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Agreeing to Disagree

A bitterly polarized nation is one thing. A divided body of Christ is another.

As Jesus’s mission of rescue neared its moments of tragic surprise, he prayed that his disciples would have such unity that the world would see the truth about him and the Father who sent him (John 17:18-26).

Later, Paul also focused on the importance of oneness among followers of Christ— who had no trouble finding things to disagree about.

But did Jesus or Paul ever suggest that people of the truth could, would, or should think alike about their diverse interpretations about almost everything? Seems to me that they advocated the kind of unity that comes by learning from one another… and when necessary, agreeing to disagree (Romans 14:1-19).

That being said, who can deny that, as Jesus’s tragic mission of rescue showed, there is a time to go it alone—in a spirit of self-sacrificing care and concern for one another—and others.

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210 Responses to “Agreeing to Disagree”

  1. tedmgossard says:

    Thanks, Mart. Yes, so much resonates with me, including your last thought. I am convinced that on par with the gospel, or maybe even as part of their gospel is the insistence by many Christians that you must think one way politically, in my circles, that being conservative and Republican. In other places it would be liberal, Democrat, and still others, maybe moderate. I believe in the politics of the kingdom of God in Jesus, the politics of Jesus and that the good news includes that. Certainly at the heart of that, the cross, and forgiveness of sins through Jesus’s blood.

  2. jeff1 says:

    My dad said that politics and religion do not mix as he watched a prominent minister of a church rise to leadership in politics he said to me that man needs to take of his collar.

    It took me years to understand where my father was coming from but I discovered that he was proved right.

    My father was in no way politically minded and now I think I know why, he was much too honest and much too Godly minded.

    My mother claimed that a person’s job could effect their character and once told my father that his job was turning him into someone not very nice.

    Is my mother right? Does the power that goes with being a Politician make it more difficult for them as a person.

    My son says Politicians get bad press and that the reality of their job is that it is not easy to keep everyone happy.

    Diverse thoughts are everywhere in the world and we cannot afford to not be united in how we portray the ‘Gospel of Christ’.

    Let us keep our thoughts and opinions within ourselves but when it comes to showing the ‘Gospel of Christ’ to an unbelieving world then they need only hear the ‘Good News’.

    In a world where men are good at messing up let us tell them of the one who cleans up the messes of this world and the messes of our lives.

    God is still on the throne and still forgiving sins to my way of thinking and those in power may have been in power too long to realize it but He still cares for their well being as He does ours.

  3. poohpity says:

    In our nation at this point diversity of thought is taken as a personal insult. At one time in the great think tanks it was deemed a requirement to have differing thoughts and opinions but that does not seem to be the case any longer especially on our campuses of high learning. If one thinks differently it is taken to physical hostility and people are thrown off stage or kicked out. Group think is however accepted which is really sad because it was hearing from all sides that causes growth and maturity of thought.

    You are right Mart within the body of Christ there can still be diversity of thought but it is done with the good of the other in mind and the promotion of unity. It does not seem possible to have all parts of the body going in different directions for it to function as a whole. From what Jesus and Paul said in those passages above relationships are worth taking a step back and agreeing to disagree because the unity is much more important. We have much more in common or that we can agree on then what we disagree on.

    But in both instances the one thing that seems to be lacking is putting opinions, emotional responses before facts or no desire to learn something new.

  4. SFDBWV says:

    All smiles as I read in the end that sometimes it’s best to just go our separate ways, while remaining self-sacrificing and practicing love for one another.

    In a crazy world of social media that has everyone connected to everyone it is rather odd that of itself it creates an anti-social climate.

    Anti-social in that you don’t need to get out of the chair or off your duff in order to communicate with another, but that hands on touch is missing.

    It is said that the eyes are the windows of your soul, I suppose with skype you may get to look into someone’s eyes, but that transference that occurs when you touch someone is just not there.

    Sunday I watched some of a very interesting program on PBS called “Global Spirit”. Because of the fractured time I have I only watched enough to get interested, and so found a way on the internet to watch the same program on the computer with the ability to pause between interruptions.

    The three panel guests had one commonality, but different approaches to how it is seen and or received by people at large.

    Whereas all of what they discussed was very interesting the subjects of “Holy” writings their interpretations, the Gnostic letters, women presented in the OT vs the NT were especially of interest.

    The thing was that these three didn’t so much as disagree as simply explain from their own perspectives.

    I think (already it becomes personal) that the simplest explanation of recieving salvation is that “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Acts 2:21 KJV

    No sooner than I would say that and someone is very quickly going to say “yes, but…” And disagreement begins.

    The problem arises when we refuse to leave it there, but keep picking it back up in a pressured attempt to change the view of another to be completely in alignment with yours.

    I see it practiced here on BTA repeatedly until it produces strife and the ugliness of heated feelings.

    How to fix it? Simply let each other have their own views without trying to “correct” them. Respect their individuality and not insist on having your own way. Yes agree to disagree.

    Though 40 degrees this morning it has already risen to a nice 65 under clear skies. Perfect weather today.


  5. street says:

    unity that the world would see the truth about him and the Father who sent him servant Master, messenger Sender. John 13:15-17

    For the kingdom of God is…….of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

    do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?

    see the truth……

    Jesus said I am the way the truth the life, no one comes to the Father but by Me.

    could it be they are seeing Christ in us? if they can not see Christ in us have we failed? i think not. people still see what they want to see and sometimes when we see Christ we are blinded like paul. thinking this unity of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit is to be received by ,faith, untangling self from the world and our selves, a work of God in Christ Jesus.

  6. street says:

    A bitterly polarized nation is one thing. A divided body of Christ is another.

    thinking of brutal circumstances of life or even the disagreements the apostles had with each other. could it be these circumstances drive us to God and into the world to accomplish His will? conformed to the image of Christ. sharing the suffering life and joy of Christ in Christ, not apart from Him. learning to come to Him.

  7. street says:

    in a spirit of self-sacrificing care and concern for one another—and others.

    John 13:34
    “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

  8. poohpity says:

    What would have happened in the fledgling church if Paul had not corrected Peter in Galatians 2:11-14 NLT? But Peter received the correction in humility, listened and considered the point Paul was making, the unity was not broken because of the openness to learning with a submissive spirit not of pride. Paul presented the facts and opened up the discussion which resulted in building up the very new church. Paul confronted many false beliefs in the new church and asked others to pay attention and to be selective in who they learned from. If that had not happened who knows what the results would have been.

  9. joycemb says:

    18 Whoever thus serves Christ is kacceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us lpursue what makes for peace and for mmutual upbuilding.

    This hit me square between the eyes as I read it. Lots to think about. Thanks Mart

  10. joycemb says:

    Mart your statement about what is necessary is so important. The future of the church was at stake when Paul corrected Peter. I think it’s a good question to ask ourselves when we get upset with others here. Is the future of the church at stake, or is my being right more important. The price of unity could cost us a little pride I think sometimes.

  11. street says:

    there is a time to go it alone—in a spirit of self-sacrificing care and concern for one another—and others.

    thinking you can be right in doctrine, but wrong in relationship. love and loyalty find a way and are always genuine. the don’t judge comes to mind. judgment comes because of sin and good works. thinking about a love of Christ that surpasses knowledge. Ephesians 3:19

  12. poohpity says:

    I agree Joyce. I wonder if it goes a bit beyond the stake of the church because the Lord will hold that together but our relationships with one another in mutual respect. With Paul and Peter it was not a personal attack but on beliefs that they were freed from and Peter returning to them.

  13. joycemb says:

    There have been many heresays thruout out church history and today that need to be called out. It is the work of Christ that holds His body together. Sometimes He uses direct revelation sometimes He speaks through people and more often through the a written word.

  14. joycemb says:

    We are the church:-)

  15. jeff1 says:

    The Church’s one foundation
    is Jesus Christ her Lord,
    She is His new creation
    By water and the Word.
    From heaven He came and sought her
    To be His holy bride;
    With His own blood He bought her
    And for her life He died.

    She is from every nation,
    Yet one o’er all the earth;
    Her charter of salvation,
    One Lord, one faith, one birth;
    One holy Name she blesses,
    Partakes one Holy Food,
    And to one Hope she presses,
    With every grace endued.

    The Church shall never perish!
    Her dear Lord to defend,
    To guide, sustain, and cherish,
    is with her to the end:
    Though there be those who hate her,
    And false sons in her pale,
    Against or foe or traitor
    She ever shall prevail.

    Though with a scornful wonder
    Men see her sore oppressed,
    By schisms rent asunder,
    By heresies distressed:
    Yet saints their watch are keeping,
    Their cry goes up. “How Long?”
    And soon the night of weeping
    Shall be the morn of song!

    Mid toil and tribulation,
    And tumult of her war,
    She waits the consummation
    Of peace forevermore;
    Till, with the vision glorious,
    Her longing eyes are blest,
    And the great Church victorious
    Shall be the Church at rest.

    Yet she on earth hath union
    With God the Three in One,
    And mystic sweet communion
    With those whose rest is won,
    With all her sons and daughters
    Who, by the Master’s Hand
    Led through the deathly waters,
    Repose in Eden land.

    O happy one and holy!
    Lord, give us grace that we
    Like them the meek and lowly,
    On high may dwell with Thee:
    There, past the border mountains,
    Where in sweet vales the Bride
    With Thee by living fountains
    Forever shall abide!Amen

  16. street says:

    So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

    Christ is our peace, pursue Christ and you will be pursuing peace along with joy and righteousness along with many more gifts.

    self is always ready to take Christ place. i wish this was not true but it is. sin at the door.

  17. street says:

    thinking about the dividing walls that were removed in Christ in Ephesians. new creation, no division in the body of Christ. equal access and privilege in serving and suffering.

    paul speaking that he was glad in division so that you could see who was approved.
    1 Corinthians 11:19 For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you.

    2 Corinthians 13:7
    Now we pray to God that you do no wrong; not that we ourselves may appear approved, but that you may do what is right, even though we may appear unapproved.

    2 Corinthians 10:18
    For it is not he who commends himself that is approved, but he whom the Lord commends.

    1 Thessalonians 2:4
    but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts.

    2 Timothy 2:15
    Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

    James 1:12
    Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

  18. SFDBWV says:

    Just for the purist’s among us I am in no way advocating the Roman Catholic Church or the Eastern Orthodox Church. That being said…

    Since the division of the “church” and the institution of the “*Protest*ant” church there are now, what, hundreds of denominations of Christian churches?

    Everybody has their own ideas and interpretations and if you can convince a few others you know more than they you too can start your own “church”.

    There are just certain types of personalities who don’t like anyone having authority over them, and so they challenge all authority or those they think may project authority in their personalities.

    Put this into a church or even just a gathering of Christian believers and you have division.

