthy, worthy,
    Worthy the Lamb that was slain

    Praise Him, praise Him,
    Praise the Lamb that was slain
    Praise Him, praise Him,
    Praise the Lamb that was slain

  108. saled says:

    Praying for you bubbles.

  109. joycemb says:

    Praying for Matt and bubbles. Great is Thy faithfulness.

  110. SFDBWV says:

    Our friend Bubbles has emailed me and all I am going to say is we all need to close ranks and pray for our sisters healing, her peace, and for her to have strength to carry her through this season in her life.

    All things are possible through Jesus of Nazareth the Christ.

    Steve

  111. SFDBWV says:

    Being a salty old Marine I sometimes forget that some people don’t speak military lingo.

    So I wanted to explain that “close ranks” means that as we are in formation standing “together” we close up the distance between us so as to be nearly shoulder to shoulder as we stand together with no gaps in between us.

    One unit of many moving together as one man/person all acting in unison for the same goal.

    A wet day in the mountains.

    Steve

  112. street says:

    he is a Jealous God who will visit the sins of the parents on their children to of those who reject him, while showing great enduring love to those who are true to him.
    God did visit the sins of the parent on the future Son, the Second Adam.

    This time he expresses how slow he is to anger and how merciful, compassionate he is to those who sin— while still reminding them that children will be affected by the choices of their parents and grandparents
    yes He is merciful and compassionate to those who trust in God Who provides a Son Who was affected by our sin.

    hears the LORD say it is time to stop talking about how children are affected by “the sins of the Fathers” (Ezekiel 18:1-2O). Now the focus is on the choice of the individual rather than on the predisposing influence of ancestors.
    could the focus now be on the One True God?

    Without denying the sin of either the man or his parents, Jesus said, “Neither”…”This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.”

    through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

    that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

  113. street says:

    the trauma of the cross.

    (in living with the trauma of our broken lives– now, and in the life to come)

    true love is painful in a sinful world and bears all things.

    He,Jesus, Who knew no sin became sin for us that we could become there righteousness of God through Him for the Glory of God.

    like our brains trying to keep us alive and out of harms way….the Word of God,Christ, the Spirit of God,His Christ and the Grace of God, found in
    Christ Jesus, keep us alive for the Glory of God. Ephesians 2:4-7

  114. street says:

    Now the focus is on the choice of the individual rather than on the predisposing influence of ancestors.
    could the focus now be on the One True God?

    meant to say to focus on the choices God, One/Trinity/Individual, has made on our behalf,

  115. jeff1 says:

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

    Great is Thy faithfulness!
    Great is Thy faithfulness!
    Morning by morning new mercies I see.
    All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
    Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

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

    Great is Thy faithfulness!
    Great is Thy faithfulness!
    Morning by morning new mercies I see.
    All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
    Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

    Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
    Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
    Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
    Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside!

    Great is Thy faithfulness!
    Great is Thy faithfulness!
    Morning by morning new mercies I see.
    All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
    Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

  116. bubbles says:

    We are not given the spirit of fear. We are to be anxious for nothing. Cast all of our care on Him. I’m awake and shaking badly. This fear is a battle. Please pray for me. Thank you

  117. jeff1 says:

    We are not given a spirit of fear but circumstances can make us afraid and when we trust God with our fear He strengthens us to come through the battle.

    I don’t believe God condemns us for being anxious but for not confessing we are anxious and as I have often thought it weak to be anxious I would hide the fact that I was anxious from God if you see where I am coming from.

    My beliefs were that I had to be strong and that weakness was failing God so I tried hard to hide my anxiety causing me more anxiety which eventually caused me mental breakdown.

    Wrong beliefs are usually what causes me to wander from God rather than looking to Him but God intervenes for He understands my weakness even when I do not.

  118. bubbles says:

    I KNOW the verses…I KNOW God contols all things, He is always good. This is a battle in my mind right now. We are to think on what it true. Cast our cares on Him. Please pray that I would do that when tempted to fear. This fear hits me out of nowhere at odd times, anf it takes a bit to get the storm in my mind settled by praying.

  119. SFDBWV says:

    In an attempt to sound like Yogi Berra let me say that “Trauma” is “traumatic”…

    Our brain recognizes danger for a reason and how we respond to it may mean whether or not we survive.

    Our intellect recognizes the results of some dangers and our imagination can build on just what we know and what our imagination can picture.

    Fear is the first step in dealing with danger as fear is the result of recognizing there is a danger.

    Had Adam realized that the “fear of God is the beginning of wisdom” he and Eve maybe would have had just enough fear to run from that tree instead of be drawn to it.

    Of course in that story they had to eat the fruit before they could learn why they shouldn’t.

    Share your fears with others and especially with God and you will find comfort.

    “Tears may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning”

    Rain at 50 degrees.

    Steve

  120. jeff1 says:

    I pray that you will cast your cares on Him and when you are praying yourself and others are too then you are doing what is right in God’s sight.

    I do have the same difficulties with fear gripping me and I understand because I would also struggle to get peace of mind but knowing that God is wanting us to be at peace is what keeps me going but it takes time and patience and God has both so do not be too hard on yourself.