    Among the alpha dogs of such gatherings someone will always be correcting others, but who is it that has authorized that person to be in a position to correct another? No one other than that person themselves.

    In the structure of the Catholic or Eastern Orthodox Churches are Bible based 2000 year old traditions as to who is in the place of Priest, Bishop, Elder, teacher, lay leader etc. As well as how each is authorized to be in such a position.

    Without structure under authority there is chaos and division.

    The Bible lays out the structure of the Church under the authority of Jesus, if we disagree with those in “Christian” authority over us, who are we disagreeing with?

    If we feel such teaching or leadership leads us into sin or away from God, then by all means agree to disagree and go your separate way; prayerfully and led by the Holy Spirit, not a spirit of rebellion.

    44 and clear this morning.


  19. jeff1 says:

    Steve, as someone who has been brought up in a divided religion/culture I would whole hearty agree with you.

    What have I noticed in my own country among my people.
    We are divided both politically, religiously and spiritually.

    I have heard it said among my own people that the Roman Catholic community is running rings around us because they are so united and as we all know ‘United We Stand’
    but ‘Divided We Fall’.

    If there is division among the Roman Catholics they keep it in house but present a united front to the world and in doing so are listened to while from my own community they are competing against each other instead of uniting for the good of their people and as a result many younger people are choosing to leave the country because they do not see any future in a society so divided.

    If I where to choose a Church which I believed had better leadership then it would be the Roman Catholic.

    My mother who was not religious in any way as she was illegitimate and in her day she was not welcomed by any religion so she kept her beliefs very much to herself but spoke of Jesus often.

    She lived in a street where we were the only protestant’s on that street and she was often critical to the catholic’s faces of their Church because she would say to us that it was the worst of religions.

    I think the reason she felt this way was because she said they were very poor but the church demanded a percentage of their income when many of them could hardly afford it.

    She would then look at the riches in the chapels and say that it was not right.

    Many years later I took note of what my mum had said and noticed too that our churches are much simpler in their design and décor and could see exactly what she meant.

    My mother had a very good relationship with her catholic neighbours but she believed they where wrong to be so trusting of their church.

    Later in years I found out my mother was not wrong I myself knew a RC woman who told me that while her Church choose to bury the hunger strikers who died during the troubles inside the sanctified ground that a friend of hers who had committed suicide was not allowed and had to be buried in a field.

    Also it was discovered that many with the money to pay where able to get their marriages annulled while poor Catholics were not.

    We live in days of much confusion but perhaps that has to be in order for those who are Chosen to take leadership of a world that has lost its way to my way of thinking.

  20. SFDBWV says:

    Viv you and I are about the same age and from my memory I know of no other country that has had such a public and violent division between Christian peoples as yours.

    For me it is from the outside looking in, I am saddened for you that your view has been from the inside along with all of the bitterness and emotion that goes along with any “war”.

    Only after looking into the truth of history did I learn the truth behind the troubles in Northern Ireland that began long before you and I were born.

    To this day it just seems incredible that any people who considered themselves to be “Christian” would ever murder or hate another Christian because of political reasons under the disguise of religious differences. Yet as I think a little we may be on the verge of it right here in America today.

    It makes me very happy that I get to talk with you as someone at ground zero in Northern Ireland. Someone who has walked the walk and lived amid such inane behavior. Someone who is not reporting the news, but able to explain what life is really like there.

    I am one who believes that though we escape hell because of our “Christianity”, we do not escape the judgement seat of Christ who will bring us to task for the “Christian” life we lived.

    The quote “Depart from me ye evildoers, I never knew you.” Does come to mind.

    Small wonder why you revere your dad so much, being able to stay the course as well as he did amid such division.

    Be blessed in every way, my friend.


  21. poohpity says:

    Authoritarianism can be in government, religions, parenting and marriages. Where anyone wants to talk, think, demand, that another be subjected to their dominance or control. Where people are not allowed to think for themselves but what the dominate person allows and if one happens to oppose or disagree with them there is hell to pay, so normally people just agree with them to get along so they are actually being oppressed, not free. Religions and religious leaders oppress people, I think that is why Jesus had such harsh words for them. That also would include acting that way in a government, family and in other relationships, controlling is the way of cowards. It shows strength and love to allow people to think for themselves and be themselves.

    That is what is so totally neat about God even though He is the final authority He does not push His ways on anyone nor is anyone prevented from having a relationship with Him no matter their background, in fact it seems to be because of it that they need Him.

  22. poohpity says:

    It is very possible and probable for people to disagree with others and still have respect for them. If there were not some disagreement then we would all be robotic in our thinking. Good debate considers all side of a subject and in fact welcomes it, points to ponder which allows for growth of knowledge and understanding rather than being stuck in the same ol’, same ol’.

  23. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Steve, I do have a great respect for my dad because I see now that Godliness was his first concern and nothing swayed him from that thinking and indeed acting out on that.
    He never let religion or culture get in way of was right in the sight of God.

    I don’t know you personally but I enjoy reading your comments and suspect that you are not unlike him.

    My dad learned quickly from his mistakes and put them right, he was extremely stable of mind (I believe you are too Steve)
    and though he knew his place in dealing with others in authority above him he was no fool.

    I trust God more for having had a dad like him and I’m sure Matthew would say the same of you though maybe not directly to you for how often do we say what we should to whom we should.

    Thank you for your blessing and God Bless you and yours always.

  24. joycemb says:

    As Christians we are all leaders wherever we are planted. How do we lead is the question. Jesus showed us though. His ways are not our ways.

    Weather update:
    Well, we’ve had about 2 days of 80 plus since last summer, and it’s still hovering around 70 today as in the past 2 months– perfect I think. But summer is coming next week I hear so getting out the summer clothing and checking my AC to make sure it works. We’ve had rain about every other day also so everything is green and lush. But I miss watching the squirrels play. The owner trapped about 30 squirrels last week that had gotten in the attic and we had to take our bird feeders down as that was what was attracting them I guess. However I hung a bag of thistle seed (squirrels don’t like it) and now have a family of golden finches at my window a couple times a day– such pretty birds! God is good.

  25. joycemb says:

    I’m going to be thinking about whether shunning was a part of the leadership style of Jesus, or Paul for that matter. Oh how I love to study the word!

  26. street says:

    prayerfully and led by the Holy Spirit, not a spirit of rebellion.

    just got done reading some of the stories of samson. his very life as a judge was a rebellion! i find it interesting he voluntarily turned himself over to Israel to be turned over to his enemies on the condition Israel would not kill him. when he did this his enemies did not fare so well and the rebellion continued in order to bring a people back to a relationship to their God.

  27. poohpity says:

    Joyce, in thinking about what you wrote it seems neither Jesus or Paul shunned sinners but did to those who thought they were righteous or godly in and of themselves.

  28. poohpity says:

    street, where does it say that Samson turned himself over to Israel voluntarily to be turned over to his enemies? I thought he revealed the secret of his strength to the woman he loved and the Philistines then captured him because she worked for them.

  29. joycemb says:

    Paul told the Corinthian church to put a member out of the fellowship because of his evil behavior (incest), but only for a time until the man recognized his sin and repented. The purpose of the shunning was to jar him into repenting and save him from self-destruction. God has to be hard on sin but He is very good and merciful to all those who choose Him and His ways.

  30. joycemb says:

    it seems neither Jesus or Paul shunned sinners but did to those who thought they were righteous or godly in and of themselves.

    Self righteous were sinners too, they just didn’t think they were because they kept the laws of Moses and tradition. Nichodemus figured it out though. And so did Paul after Jesus bonked him on the head.

  31. joycemb says:

    Samson was a great leader who even though imperfect sacrificed himself for the future of Israel.

  32. street says:

    9 The Philistines went up and camped in Judah, spreading out near Lehi. 10 The people of Judah asked, “Why have you come to fight us?”

    “We have come to take Samson prisoner,” they answered, “to do to him as he did to us.”

    11 Then three thousand men from Judah went down to the cave in the rock of Etam and said to Samson, “Don’t you realize that the Philistines are rulers over us? What have you done to us?”

    He answered, “I merely did to them what they did to me.”

    12 They said to him, “We’ve come to tie you up and hand you over to the Philistines.”

    Samson said, “Swear to me that you won’t kill me yourselves.”

    13 “Agreed,” they answered. “We will only tie you up and hand you over to them. We will not kill you.” So they bound him with two new ropes and led him up from the rock. 14 As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands. 15 Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men.

  33. street says:

    i like steve’s response about going out on your own away from sin. lot had to be dragged away!

  34. street says:

    I’m going to be thinking about whether shunning was a part of the leadership style of Jesus, or Paul for that matter. Oh how I love to study the word!

    Job 1:8…….“Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

    the older shall serve the younger.
    the greatest among you shall be the servant of all.

  35. poohpity says:

    Thank you street for the reference. :-)

  36. bubbles says:

    This nightmare gets worse every time I see a doctor. They all lie to me.

  37. foreverblessed says:

    Ohh Bubbles, I am praying for you!

    Right now I am studying Psalm 89, it starts with praises of God’s mercies, jubilance overflowing, all is well!!!
    then it changes, Psalm 89:38-45 ” You have been angry with your annointed one”.
    Grave pictures.

    Then it turns again, it changes into asking God: where are You? Psalm 89:46-51
    And, no matter how grim the picture in the Psalms, somehow it always ends in the writer turning to God, praising Him
    Psalm 89:52

  38. foreverblessed says:

    I very much agree with Mart!
    Can we not agree to disagree?
    Instead of saying to me: You do not believe God??!!
    On a subject that you may see different then I do, namely Genesis 1.

    Yet I believe God very very much, and I find it a great judgment on me. And the judgment still stands on this blog!

    Why is it not possible to say: I see it differently then you? That is keeping it to yourself, no judgement then.
    Just a difference in interpretation.

  39. jeff1 says:

    When I think of how often my faith was encouraged by others my disagreements with them pale into insignificance.

    I do not disagree to be disagreeable but because I have a different perspective and it is good to hear others perspectives because that is what encourages and grows my faith.

    To my way of thinking the modern world is looking to Science for answers and not God.

    I believe that God can work through Science as well as He can work through us and will do what He has to for to turn the world around.

    As his followers we are witnesses for Christ and so we must present ourselves worthy so this world can see the Good News that Christ offers and for most of us that is in our own land among our own people.

    It can be more difficult among our own because they know us personally and that means they know our weaknesses as they do our strengths.

    It is being patient with each other that allows each other the time to grow in maturity and it has to be a two way street because if a person you are being patient with is not showing you patience in your weakness then their will be conflict which will lead to a difficult relationship.

    We must allow each other to grow in order to build each other up and I notice today that patience is lacking because often I grow tired of waiting on others to grow as they do me.

    It is focusing on Jesus that keeps my faith fresh as there as many who will dampen it as will encourage it but keeping focused on Christ changes the way I see myself and others so that I no longer feel a burden to myself or others a burden to me.

    It is He that renews my strength and will when I allow Him to but it is I who must bring my body and mind into submission and with many distractions in a modern world that is not so easy as I might imagine.

  40. poohpity says:

    forever, it was not you who presented the claims that science does, you just read about it and then believed them. It is the science that I disagree with, you can believe whatever you want like I said before that is your mountain to climb. I did say however I agree with what God said. If you were the scientist that came up with the theory, then I would disagree with you but you did not come up with it.

    It is no skin off my teeth for anyone to believe what they believe, I do however find disagreement in teaching from someone who has put no skin in the game by saying they read the scriptures but in all actuality have not, so therefore teach from their perspective about the scriptures even though there has been no study, facts, understanding or knowledge involved, not even from Church attendance. I do not know if that should even bother me but it does. It is like someone saying 2+2=5 when I know it is =4. I know it is up to each person to search and seek for themselves and if they do not care enough to do so that is fine too but do not act like one does, that is actually lying to bring honor to self.

    I am still learning when to keep quiet and when to speak up because there is a proper time for both. It is also fine for someone to disagree or correct me. I enjoy talking or discussing things because I am open to learning because I know without a doubt I do not know very much at all AND WILL REMAIN A STUDENT THE REST OF MY LIFE.

  41. poohpity says:

    I enjoyed how street reacted to my asking about the Samson thing. It did not seem like he got upset when I asked him something but replied with the scriptures he was referring to. Now that is how civil minded people talk about things with mutual respect even when disagreeing.

  42. joycemb says:

    Pooh about what you said about mutual respect– thinking how can one respect another if they don’t really respect themselves. Yet love covers a multitude of sins and for me daily I uncover new sins in me. When I disregard or excuse my own sins is when I lose respect for others. I’m remembering the old ditty 3 blind mice right now, can a spiritually blind leader really lead with grace and humility, or as a true servant of God and man?

    Living as I do amongst the unchurched non Christians here in my 52 unit apt I’m challenged every time I leave my apt by my own sins as the people here are so hungry for grace and truth. I see their misery while aging and many with mental/physical disabilities. My challenge as a leader here is to show cheerfulness and poverty of spirit. Cheerfulness because I know I have been redeemed and I know my redeemer, but humility because I’m no different in the flesh than anyone else. Sharing faith is not easy among those who’ve lost hope, but the application of love is amazing and so foreign to outsiders. I miss being ‘one of the gang’ so to speak, but how can I be when I carry on my very being the light that shines in the deepest darkness. Intercessary prayer is the key and it happens without ceasing as Paul taught.

    Agreeing to disagree is common here among the more elderly as they have learned throughout life’s experiences and it is beautiful to see. Why do Christians seem to have such a hard time doing this? Maybe that comes with age also? Or maybe it comes with learning to think on our own and not just parrot what we’ve been taught, like 6 year olds:-)

    Ever learning with grace, truth, and blessings galore!

  43. joycemb says:

    Seedbed Daily has a devotion today on The Difference Between Respectable and Respect you might like.

  44. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Joyce, just popped in with some coffee for a moment and read your post.

    Would say that it is my prayer for you that you are able to help those in your apartment complex to see Christ in you and from your example.

    It becomes an onus when you realize eyes are upon you waiting for you to fail. Be blessed.

    As for respect, that is something that has to be earned. One might have respect for a title or for a position, but the person has to earn respect.

    Sadly once respect is lost it is much more difficult to regain it. As forgiveness can come quickly, respect may never return.

    A person can be civil or courteous to another, but that does not mean that person is respected only that the person being courteous is showing good behavior and perhaps restraint.

    Thunderstorms in the forecast today, but only cloudy skies for now at 75.

    Again praying for your blessing today to be a blessing to others.


  45. poohpity says:

    Joyce, I think it comes down to treating others as I want to be treated, not how they treat me or how I treat myself. But I think you are right if one can not respect themselves then how can they know how to respect others. I think it helps to realize that we will never be without sin so why not look at the Lord rather than my sin or the sin of others. Looking up rather than around. It seems to sort of work backwards respect others and it then seems to come back, like what goes around comes around.

  46. joycemb says:

    I’m not sure Steve, Jesus was sorely disrespected yet His message of redemption and peace have remained through the ages. I guess I’m at the point where I’d rather be disrespected and see a sinner saved than to be respected and have a great obituary that is of no eternal value. I could be wrong though, LORD teach me. If I judge others on their respectability am I not being a law keeper? Just thinking out loud. Not trying to offend or hurt anyone.

  47. poohpity says:

    In my apartment complex or in church I never want a leadership role but the role of a servant. Here where I live I do a water exercise routine 3 days a week with neighbors that I guide and at church I also guide a study group but both are done with a servant’s attitude and it does not demand respect but I give respect to each member of the group. To me trust has to be earned but respect I give by allowing people to be who they are not who I want them to be.

  48. joycemb says:

    I think there are certain “rules of conduct” that we must follow out of respect for others. There are certain ones here I follow as I should. Missionaries learn to do this early on in their training. Respect for place.

  49. joycemb says:

    People learn quickly in churches what the rules of respect are, yet I think it should be different in the church where Jesus welcomed all. Two different playing fields I guess.

  50. joycemb says:

    We are leaders because of our message pooh. Servant leaders, yes.

  51. poohpity says:

    “Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.

    3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

    5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” (Philippians 2:1-5 NLT)

  52. poohpity says:

    Joyce, we will have to agree to disagree. To me leader means wanting people to follow me and that is not what I want. I want people to follow Jesus because I may lead someone in a wrong direction and that would be devastating for me.

    “Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”

  53. poohpity says:

    Servant-leader seem to be a oxymoron.

  54. foreverblessed says:

    Pooh, you said to me:
    “You believe scientists over God”

    It is a judgment that you are not entitled to.

  55. street says:

    As for respect, that is something that has to be earned. One might have respect for a title or for a position, but the person has to earn respect.

    we were never told to respect, we are taught to love and to give. earn and buy are the devils way of do business not so in the kingdom of God, righteousness joy and peace.

    6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 7 Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

    8 Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

    “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” 16 This happened three times, and immediately the object was taken up into the sky. looking forward to being taken up.

    odb comes to mind too….. In Israel, it was customary to give fig trees three years to produce fruit. If they didn’t, they were cut down so the soil could be better used. In Jesus’s story, a gardener asks his boss to give one particular tree a fourth year to produce. In context (vv. 1–5), the parable implies this: The Israelites hadn’t lived as they should, and God could justly judge them. But God is patient and had given extra time for them to turn to Him, be forgiven, and bloom.

  56. poohpity says:

    I thought I asked which you believe and you answered it is science??? Good grief forever believe whatever you want as I have repeatedly said. That is between you and God. Are you unable to let this go over all these years and continually keep bringing it up. Let it go, I disagree, so what. I was not judging I stated what the bible says and then said that is what I believe and I am more than entitled to do that. A judgement would be you are so and so for not believing the way I do but that was not the case. I never judged your relationship with God or a lack of, those were things you accused me of saying but I did not do that nor is it my business. AGAIN believe what you want how many times do I need to say that for you to understand that is exactly what I mean nothing more or nothing less. Is this a language barrier? How can I say in your language BELIEVE WHAT YOU WANT so you will finally understand that is what I meant. Good grief! One more time believe what you want, period. I do not think any less or any more of you for you beliefs.

  57. street says:

    thinking about barriers…there is no division in the body of Christ. Jesus even said that if satan is divided he can not stand. even more so in the Church or body of Christ. thinking of the paradox of samson. if there is division it must be pride, there is no division in Christ or His Word. even so we live among samsons. loved by God and used by God for deliverance.

  58. joycemb says:

    Pooh that is so funny!!! I’ll tell you why, because it reminds me of a conversation I had with a therapist yesterday about my anxiety. I actually said to her that I had decided that although a cup of tea is comforting to me I should try to deal with the anxiety without it. She said “so its all or nothing?” I said yea, I guess. Then she said, well, I have tea in the waiting room for you and its perfectly OK to have a cup when you come. I’m still processing the “all or nothing” question as she says not once, not twice, but 5 or 6 times with a big smile “I have tea here for you and its perfectly OK for you to drink it and its free”.

    Sometimes we need to hear things several times before they sink in. I finally figured out its OK to let-go of punishing myself and will drink tea if I see her again!

    Forever I hope you too can console your hurt feelings by letting go and perhaps a cup of tea or whatever it takes as long as its healthy and good for the body/soul. Bless you my dear!

  59. joycemb says:

    Street your 12:19 post, thank you for that. Lots to think about.

  60. street says:

    thinking about war famine pestilence and death. these definitely cause division and grief. yet God purposes in them to bring man back into relation with Himself. thinking of israel. samson did not know God had left him. do we notice if we have left God out?

    we are told to12… take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.

  61. jeff1 says:

    I have a son whom I consider to be tactless and I know he does not realize how he sounds to others because he tends to say what he thinks without much thought and often his words can be hurtful.

    As I have grown older I have become more sensitive to others feelings and the fact that they have feelings.

    Unfortunately we cannot put an old head on young shoulders and I can remember the folly’s of my own youth to well to criticise but I will often say to my son he should put his brain in gear before he puts his mouth in gear.

    Words spoken cannot be erased and it is easy to upset another when there is nothing to be gained from it. Often I seem to forget that God hurts too when I offend without good reason those whom are my brothers and sisters in Christ.

  62. street says:

    Unfortunately we cannot put an old head on young shoulders and I can remember the folly’s of my own youth to well to criticise but I will often say to my son he should put his brain in gear before he puts his mouth in gear.

    new wine new wine-skins.

    so true jeff…..when i was in high school english and literature bored me to tears. i had not developed any understanding or taste for them or of the stories i heard or had to read. you could say i was self centered to the max. after life and circumstance caught up to me like job i had to ditch bad theology and self contentedness/centeredness. i think God has us here so we can get a taste of what it is like without Him and at the same time not destroy us. the Father of prodigals is patient loving wise and generous. yet even prodigals have to go through the narrow gate.

  63. street says:

    I think there are certain “rules of conduct” that we must follow out of respect for others. There are certain ones here I follow as I should. Missionaries learn to do this early on in their training. Respect for place.

    paul speaks about the rules of God in relation to others and their short comings. i don’t think Jesus could have accomplished anything if He took into considerations the rules and customs of the religious leaders, blind men. we sometimes have a hard time distinguishing right from wrong because of syncritism. be holy and the only place that is going to happen is in Christ.

    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…….14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. Emanuel

  64. joycemb says:

    Syncretism is indeed a difficulty here. The road is so narrow. Its no wonder few can find it. Takes a very focused view.

    Fixing my eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith.

  65. joycemb says:

    By *here* I’m meaning my country.