  121. jeff1 says:

    Another beautiful gospel song from Elvis whose music comes straight from the heart.

    You saw me crying in the chapel
    The tears I shed where tears of joy
    I know the meaning of contentment
    I am happy with the Lord

    Just a plain and simple chapel
    Where all good people go to pray
    I prayed the Lord that I’ll grow stronger
    As I live from day to day

    I searched and I searched but I couldn’t find
    No way on earth to find peace of mind

    Now I’m happy in the chapel
    Where people are of one accord
    Yes, we gather in the chapel
    Just to sing and praise the Lord

    You’ll search and you’ll search but you’ll never find
    No way on earth to find peace of mind

    Take your troubles to the chapel
    Get down on your knees and pray
    Then your burdens will be lighter
    And you’ll surely find a way

  122. joycemb says:

    Proverbs 31:25 She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.

  123. poohpity says:

    Often it is helpful to find out what we are afraid of. Is it of something that is unknown or is it from an experience that we know the results of? One can list the things that “may” happen from the worst to the best and most often we find that the things we feared may not come into being at all. Then asking ourselves do we really trust God with whatever it is or are we looking at the problem with only our own abilities in mind?

    Viv, you most often use music and that is a very good healthy alternative to filling our minds with something other than our stinking thinking. Good Christian music tells stories of our God and brings our focus off of ourselves and onto God. Reading His Word can also take our focus from self unto God especially the Psalms which many speak of fears, trauma, depression and the peace that is found in trusting God with it all. Soon a peace and rest that is beyond our understanding will come over us.

  124. joycemb says:

    Reading Bible stories has always been my favored way of dealing with depression/anxiety. In them you get to not only experience what others are going through as “normal” but get to read how God took care of them in His most loving ways and takes care of us today also. I recommend reading about Elijah’s experiences in I Kings 19 paying attention to the comfort of God where there is no condemnation whatsoever. Just love.

  125. joycemb says:

    I Kings 19:1-21

  126. street says:

    praying for bubbles and bta sojourners.

    thinking about what God told abraham,“I am God Almighty; walk before Me faithfully and be blameless. 2 Then I will make My covenant between Me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”

  127. street says:

    could “numbers” be substituted for the word “blessings”?

  128. street says:

    Proverbs 31:25 [Open in Logos Bible Software (if available)] She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.

    thinking of the Sarah and abrahams laughter at the word of a coming son. a son named laughter.

    A Son Who is Anointed with joy above his companions.

  129. foreverblessed says:

    Bubbles, I have been praying for you too! Thanks for telling about your struggles!
    After I had fought the depression thing, came the battle with fear! I will tell about my struggle:
    It started when I was on the podium, in church playing piano, in front of everybody. And the fear would grab me, and my fingers could not do anymore what my mind wanted. Happily enough there was a whole band played, they played on, and were not down on me.
    I studied piano a whole lot more during the week. ( That was my own part) For 3 years this went on. And when on Monday the songs came for the next Sunday, K would feel tense and stressed. I prayed to God that I did not want to feel that way, that I wanted to praise Him!
    It became from bad to worse, till I would wake up in the morning and I was already shaking, for no reason!
    Then I told God: here I am, shaking, but You are my God and I love You. You are my Provider, You take care of me. There is no need for fear, but it is in me, please help me!

    Then I also realized that this fear was something that was bigger than me, that it was something outside of me that was bothering me, so to speak, a spirit of fear. Or maybe spirits of fear. I do not like talking about the evil spirit world, but at that time I saw that is as there, it was not my own fear, but something bigger than me that had taken over at times!

    I really feel a bit restrained now in telling this. But denying the fact that these evil spirits harass us, make things difficult:
    Saying that it was my own fear would make me the one who could fix it: preparing better, practicing more, not being too perfect, not mind that you make a mistake. All logic things you can decide to do.
    I had ready done these things, for more than 3 years.
    My own part I had done.

    In the mean time, the only thing I could do was praising God, being open to Him about it, and saying that I loved Him, worshipped Him. Despite the fear.

    That is why I believe that we encourage one another not to give up! Hold on to God, year after year!
    Do not give up on God, never!

    Despite the fact that you tremble, keep singing songs about Him.

  130. foreverblessed says:

    If God had not freed me from this fear I would be nowhere now!
    I had done everything I could do ( all the advice you get from well meaning christians, that tired me too), and it did not go away. The fear was too strong!

    Till one morning, 4 years ago, at the church housegroup, a lady said: I sense there is somebody rowing and rowing in a boat, and not coming anywhere.
    I said: I feel like that! I want to put my life in God’s hand and let Him tright my battles.
    Then she prayed for me, and I thanked her. Nothing special happened.
    Then came the next Monday, the list of songs appeared in my e-mail!
    And I enjoyed looking them up, I was happy to practice them.
    And after a while, I was thinking: hey, where is the stress? It is all gone. No stress!

    And the I knew it was God who had freed me from this fear, many fears, stagefright, stressfright.