  66. street says:

    thinking about a consuming fire……removing darkness.

  67. SFDBWV says:

    My intent is always to encourage others and to stimulate conversation. I almost never post unless felt led to by the Holy Spirit.

    Sometimes I fail.

    As an observer of nature it somewhat surprised me this week when I noticed something I knew, but had never seen so pronounced.
    One evening just as the sun was setting the volunteer sunflower plants that have grown to about 40 inches around my feeding rock had all turned toward the setting sun.

    I have always known and observed that the flower would follow the sun, but in all my days I had never seen that these plants all together as if in formation had turned completely around from east to west leaves bud and all exactly the same and all facing a sun that had already set.

    The plant leaves open toward the sun as if hands open in receipt of the life energy they require. As if in open handed prayer. The tops of the plants only have a round ball of a bud as the flower has yet to finish forming.

    All four and now a fifth that has begun to rise about a foot off the ground, all together all in unison.

    I thought when I seen this that I would remember the next morning when I fed the critters in the dark before the sun rose just where the plants would be.

    So the very next morning there they were all together having turned around in the dark back to the east awaiting the rising of the sun. The sun having yet to rise or even make light in the black sky above. Yet these plants had the “faith” that the sun would rise and where it would be.

    Some of you may get the lesson of these plants and some of you may not, but I did and it was my pleasure to share it with you all.

    60 degrees under clear skies.


  68. jeff1 says:

    Thinking of how our own experiences shape us as believers.

    My dad was strict he never used physical punishment because he didn’t have to my father could give you a look and you knew your behaviour was not what he expected of you and that was enough for me to take notice.

    He had a twin sister but she was not an identical twin but the very opposite to him in both looks and nature.

    She had a large family (13) while there was just us 3 and she brought about 6 of them to visit us.

    I had not seen children behave so badly and we had a gas cooker and by father smelt the gas and discovered they had turned on all the knobs on the cooker.

    He asked her to leave because he said he could not suffer her children’s behaviour any longer.

    I don’t recall her ever coming back though they spoke on the telephone and the last time I saw her was when she came to my dad’s funeral.

    How different we are in our outlooks on everything even on how we bring up our children.

    I was just a child then but as I grew into adulthood I behaved like most others in my neighbourhood smoking, drinking and believing like I was invincible.

    It often takes a life of bad choices before a person sees they were bad choices and by then there has been consequences of them.

    During all of these years I never stopped believing in God he just was not uppermost in my thoughts or my life.

    God draws me to Him when I let him in and often I do not let Him in. When you lead a wayward life then guilt is often the reason that you do not draw near to God because you know you are not worthy of His love and forgiveness for you messed up your own life.

    Each of us here are probably old enough to know ourselves well enough and also our faith has both grown and been tested so that we understand how well we fair in having lead a life pleasing to God.

    For myself there is much to be done and because I wander so much I would say that I am always a student and never quite the leader but I have met leaders in my time and the difference that I have noticed is the good choices they make on the journey.

    To my mind there are born leaders and born followers and I am most definitely one of the latter because I am much more of a wanderer and that is why I find Christ is my refuge because when I am lost to whom else would I go for safety.

    The words of this hymn are timeless and bring joy to my ears, written by and English author and composer. Augustus Montague Toplady born on November 4. 1740 and died on August 11. 1778.

    Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
    Let me hide myself in Thee;
    Let the water and the blood,
    From Thy wounded side which flowed,
    Be of sin the double cure;
    Save from wrath and make me pure.

    Not the labour of my hands
    Can fulfil Thy laws demands;
    Could my zeal no respite know;
    Could my tears forever flow,
    All for sin could not atone;
    Thou must save, and Thou alone.

    Nothing in my hand I bring,
    Simply to the cross I cling;
    Naked, come to Thee for dress;
    Helpless look to Thee for grace;
    Foul, I to Thy fountain fly;
    Wash me, Saviour, or I die.

    While I draw this fleeing breath,
    While my eyes shall close in death,
    When I soar to worlds unknown,
    See Thee on Thy judgement throne,
    Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
    Let me hide myself in Thee.

  69. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Viv. Yesterday our friend Pat sent me via e-mail the story of the author of “What a Friend We have in Jesus”, a story of the song.

    Joseph Scriven wrote the words as a poem for his mother in Ireland while he lived in Canada in 1855. But the sad story behind him was that twice in his life he fell in love and became engaged to be married only both times to have lost his fiancés to sudden and tragic death.

    The truth is that all of us are followers as we all follow after our Lord. It is all too often that we try to step ahead of Him or think we are leading when what we should always be doing is waiting on God to lead us.

    Thinking that we are leaders is the first mistake as there is a vast difference between being a witness for Christ and thinking we are “leading” anyone to Him. It is He who calls people to Him, we only announce the good news of the Gospel.

    However I heartily agree with you that there are born leaders in our societies and with that “air” or “aura” comes great responsibility to show how to follow.

    You do fine Viv, keep a smile going and a song on your lips. Somedays a song is all we may have to smile about.


  70. foreverblessed says:

    Yes Steve, this time I find solace in the song:
    So let go, my soul,
    and trust in Him
    the waves and wind,
    still know, His name

    It is well
    with my soul

    I stand before God, and He knows my heart. He knows how I have searched for Him, and how I have listened to Him above anyone else.
    Rom 14:3-4

  71. foreverblessed says:

    It is well with my soul ( Bethel)

  72. poohpity says:

    street, you mentioned “Rules of Conduct” and yes they are very helpful in agreeing to disagree but they are also guidelines to prevent harm to property and people. We even have them in the pool area but the saddest part is that often people do not have the respect for property or person to even read them, so they may not be aware of what they are nor it would seem do they care. People have rebelled since the beginning of the very things it takes to keep people safe, the safety of others and good stewards of the land which we live. Guidelines keep the experience fun while many, it seems, see them as restrictions to limit their fun, when they really are just to protect.

    God provided just that when He gave us the guidelines found in the bible to protect from causing harm to relationships with Him and with others but it was and still is, it seems, in the heart of mankind to rebel.

    I took my neighbors three kids in to swim the other day and the rule said, “No diving” so they followed the rule but soon another couple of grown adults came in and much to my surprise the young man dove in. Now you have to understand the reason for the rule is that the water in the very middle of the pool is only five feet deep but that is only a yard wide. On either side it is 3 feet at both ends then goes to 4 feet then in the very middle it is five. The rule is to prevent hitting your head on the bottom because it is so shallow. The kids just looked at me, as if to say why is it OK for him to dive in and not us. I responded to their glances that I wanted them to be safe.

    So guidelines in this world of everyone having differing opinions seems to be during disagreements keeping everyone safe and causing no one harm because we all have the freedom to think for ourselves.

    The unity of the body of believers no matter which denomination one attends seem to have our core beliefs or statements of faith. The virgin birth, the identity of Jesus, the purpose of the Cross, the resurrection and the ascension. Those beliefs bring us together no matter where we live, what our socioeconomic status is, skin color, language, it is what unites us even if we disagree about other things we can agree on those. Keeping in mind when we do have differences there is the guideline to do it in love thinking of others before yourself.

  73. poohpity says:

    You know the old saying that ignorance is bliss but it also causes chaos when laws are not followed. Over the last 8 years the laws of our land have not been followed nor do most citizens of our country know what the Constitution even says so they follow ideologies or emotions and not principles. God wrote His guidelines on our heart and having those there helps one to respect rules and guidelines which the laws of our land came from to promote life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But if we take away those chaos ensues and we learn that ignorance of the law is no defense because they are available for all to read.

  74. street says:

    thinking about the “Rules of Conduct” the laws and regulations of my own country and the same problem of other countries. not so in the kingdom. for they are bound together in the Spirit of Christ in a unity unparalleled in the world. righteousness joy and peace. i have to admit maintaining peace and joy in my own heart and mind is difficult but not impossible, nor for those i encounter. we have been told what we are to do. the fun part is God allowing us to do this for His Glory and our good, grace. by the way the love of, grace and true, will get rid of a lot of regulation. regulation/ rules made by man,but still under the rule of love. thinking of law and ordinances that God did away with in Christ. Ephesians 2 i wonder how much of division is caused by disagreements over love vs pride/rules. some how love is not divided, yet i find myself divided at times. when i am divided it is not time to engage or encounter others because i am so far away from everything else. i guess that is when the world likes me best.

  75. joycemb says:

    Leaders and rules

    Both exist on 2 different planes. 1. Spiritual 2. Physical–earthly, sensual.

    When I mentioned being leaders I was thinking as spiritual. If one believes that Jesus as He said is the only way to the Father then in the whole universe we are leaders.

    Have a fun 4th of July weekend all!!!

  76. street says:

    ignorance is bliss
    ran across the word complacency with the word love and it made stop and think what in the world ?!?!

    a love that is undisturbed even by the most heinous circumstance. thinking of the cross.

  77. street says:

    When I mentioned being leaders I was thinking as spiritual.
    in Christ there are only followers. i am also reminded of the authority figures God put in our lives. followers point people to Christ the world does not. thinking of well that produces good water and bad water. thinking of the water Christ will give to all those who ask.

  78. joycemb says:

    How could a follower become a leader on earth unless we were taught by our Leader how to lead? As servant leaders to each other and to our neighbor.

  79. bubbles says:

    The doctors all lied to me. The pain is that I cannot sleep. I am terrified

  80. joycemb says:

    Bubbles this verse always helps me to sleep when i am afraid. I’m so sorry about all the misdiagnoses, that is so frustrating!!
    Psalm 4:8 KJV: I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. – Bible Hub

  81. joycemb says:

    About servant leaders..
    Mark 9:33-41English Standard Version (ESV)

    Who Is the Greatest?
    33 And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

    Anyone Not Against Us Is for Us
    38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name,[a] and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40 For the one who is not against us is for us. 41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.

  82. joycemb says:

    I think agreeing to disagree takes a servant heart attitude. Still learning here.

  83. street says:

    Agreeing to Disagree
    thinking about this July 4 weekend
    the american and british agree to disagree.
    may God be exalted in all through the blessing that came from israel.

  84. bubbles says:

    Pain keeps me from sleeping

  85. SFDBWV says:

    We have a little laugh here in that every so often we figure out a better way to do things regarding our life activities. I will laugh and say well Matt it only took me 18 years to figure that out, I am really on top of things. We all smile and settle into a different way of handling whatever the situation was.

    I wondered why I had never noticed the extreme movement of the sunflowers before, when I had my “Jethro” moment and realized it is because for all the years I have fed the critters the deer kept eating the sunflower plants before they got any size on them at all.

    This is the first spring and early summer that the deer have not been in eating every growing thing in my yard. And so the first year I have watched the plants grow. There have been one or two survive the deer before, but not like this.

    And so my view is clearer.

    In our heads in our hearts and especially in our ears and in front of our eyes are many distractions. They always cloud things up are what perhaps causes the glass to be dark.

    I would encourage you all to keep bubbles in your prayers, she needs prayer warriors and friends right now.

    64 and partly cloudy this morning.

  86. saled says:

    Praying for you bubbles.

    Thanks for the sunflower story Steve. I especially liked your use of the word ‘faith’ in regards to the sunflowers turning back toward the east before the morning sun rises. I recently read the book titled The Hidden Life of Trees and the author led me to wonder if trees and other plants live a more conscious life than we give them credit for.

  87. poohpity says:

    I am sad to hear you are in constant pain bubbles and will continue to pray for you. Is that still from your bike accident?

    Yes it would seem that plant life has more brains than we do most often because they seek what they need to flourish and grow. Often we seek what harms us or others and stunts growth.

    Learning from others seems to be the only way we grow in our knowledge and understanding. We would not know how to love unless someone loved us, kindness does not just happen we learn how to be kind, all behavior is learned and all knowledge is gained. The only things than come naturally for us is breathing and other bodily functions the rest is learned.

    Several research studies happened in countries that have high orphan rates. Children raised without the constant touch of other humans just left to their own except for being feed. Their growth was severely stunted and their behavior animal like. The church developed ministries that go into these orphanages just to hold children.

    I would put out there that the British and the Americans did not agree about anything thus war ensued. American’s became free from that fight and we gained our Independence from their control after we pushed them from our shores. Maybe at a later time did we make a choice to work together in some areas but that determined our Republic(a President rather than a monarchy) and a Democracy(of the people, by the people and for the people) self governing but now a days our forefathers probably would turn in their graves to see that so many want to go back to a socialized government being run by the government more and more every day and taking the “We the people” out.

  88. SFDBWV says:

    Saled I have been a science guy my entire life. As my Christianity, belief and faith in God grew so also did my observation of how all of creation proves the existence of a creator.

    I will have to try and read the book you mentioned as trees to me are fascinating and though I have told this science story before I will again.

    When caterpillars attack a tree it produces a chemical in their leaves so that they don’t taste good to the caterpillar.
    When monkeys attack a certain tree and begin to eat the leaves that tree produces a poison that will make the monkey sick or even kill it, but the monkey knows only to eat on that tree for just a few minutes before the poison is produced.

    The amazing thing is that with the caterpillar attack other trees in the area also produce the same chemical in their leaves in an attempt to stave off an attack. Other trees that their branches do not touch nor their roots and are even of other species of tree all do this in the area of the infestation.

    They are aware of their surroundings and they communicate.

    I have loads of nature stories and wish I had more time to share today, but time has run out for me today. Thanks for the comment and the memory of my story.

    Enya has a song titled “The Memory of Trees”, I like that idea.


  89. poohpity says:

    I have never considered the idea of having relationships with trees or plants since I believe with all my heart we were created to have a relationship with God and others. Everything that God has taught us seems to revolve around relationships first the relationship between, Father, Son and Holy Spirit then with us.

    This was Jesus’s prayer for us;

    “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.

    20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.

    22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. 24 Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!

    25 “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. 26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”

  90. bubbles says:

    The book is authored by a German forester. He explains how trees communicate chemically and how they are connected via root systems. It was amazing to learn how God designed all of this and we never consider the intricacy of His design. It was. It about having relationships with the plant kingdom. It’s a very good book. Slow reading but good. Sales and I share a love of nature. However nothing can comfort me at this point. I don’t know what to do. I have prayed and this situation keeps getting worse and worse and even more worse that’s I could have ever imagined. Why bother praying if it keeps getting worse. I’m scared to pray at this point and have not for days. I haven’t prayed in 9 days

  91. street says:

    But did Jesus or Paul ever suggest that people of the truth could, would, or should think alike about their diverse interpretations about almost everything?

    yes Spiritual Sacrifices

    i guess the sticking point might be the differences of gifts and the differences in member/body function.

    thinking of the sharp division that sent out different members to cover more area and the joy of meeting up after sifting though the trials and short comings, and all the while sharing stories of God’s great mercy in a sacrifice of service. i do remeber 15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” and he did according to the will and foreknowledge of God.

    was reading about Spiritual Sacrifices on Bile Hub very interesting.

  92. street says:

    i know i am bad speller and a bad proof reader…..
    Bible Hub….web site

  93. street says:

    bubbles? 9 days of not meeting up with God? thinking of jonah or a prodigal. reminding you God always makes the first move either a storm or He will run after you. He gives offer you can not refuse. sounds like storm. praying for you.

    i think of job and jonah both coming to a place of silence. job refusing to speak and jonah lying in a watery grave. in their silence they come to a point of praying. but not before surrendering to the very One Who loves them with all their heart.

  94. bubbles says:

    You have NO idea what is going on. none. The more I prayed the worse it got. it got worse than I could have imagined.

  95. joycemb says:

    Has God abandoned you Bubbles? Is that how you feel right now?

  96. joycemb says:

    Bubbles I’m sitting in the docs office walk in clinic right now in excruciating pain and have been praying for you along with myself for 2 days now. I know God cares and it won’t last forever.

  97. foreverblessed says:

    Bubbles, I have been praying for you too!

    Jesus taught us to pray:
    Lead us not into temptation Matt 6:13

    But Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted! Luke 4:1-2

    So what does it mean, lead us not into temptation?

    Mart is saying, you cannot read the Bible and not interpret it!
    In our country we have a new Bible translation in language for people who are not familiar with christian terminology.

    It renders Matt 6:13
    Make, that when we are tempted, we do not forget You.

    And that is my prayer for you, Bubbles.

    And I pray for you too, Joyce!

  98. jeff1 says:

    Our Rector’s sermon today focused on two brothers who where known mafia. No one in their community had much time for them because their evil deeds had effected every one at some time in their life.

    When one of them died the other went to the Priest and said to him I know what everyone thinks of us but nevertheless I want you to say something good about my brother and say that he was a Saint. In return I will give you a large donation but if you do not then you will pay the price.

    The Priest thought for a while and then agreed to go along with the brother’s request.

    At the funeral service there was a big turn out because the people wanted to hear what the Priest would say about the man. The Priest said his obituary that ended like this ‘compared to his brother Luigi was a Saint’.

    I see myself a servant of Christ because as the hymn says He is my Master.

    Ye servants of God, your Master proclaim,
    and publish abroad his wonderful name;
    the name all-victorious of Jesus extol,
    His kingdom is glorious and rules over all.

    God ruleth on high, almighty to save,
    and still He is nigh, His presence we have;
    the great congregation His triumph shall sing,
    ascribing salvation to Jesus, our king.

    “Salvation to God, who sits on the throne!”
    Let all cry aloud and honour the Son;
    the praises of Jesus the angels proclaim,
    fall down on their faces and worship the Lamb.

    Then let us adore and give Him His right,
    all glory and power, all wisdom and might;
    all honour and blessing with angels above,
    and thanks never ceasing and infinite love.

  99. joycemb says:

    Forever I like the translation and thank you for praying.

  100. joycemb says:

    Viv I love that hymn, thanks for posting it.

  101. jeff1 says:

    Glad you enjoyed it, I enjoyed singing it today and we took Holy Communion which always makes me feel closer to God.

    Have enjoyed reading all posts and pray Bubbles gets through her trials knowing God knows what is best for us even though we do not always see it so clearly.

  102. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks again for the song Jeff!
    We also had the bread and wine today, in memorial of Jesus!
    I wish we had it every week!
    Or every time we come together.
    I sort of had a great impression of the Mercy and Grace of God, that it was like a big Ocean, a huge one, and that all who repented, their sin was thrown into it, and washed clean.
    The water felt real, like as if I was very close to it, touching me. It was very good! I want to keep that vision.

  103. joycemb says:

    Just thinking about how God provided the grains of the field-bread- and the fruit of the vine-grapes-to use in remembrance of Him. Jesus talked about nature a lot, like the mustard seed, and how a seed must die to live again. God looked at everything he created and proclaimed it “good”. God pointed out to Job the things He had done as creator to bring him to his knees so to speak. Just thinking.

  104. joycemb says:

    Bubbles if you’d like you can give us more detail here so we can know more about your condition and pray more specifically :-)

  105. joycemb says:

    Steve I love sunflowers and as they grow them up here you can drive by and watch them change with the sun. Beautiful to see the unity with which they worship the sun! Wouldn’t it be awesome to see as God sees, His people all turning to Him at the same time!

  106. poohpity says:

    Hebrews 11:6

    Fall Like The Rain

    How do you deal with disaster?
    How do you cope with the pain?
    It’s hard to move on with regret
    Like an anchor makes you feel like you’re the one to blame

    Why is healing so painful?
    It feels like I’m losing this war
    But I know You’ll be there
    As we walk through the struggle
    Because You’ve always been there before

    There’s a peace that’s perfect, a hope that is real
    There’s a plan and a purpose no matter how you feel
    Just hold on to the promise that we’ll never be undone
    And when you fall like the rain, you’re gonna rise like the sun

    Though the joy of tomorrow
    Seems lost in the pain of today
    There is no death, fear or sorrow
    That Your love can’t erase

    There’s a peace that’s perfect, a hope that is real
    There’s a plan and a purpose no matter how you feel
    Just hold on to the promise that we’ll never be undone
    And when you fall like the rain, you’re gonna rise like the sun

    I fall on the grace You have given to us
    Rising as conqueror of the grace
    Remember forever when we say goodbye
    Oh, in Jesus love

    There’s a peace that’s perfect, a hope that is real
    There’s a plan and a purpose no matter how you feel
    Just hold on to the promise that we’ll never be undone
    And when you fall like the rain, you’re gonna rise like the sun

    Just hold on to the promise that we’ll never be undone
    And when you fall like the rain, you’re gonna rise like the sun
    When you fall like the rain, you’re gonna rise like the sun
    When you fall like the rain, you’re gonna rise like the sun
    I’m gonna fall like the rain, so you can rise like the sun

  107. poohpity says:

    God knows what each person needs better than we ever could so all we have to do is left their name up to Him.

  108. poohpity says:

    Lift not left.

  109. saled says:

    bubbles, I am the same when it comes to praying while in deep distress. When my youngest daughter had a melanoma scare a few years ago, I was too distressed to eat, sleep, or pray. I’ve been taught that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we are unable to pray. Romans 8:26. Know also that many of us are praying for you.

  110. poohpity says:

    James 5:16 NIV

  111. joycemb says:

    Thanks to all prayers here. Had several tests done but the medication for one test result I cannot take yet because a med I took this morning would cancel out its effectiveness. Even so the pain is much better than its been the last few days. I’m still anxious to start the med in the morning of course. Thank you, I’m so glad I shared with you all! I should get results from other tests in a day or two, bubbles I continue to pray for you. God is faithful, nothing is unusual to God but common to all of us.