    Praise God, the One Who has overcome the world, and all the evil spirits that hinder us!

    Somewhere in my youth they must have entered in, in a moment that I was so fearful, being on stage having to play piano, 16 years old, not being covered by faith in Christ.

    Who has overcome the world? Only be who believes that Jesus is the Son of God
    1 John 4:4-5

  131. foreverblessed says:

    It reminds me of the Pilgrim’s Progress, from John Bunyan.
    Where the pilgrim had to fight an enemy, and the enemy is to strong for him. But he keeps fighting, till Jesus comes and defeats the enemy. And the pilgrim says: If God would not have helped me, I would be nowhere.
    Thank God in Jesus Christ, from the bottom of my heart!

  132. foreverblessed says:

    I would like to add, that for a very long time I had said already: Jesus, You are my Lord, I want to follow You!

    And nothing changed…

    At least, not noticeably. But now I am convinced that deep inside a work has been done in me.
    Like trees who grow deeper and deeper.

    It says in the Psalms, the strength grows in those who wait upon the Lord.
    Waiting means: that what you expected of Him, has not yet come, you are still waiting for it.
    And while you wait, the strength of God is growing stronger in you
    Psalm 27:14
    Psalm 84:7
    Isaiah 40:31

  133. foreverblessed says:

    A good Psalm for the time of struggling, when nothing seems to change:
    Psalm 130:1-8

  134. foreverblessed says:

    Jeff, I am also very encouraged by all the goodwill shown by lots of people in Manchester!
    A Dutch football team, Ajax, had to play with Manchester United last night, in Stockholm. It felt a bit weird, a sport festival, while the city is mourning. But Manchester won with 2-0, so that does good!

    Today is Ascension Day, it is a Holy Day in our country, and we had a big church meeting to celebrate that, people could just walk in, in the big city church, almost 600 years old. Wonderful it was, and we prayed for the city, and for our country, we still do not have a government yet, their is an impasse. Please pray! If you get a prayer.

    And I am praying for you Bubbles, that you hold on to Jesus, despite your shaking!
    That God may free you from all anxietyand fear!

  135. joycemb says:

    This was posted to fb by Scott Searan on Un!ocking the Bible site. “I realize I am commenting 10 days after an article “When Washing Feet Is More Than Washing Feet”
    I do not know if you have participated in an old fashion “Foot Washing Service” But I have.
    I attended an Assembly of God where the pastor would have communion and footwashing every 3 months. She didn’t have it on Sunday’s, but instead on Wednesday.
    I remember one service particular.
    After we had taken communion and we went into a Sunday School classroom, Men in one, the ladies in another. We men began to wash each others feet.
    Since there wasn’t that many participating, everyone’s one feet would be washed by all the participants.
    I am not like John, but I am going into quite detail.
    We prayed before we started and continue praying until we finished.
    Half of us knelt before the other half to begin washing.
    One of the deacons had diabetes and had some sores on his feet, He didn’t want us to wash his feet, but we insisted.
    Another had nail fungus bad, didn’t want to wash his feet but we insisted.
    Both did want to wash the other man’s feet.
    The presence of the Holy Ghost entered that little Sunday School room that Wednesday night.
    We finished and everybody went home for the evening.
    The next day the man that had sores on his feet was calling the men and telling how the sores had dried up with no scars and no signs of sores on his feet. His feet was soft as baby’s skin.
    The man with nail fungus awoke to find all new nails on his feet. All of them soft, not hard and ugly like nail fungus.
    These men showed their feet off in the following Sunday Morning service and testified and God’s Presence entered the room again.
    (A side note: Not only was the sores gone from his feet, but the diabetes was healed and he was insulin dependent.)
    Don’t try to tell me the days of miracles are over.
    It just depends on our obedience.”

    I think it is a powerful testament.

  136. joycemb says:

    Apologies the post was from Seedbed Daily Text not Unlocking the Bible.

  137. bubbles says:

    Fighting this fear is a process. I think verses and pray. Then after I pray and pray I can sleep. But will wake up. This fear hits me and it starts all over. Nothing is working out and I am tired and frustrated. I thought things were straightened out and now they are not and must start all over. I have wasted 2 days and now doing on 3.

    I am trusting God for help. I am overwhelmed and tired and cannot think

  138. poohpity says:

    If you are overwhelmed, tired and can not think are you trusting God or yourself? Is it something to hard for God to handle? It is a process of letting go of control and turning in over, sometimes we turn it over minute by minute and maybe even sharing with God I believe you can handle it, help me with my unbelief.

  139. poohpity says:

    Sometimes when our minds are so consumed rather than trying to read listen to someone else read the bible or turn on the Christian music. Our brains can only think of one thing at a time so give it something else to think about.

  140. poohpity says:

    Psalms 131, 138-139, 143-145

  141. joycemb says:

    Bubbles I know how it feels to be so overwhelmed you can’t think! Isn’t it so good to know we can rest in Gods everlasting arms of love when we are sick in body or mind! He’s carried me more times when I wasn’t aware of Him than aware. Gods blessings fill you with peace today. Love, Joyce

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