  112. jeff1 says:

    I loved the poem Pooh and we need to hang on to the fact that God is with us in sickness and in health, in life and in death, from the cradle to the grave.

    I have so often remained silent before God because I could not pray and I have asked others to pray for my loved ones and I have not been disappointed.

    Intercessory prayer works, small wonder that the Roman Catholics pray to the Mother of Heaven to intercede for their sins.

    Love Lifted Me

    I was sinking deep in sin,
    Far from a peaceful shore,
    Very deeply stained within,
    Sinking to rise no more;
    But the Master of the sea,
    Heard my despairing cry,
    From the water lifted me,
    Now safe am I.
    Love lifted me! Love lifted me! (2X)
    When nothing else could help,
    Love lifted me.

    All my heart to Him I give,
    Ever to Him I’ll cling,
    In His blessed presence live,
    Ever His praises sing;
    Love so mighty and so true,
    Melts my souls best songs;
    Faithful loving service, too,
    To Him belongs.
    Love lifted me! Love lifted me!(2X)
    When nothing else could help,
    Love lifted me.

    Souls in danger, look above,
    Jesus completely saves;
    He will lift you by His love,
    Out of angry waves,
    He’s the Master of the sea,
    Billows His will obey;
    He your Saviour wants to be,
    Be saved today.
    Love lifted me, Love lifted me!(2X)
    When nothing else could help,
    Love lifted me.

  113. jeff1 says:

    Thinking that what we can agree on is the LOVE triumphs over HATE and that is why our Lord is victorious.

    Take my life and let it be
    Consecrated, Lord, to Thee,
    Take my moments and my days,
    Let them flow in endless praise.

    Take my hands and let them move
    At Thy impulse of Thy love.
    Take my feet and let them be
    Swift and beautiful for Thee.

    Take my voice and let me sing,
    Always, only for my King.
    Take my lips and let them be
    Filled with messages from Thee.

    Take my silver and my gold,
    Not a mite would I withhold.
    Take my intellect and use
    Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.

    Take my will and make it Thine,
    It shall be no longer mine.
    Take my heart, it is Thine own,
    It shall be Thy royal throne.

    Take my love, my Lord, I pour
    At Thy feet its treasure store.
    Take myself and I will be
    Ever, only, all for Thee.

  114. poohpity says:

    I have never understand why the Catholic church prays to people who are unable to do anything like Mary the Mother of Jesus or to Saints that have gone before us. Why would we need anyone other than the Holy Spirit which is part of the Godhead while Mary and the Saints were mere mortals to pray for us? I do not even know if they have the ability to hear from us but I do know they do not have the power to do anything about it if they do, that is only God’s area. That for sure is an area many find disagreement about.

    I find such relief in knowing that anyone who has died before us are no longer taxed with the problems of this world because they are with the Lord in Paradise and it sure would not be Paradise facing the same things of this world still. We can not get anyone to love and care for us more than God Himself does. I think sometimes people consider it like here on earth to have friends in high place to do special favors for us but that does not seem to be the case in heaven, we get to go to the highest person there is for ourselves and we can thank Jesus for that.

  115. jeff1 says:

    As I was raised a Protestant I would agree but I have known many Roman Catholics and they really do believe what they have been taught and perhaps if I had not learned differently I would not have known any better either.

    We are blessed to have the truth of the Gospel and religions have no dominion over us but many do not have the truth and are therefor subject to false teaching as the bible does state that many will be led astray.

    My hairdresser who is Roman Catholic told me that many of the younger generation are turning away from the Church since the disclosure of children being abused in homes run by priests and nuns.

    She herself does not hold the Church responsible for what individuals have done so it has not turned her away.

    However, it has been disclosed that the Church moved those in question rather than have enquiries to disclose the truth of the abuse leaving those to abuse again. I am thinking of one priest who is now dead whom went to America and continued abusing.

    It seems to my way of thinking that those in authority in the Church do have a duty of care to their parishioners and should take responsibility when it is violated.

  116. poohpity says:

    Yes I agree. I was thinking Mart said we can find plenty to disagree about but do we share what we do agree on, the Good News about Jesus Christ. Jesus gave us ALL the great commission (Matt 28:19 NLT)(1 Cor 3:5-7 NLT). The joy we felt that day when we realized that Jesus gave His life so that we can have abundant life now and eternal life for later. So the things we can agree on come pouring out because our desire is for others to experience a relationship of love, forgiveness, mercy and grace we often do not spend that much time talking about but we do give all kinds of time to disagreements in comparison.

  117. joycemb says:

    “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you.”

    ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭5:11‬ ‭ESV‬

  118. jeff1 says:

    For myself I do not think I can feel I have abundant life now as I have seen to much conflict and the toils of this world have taken their toll.

    I long for a better world and I don’t see this one changing any time soon.

    I find peace in trusting God and I find calmness in songs and poetry because the words so often resonate with my heart.

    I was ten when I first loved gospel music and it was Elvis’s album ‘His Hand In Mine’ that I loved to listen to.

    This is a song sung by Elvis and when I think of how he lived the dream ‘rags to riches’ and discovered that money and fame doesn’t buy you happiness I think if he where here today this song would resonate in his heart.

    A poor man wants the oyster
    A rich man wants the pearl

    But the man who can sing when he hasn’t got a thing
    He’s the king of the whole wide world
    Come on let’s sing, sing brother sing
    ’cause the man who can sing when he hasn’t got a thing

    He’s the king of the whole wide world
    The rich man wants the princess
    The poor man just wants a girl

    But the man who can sing when he hasn’t got a thing
    He’s the king of the whole wide world
    Come on let’s sing, sing brother sing
    ’cause the man who can sing when he hasn’t got a thing

    He’s the king of the whole wide world
    A poor man wants to be a rich man
    A rich man wants to be a king

    But the man who can sing when he hasn’t got a thing
    He’s the king of the whole wide world
    Come on let’s sing, sing brother sing
    ’cause the man who can sing when he hasn’t got a thing
    He’s the king of the whole wide world

    He’s the king of the whole wide world
    Of the whole wide world
    Of the whole wide world

  119. poohpity says:

    I think sometimes we have to be taken down to nothing to learn to value everything!

  120. joycemb says:

    Abundant life: He brought me down low, so that I could look up and see my Him, who is my life.

  121. SFDBWV says:

    Today is the 4th of July. Yesterday the 3rd was significant to me in that it was the anniversary of the confederate defeat at Gettysburg PA.

    There was no mention of it in the papers and certainly not on TV.

    This morning I was “thinking” of how as a country we never settled for “agreeing to disagree”.

    Action was necessary sides were chosen and the outcome is that we are a nation.

    In the Bible I can’t think of a single instance where things remained at an impasse and if you don’t move past agreeing to disagree an impasse is just what you have.

    Interesting that nothing evokes such bitter passion as does “religion and politics” in people, interesting because though each a different subject, wars and deep divisions are created by both.

    Looking beyond today to that Day “after” the return of Jesus where He sets on a throne in Jerusalem as King of Kings and Lord of Lords it seems the matter of politics and religion is finally settled.

    I did write a note to Pat on Canada Day congratulating her on her country’s 150th. I also wish a happy 4th to all of you here who consider themselves to be “American”.

    56 and cloudy this morning.


  122. jeff1 says:

    May I join Steve in wishing the same a happy 4th July.

    Yes, Steve, how intuitive of you are to see that ‘religion and politics’ do evoke bitter passion in us so it is small wonder that my country has reached an impasse because it is now parties with the extreme points of view that have been voted in and now cannot reach an agreement on how to run the country meaning that direct rule from Westminster may have to be implemented and another election called (this will be our 3rd this year) with little hope of a changed result meaning we are right back where we started as the war here has resulted in further division which just won’t go away.

    Who had the right attitude in running this country my dad had but did anyone listen to those who shared my dad’s attitude, no, here, words like my dad’s where seen as ‘a lundy’ and protestants today still burn an effigy of ‘Robert Lundy (1689) reviled in Ulster loyalism to this day as a traitor.

    Politics and religion here are complicated, as the English government as discovered to their peril.

    That God’s way is not man’s way is joy to my ears because history repeats itself whether we want it to or not and this country as a long history that I as an Northern Irish woman can not even begin to understand never mind someone who is outside looking in.

    Many of us agree to disagree but there are those who must have it their way or no way and that’s why God’s way is always best.

  123. poohpity says:

    I would think that as our nation began and the document was signed there witj much debate and although they probably did not agree on everything the Declaration of Independence was signed. Historian’s can not even agree on whether it was signed July 2nd or July 4th but July 4th was the day that was chosen to celebrate our independence from Britain. Agreeing to disagree seems to be the foundation to compromise because all around us everyday people disagree about many things and if we never accepted that fact then there would be no civility of any sort but a bunch of robots with no free thinking but all group think.

    People are trying their best these days to get into that mode of group think but our individuality and independence hopefully will prevent that from ever happening. Of course brainwashing and propaganda can sway the minds of those who are unable to think for themselves and believe what they are told to believe rather than checking things out on their own.

    Be independent and free as God intended so that love will blossom and flourish.

  124. bubbles says:

    Saled, thank you for everything.

  125. street says:

    Agreeing to Disagree
    thinking about complaining and murmuring…….
    wondering where that is going.

  126. joycemb says:

    So thankful to be feeling about 50 percent better today. Having neighbors over for a meal and so excited about it!!!!

  127. Regina says:

    Good Afternoon, BTA friends! :-)

    ((HAPPY)) 4th of July! I know you’re in full swing with the celebration!! Hope your holiday is one of the happiest!!

    A beautiful 79 degrees under partly cloudy skies in my neck of the woods!

    Love to all,

  128. bubbles says:

    Hello, dear Regina. Glad to see you here.
    Joycemb, thankful you are better today.

  129. jeff1 says:

    One of my favourite gospel songs and when I feel like disagreeing I listen and consider the peace I may forfeit when I do not leave to God that which is beyond my understanding.

    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, 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

    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

  130. street says:

    Defenders of the faith are inclined to be bitter until they learn to walk in the light of the Lord. When you have learned to walk in the light of the Lord, bitterness and contention are impossible. Biblical Psychology, 199 R

    i have an understanding that God needs no help in defending Himself. after all He raised His Son from the dead. doesn’t look good for those who reject Him. one other thing He will not do for Himself, praise…..but we can praise Him. made for His Glory!

    Abraham Jesus and God ……what they did is beyond knowledge.

  131. joycemb says:

    Isaiah 26:3New Living Translation (NLT)

    3 You will keep in perfect peace
    all who trust in you,
    all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

  132. SFDBWV says:

    I have been on a little abstract diversion listening to music while at the computer and settled, almost pulled into Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”.

    It is an almost haunting tune that rubs that ache inside.

    Looking at his life of folk music, it appears he was more of a blues singer putting a twist on folk music. Known more for his “poetry” and song writing than his singing.

    Along the way I discovered that he suffered from “manic depression”. Learning that opened my eyes to why he wrote the style of music he did.

    His music was a way of expressing his depression, but also fed it.

    Along the way he found some peace in adopting Zen Buddhism (sort of) as a life religion or philosophy. But never forgot his Jewish roots and while he had an interesting view of the responsibility of the Jew he seemed to continue looking for God. In his last interview he said he still hears the voice of God, but that now it isn’t as judgmental.

    He died last year.

    While looking at Leonard’s life Judy Collins also came up and her dealing with the suicide of her son.

    Thinking about the concept of “agreeing to disagree” along with this adventure I have come to solidify my thought that in a relationship between people one my do so in order not further disagreement or better said a disagreeable relationship.

    But that agreeing to disagree does nothing about the differences, they remain and perhaps grow stronger without resolution.

    If we believe that no one gains salvation except those who accept Jesus as Lord, then we clearly see that there is no temporary solution in the division between believer and non-believer in the eyes of God.

    In that light one either agrees with God or is lost forever. Disagreement is not a part of the solution.

    64 degrees and cloudy.


  133. jeff1 says:

    To my way of thinking Steve, God knows His children even before they where in their mother’s womb and that is perhaps why so many non believers often have the attributes that I would see as Godly.

    I can fool others and they can fool me no matter how shrewd I think I am or they think they are. I have been taken in my others enough in my life to know.

    There is no fooling God though and that is why I feel so blessed to know He died and rose for me not on me always getting it right but on God always getting it right.

  134. poohpity says:

    Sunday before last our preacher taught on Genesis 6 and after the service the guy who plays the bass and I sat down to talk about who the “Sons of God” were referring to in that chapter. Both of us totally disagreed who they were. I cracked up last Sunday because he said out of the blue I still have not changed my mind. I told him it was not my job to change his mind and in this instance we agreed to disagree. It did not effect our relationship in anyway, well maybe it did because we have talked longer, lol. Wouldn’t this world be a sad place to live if we all thought a like and forced others to think like we do or reject them because they don’t?

  135. poohpity says:

    There are three different trains of thought about who the “Sons of God” were in that chapter but because we all do agree doesn’t mean we can’t explain why we believe as we do or came to believe as we do without ruining a relationship. So many relationships are ruined because people side with one political party over another, or different understanding of scriptures or maybe differences in parenting, etc.. Discussing different ideas seems to show we are open to listening and learning from each other but when the mood becomes violent or anger comes then what does that say about the ability to learn from each other? Pride probably does not give us that ability to agree to disagree because we all ways want to be right. There are some things we will never know until we go to be with the Lord but to let it influence a relationship we have now then something is wrong in our attitude somewhere.

  136. SFDBWV says:

    Viv and others, I would suggest you pull up Leonard Cohen’s song and perhaps the accompanying video that goes with it “Going Home” and when you listen to it or read the lyrics do so with what you know from Scripture, both old and new. You can appreciate it more from that view.

    I have said before and as of this moment in my understanding of things, God is God not me, and He will forgive and give mercy to those He wants according to His knowledge and understanding, not mine. For that I am eternally grateful, for where I am weak He is strong. Whereas I cannot forget trespasses against me He has promised to.

    If He wants to forgive all of mankind why would I object?


  137. street says:

    our thinking and blogging reminds me of an earlier been thinking called filling in the blank. i have not seen it recently but will have to go back and look at it because it keeps coming up. i understand we have to move forward, hopefully, without all info which leads to filling in the blank and disagreements.

  138. jeff1 says:

    Steve, I think that very much depends on beliefs and I tend to take the belief of my friend who has studied the bible since her childhood and though I have often disagreed with her there is a point of view that she holds that I trust her interpretation on and that is that not all mankind comes from God’s seed.

    I am no studier of the bible because I keep my faith simple because I am a simple person at heart but I once went to a table quiz with my friend and the bible was one of the topics in the quiz and she answered all ten questions correctly showing me that her knowledge is extensive.

    As I see it there is evil that can be explained but there is also evil that no human on earth understands except those who perpetrate it.

    This is where trusting God comes in because I do not always understand the evil I am up against but I do know that ‘Jesus’ overcome all evil and that is what matters that the evil I see now will no longer exist in the world to come.

    Waiting is difficult but when I wait in the doctors surgery I do not know if the outcome will be good or bad whereas while waiting for God I may have to go through the storm but not only is He with me through it but He will bring me out on the other side.

    Faith is what it is believing what you cannot yet see but because it is God’s word you trust that one day you will see the world in all its glory because God will reveal it when He knows I/us are ready and not when I desire it because He knows what is best for His child/children and I am sure of that because I struggle so much knowing what is right for me that God has to know best.

  139. joycemb says:

    Speaking of moving forward…

    “That being said, who can deny that, as Jesus’s tragic mission of rescue showed, there is a time to go it alone—in a spirit of self-sacrificing care and concern for one another—and others.”

    Does this mean there comes a time to put away our differences, let the dust settle where it may and move on, to death even, death of self?

  140. joycemb says:

    John 12:24NLT I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.

    Its a good time to ask myself, is it really better to stand alone and tall to glorify myself, or to die for my friends and the Kingdom?

  141. jeff1 says:

    Going it alone means going against what the world believes to be right and remaining true to Christ and that gets more difficult as this world will become more alien to me/you.

    We do not know what trials we will have to face just that God promises He hasn’t forsaken us even when the going gets tough.

    You must understand that it will become just as difficult to live for Christ as it will to die for the Kingdom and you may ask why God has forsaken you and then you will know as Peter found out whether it is your faith or God’s faithfulness that prevails.

  142. joycemb says:

    In the context of relationships within the Kingdom I believe dying to self is just as important. God reminds me of this every time I say something I think is so important and good that I feel like patting myself on the back. Which I am grieved to say happens all too often on here. Take heed when you think you stand lest you fall. Yes God is faithful, but I have my part in our relationship too. Remembering often I’m still “in the body”. I’m thinking that listening is better than speaking often.

  143. joycemb says:

    Peter was confronted by Jesus after He arose. He didn’t get a free pass for his denouncement of Christ at a crucial time. He will continue to confront us each time we denounce Him because He loves us. Today, is the day of salvation. Today. Better not let it go until it’s too late. Face Him while there is a “today”.

  144. jeff1 says:

    Joyce, I have never felt like patting myself on the back quite the opposite I am always struggling to not sin.

    It is quilt that is my demon so that when I say it is I who needs forgiveness I do mean I.

    If Grace hasn’t saved me then I am doomed for hell because obedience has not been my way.

    I am just being honest because I believe God knows my heart and in my head I just go from one struggle to another so I am always the graduate when it comes to obedience.

    I am not like my earthly dad obedience was like breathing to him but I am much more like my mum and she had serious mental problems as did my brother so it very much in the genes.

    Your last line makes me think that you believe you can loose your Salvation and that is not what I believe because it is a gift from God.

    I believe I can loose rewards for lack of obedience but even then I find it impossible to be consistently obedient and I believe that is because of my instability of mind.

    These are just my thoughts, Joyce, I am not knowledgeable on the bible except that I believe its truth and sometimes I wish I didn’t because I believe that the world is going to get a lot darker and I am not doing so well up to now so I am just not looking forward to it getting any worse.

  145. joycemb says:

    Patting myself on the back
    Viv I was confessing my sin of pride.

  146. joycemb says:

    Yes we all have our besetting sins to deal with:-)

  147. joycemb says:

    Our obedience is to confess our sin then do what He wants. It can be a daily falling down then getting up again.

  148. joycemb says:

    Sorry just to be clear what I said about pridefulness “here” I was only thinking of what I write. I’m dealing with my own need for approval from man, which is at enmity with Christ. But the really good news is that God gives more grace when we need it! And I need it every day.

  149. foreverblessed says:

    Joyce, you have said several times that it is us, dying to our old self, instead of quarilling about differences. I think you are right. I have read a book, called: Crucified by christians, themessage was, our reactions towards unjustice done to us, is from the old man, the fleshly man. And we need to crucify that old man, till we are a new man, new in Christ. And our reactions are filled withe the Holy Spirit. And I also do believe, that even when we are christians, it takes 10, 20 ore nore years till we have crucified the old man.

  150. foreverblessed says:

    You Americans celebrated July 4, the reason US started the revolution against England was the same reason why there was war between England and the Netherlands: The Navication act of England of 1651.

    So I have a little story for those who have time left.
    This month a celebration will be held in our city, 350 years ago a peace treaty was signed between England and the Netherlands. Idid not know very much about it, but now lots of history comes to life.

    What amazes me very very much is that, both countries were very christian at the time, we would say; I wish we were as christian now, as we were then at that time.

    BUT…. thruth is, even being a christian government, does not mean that they made decisions that were very Christ-like.

    Deut 18 :18 Moses says: When the Prpophet comes, you must listen to Him (my paraphrasing)
    And Jesus said: If someone asks you to walk a mile with him, walk two miles with him.
    If you lend something to anybody, do not expect anything back.
    Is someone smites you at one cheeck, show him your other cheeck.
    Anyone who wants to be the ruler, must be the servant of all.
    He who takes up the sword, will perish by the sword.

    I wonder, how long it will take, till we christians do talk around these “commands” of Jesus. How long will it take till we get the real message of His teachings.
    That it is serious what Jesus said, and totally upside down what is wise in our own eyes.

    The reason US started the revolution against England was the same reason why there was war between England and the Netherlands: The Navication act of England of 1651.
    In modern terms it would mean: England first.
    No ships were allowed to bring cargo to England, unless they were english ships. But… the Dutch fleet was much more effecient, and so much cheaper, so traders wouls choose the dutch fleet.
    And so, war started!
    (I was thinking, if the Dutch were really very good and believing christians, they would have started to fast, and pray about it, and lay it before the throne of God, and ask Him what to do.
    Just like king Jehosaphat did 2 Chron 20:1-30.
    Or as Jesus commanded: When someone mistreats you, show him your other cheeck. But no, the Dutch took up arms against the English, when their ships were attacked.
    That’s how it goes today too, the Polish workers are much cheaper then the dutch, so people hire Polish workers to make their new bathroom etc.
    That is the global economy. It is better to make treaties: You are cheap in this, we are cheap in that, let’s make a deal.
    Let’s accept that the other is cheaper, and work with it. )

    Anyway, the talks started here in 1667, and the english were very hard in their demands, they wanted full compensation for all the damage done to their fleet, their demands were unrealistic, it was again: England first.
    But what did the dutch do, start fasting and praying?? No, they send their army fleet into the Thames, something like a “mission impossible”, the commander of the fleet disagreed, but went anyway. And everything succeeded, the Dutch destroyed the war fleet of the English right in their own harbor, near London. It was a great victory for the Dutch.
    The English ambassador who was negotiating the peace treaty was called back to London. After a while he came back, and their demands were now much more reasonable. They could not demand much else, as they had no more fleet to come and get what they demanded. So the peace treaty was signed, which was not only good for the English, but also for the Dutch.
    But, it lasted only 5 years. There have been 4 wars between the English and Dutch because of the English navication act.

    You could say, a country has the right to take up arms.
    But…. I wander if that is what Jesus meant, I really do.
    The Dutch also took up arms at the Reformation, to free themselves of the Spanish army, and to fight for religious freedom. But at the same time they forbade the cathlics to have church services, no freedom for the cathlics.
    Is that what Jesus meant? You could consider it as a internal was, between the Dutch who were chathlics, and the Dutch who became protestant. They started to fight!

    We have to learn to trust Jesus more, instead of being afraid, and make decisions out of fear; Otherwise “they” (the cathlics, or the Polish workers, or the islamic asylum seekers) take over.
    It is better to start relying on God.

    And propably by fasting, and humbling ourselves before God, like Jehosaphat did.

  151. foreverblessed says:

    There were a few errors in my comment:
    It was the Act of navigation 1651. (not navication)
    The Dutch destroyed almost all of the marine fleet in Chatham, not on the Thames.
    I read the story, that the dutch soldiers were instructed to be polite for the citizens of Chatham, not to loot them, as the English had done on the islands of the Netherlands. And so they did. They payed for the food the citizens gave them.

    It was weird story to read, that whole mission impossible in June 1667, and on July 31 the peace treaty was signed. And there was a Fountain giving wine in our city. For the occasion they put a Fountain on the square again, but it is giving water, not wine.

    And some more typos, sorry for them, I should proofread better.

    This is all extra information, this history.
    But History repears itself, the English wanting to negotiate a hard Brexit.
    It would be very humbling for them if they would read the history of June and July 1667 again.

    And on a side note: I believe I could hardly be part of our government.
    I always was positive about us fighting against the Spanish in the 16th century for example, with William of Orange taking the lead, but now I do hesitate about my judgment.
    I would pray harder about it, I do not believe making war is what Jesus wanted, I believe that Jesus wants us christians to be more and more like HIM.
    And He defeated the enemy by dying to them.

    The world upside down.

    We had a discussion about it, yesterday in our church house group, and the leading lady said that a country can take up arms.
    So we agreed to disagree.
    Politely, and left it at that.

  152. poohpity says:

    Jesus said there will be a time when we are to trade our garments for swords. I take that to mean that there will be times that war is needed especially to protect the innocent. However governments have created war to gain property and plunder to line their pockets. Look what the Dutch did in South Africa because of ports they subjugated and oppressed the native peoples using them for slaves in the 19 century. It was not the Dutch alone, then came the British, French, Germans, and Portuguese.

    I think there is a difference between protecting a people and trying to takeover forcing a government control over them. Here in the USA those same groups of people came to take over the natives here as well but did not use them as slaves because they fought for themselves but the natives still got the short end of the stick anyway. Fighting for freedom of the people or fighting to take away from the people.

    There is a time for war just as there is a time for peace. Can you imagine what would have happened if we did not fight against the Nazi’s or other communistic regimes? What if we just sat back and let ISIL takeover hiding behind the skirts of women and children?

  153. joycemb says:

    Pooh and Forever I think of apples and oranges. Mixing national with spiritual.

    Forever interesting info about England and the Netherlands!

  154. poohpity says:

    Joyce, maybe you misunderstood I did not read or write anything about mixing national with spiritual.

  155. foreverblessed says:

    That is interesting Joyce, when a country wants to be christan, it is not a matter of national anymore, but it becomes spiritual!

    As I said, I thought that the Netherlands was justified to free themsleves from the Spanish in the 16th century by taking up the sword.
    But… now I think, the Dutch Government, which was Protestans Christian, did many things in the world that was based on violence: The first thing they did was creating a big fleet of ships, (that is OK) but then they went to the harbors in Africa where the Portugese were, and put their guns on them, and blasted them away. With violence they took the trade routes. And that was the start of their trade imperium. Way before the slave trade.
    It was based on violence.

    What if they had not fought? I think that the Spanish would have left this country anyway, much too wet for them.

    What if the Allies did not fight Hitler?
    There was a christian community, Rees Howell was the man, they started a prayer group, with 120 people, who vowed not to drink alcohol. And they started praying to free Europe from Hitler. It is said that at some point, Hitler did not get messages anymore from the spirit world, he could not hear the military advice anymore, and he became insane, (more insane).
    I strongly believe that it had to do with the praying of that particular group, and maybe theere have been more hidden christian groups, praying.
    I am not saying it was wrong to take up arms, I am saying:
    Maybe there is a higher way, (or humanly speaking: a lower way, a way of humbling ourwselves before God)

    That does not mean that we accept wrongdoing, but the way to go into battle is the spiritual way; The taking up of the Sword of the Spirit.

    Maybe, in a few hundred years, the christians will have gotten the message that Jesus gave:
    By going tho lowest way He defeated Evil.
    By dying to evil He conquered evil.
    It is a hard message, not a popular one.

    Jesus has already defeated evil, we must believe that, Faith in Jesus’ victory is the way to Victory.
    1 John 5:4-5

    How are we to fight wrong doing?
    By intercessory prayer!
    And not just a little prayer, but taking a subject that is very wrong, and praying with a group of christians who have been reconciled to each other, through the Cross of Christ.
    Reconciliation, intercessory prayer,
    That is the Unity Jesus was looking for.
    That the world will know that He is the Christ.

    (book by Norman Grubb, Rees Howell, the intercessor)

  156. jeff1 says:

    To my thinking God’s way of making peace is not man’s way and the world today shows us that.

    My dad who was obedient to God was wholeheartedly for the Peace here because he knew it was the right thing to do and pleasing God regardless of the fact that it meant terrorists getting pardoned without showing remorse but he trusted God and made the hard choice which was the right one but has taken me 20 years on to realize it.

    I never had the vision of my dad which means I only see it after the event while he was right on course.

    I think those who seen war up close and personal like him are the peace makers because they seen the horrors of it.

    When war is for the right reason then it can be justified but unfortunately we have found that we cannot always trust our countries Governments on their motives for going to war which is sad when you think that they must know the devastation and aftermath that war brings.

    It seems that they often put political power ahead of the warriors they depend on to fight their wars and make the people believe it is in everyone’s interests to do so when really it is not.

    Put your trust in the Lord and not in men as I see it you have nothing to loose and everything to gain because history speaks for itself.

  157. joycemb says:

    Pooh I was making a distinction between what you said and what Forever said. Apples and oranges- different.

    Forever I read that book many years ago now. Prayer always trumps fighting I think. The weapon of our warfare that reaches into places only God can go. Hallelujah!

  158. jeff1 says:

    Onward, Christian soldiers!
    Marching as to war,
    With the cross of Jesus
    Going on before.
    Christ, the royal Master,
    Leads against the foe;
    Forward into battle,
    See His banners go!

    At the sign of triumph
    Satan’s host doth flee;
    On, then, Christian soldiers,
    On to victory
    Hells foundation quiver
    At the shout of praise;
    Brothers, lift your voices,
    Loud your anthems raise.

    Like a mighty army
    Moves the Church of God;
    Brothers, we are treading
    Where the Saints have trod.
    We are not divided;
    All one body we:
    One in hope and doctrine,
    One in charity.

    Onward, then ye people:
    join our happy throng.
    Blend with ours your voices
    in the triumph song:
    Glory, laud, and honor
    Unto Christ, he King.
    This through countless ages
    Men and angels sing.
    Onward, Christian soldiers!
    Marching as to war,
    With the cross of Jesus
    Going on before.

  159. foreverblessed says:

    Yes Jeff!
    Thanks for posting that song!
    Now I see the more clearly that with the voice of praises, praises tot God, the evil is defeated!
    It is not only singing it, but having a firm faith in what you are singing:
    That Jesus is Lord over all,
    That Jesus has overcome death
    That Jesus has defeated Satan!

    Sing it, have faith in it, and persevere, even when seemingly God is far away, and heaven is as Brass!

  160. jeff1 says:

    Forever, I love this hymn, it is very powerful, and as someone who enjoys singing and listening to all sorts of religious music when I sing this one I feel united with others and disagreements fail into insignificance because we are victorious in Christ regardless of what divides us now. It is God’s will that we will be united, so it is onwards and upwards in Jesus’s Name. Amen.

  161. jeff1 says:

    It is not having faith in God that I find difficult, it is my relationship with Him that I find difficult.

    I have asked myself ‘why’ when others I see struggle less and seem happier in their faith than I do and it is not that they have not had trials.

    I believe it is my inability to walk side by side with God but rather I run ahead or I lag behind whereas my dad was on course.

    My manic depressive state I would say is the reason because I can go from a state of mind where I am ecstatically happy to sorrowing depressed and struggle to keep a balanced state of mind.

    I find I need a lot of time on my own and why I find listening to gospel music more comforting than studying the bible because it not only calms but balances my moods to lead a normal life.

    My moods very much dictate my life and those closest to me find me a difficult person to be around so perhaps that is why I have become good at being independent.

    Steve, you shared with us that Leonard Cohen’s also suffered from this and I would agree with him that as I get older I find that God does not seem as judgemental.

    I also love ‘Hallelujah’ but had not heard it in a very long time until you mentioned it and though I didn’t know the words I can remember loving the music to it.


    I heard there was a secret chord
    That David played and pleased the Lord
    But you don’t really care for music, do you?

    Well it goes, like this, the fourth, the fifth
    The minor fall and the major lift
    The baffled king composing Hallelujah


    Well, your faith was strong but you needed proof
    You saw her bathing on the roof
    Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you

    She tied you to her kitchen chair
    She broke your throne and cut your hair
    And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah


    Baby, I’ve been here before
    I’ve seen this room and I’ve walked this floor
    I used to live alone before I knew you

    I’ve seen you flag on the marble arch
    But love is not a victory march
    It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah


    Well, there was a time when you let me know
    What’s really going on below
    But now you never show that to me. do you?

    But remember when I moved in you
    And the holy dove was moving too
    And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

    Well maybe there’s a God above
    But all I’ve every learned from love
    Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you

    Its not a cry that you hear at night
    Its not somebody who’s seen the light
    Its a cold and its a broken Hallelujah


  162. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Viv. Leonard Cohen has a lot of powerful “poems” songs. “Anthem”, “Going Home”. “Come Healing”, “Show Me the Place” and of course as you have so graciously shared with us “Hallelujah”.

    It would seem in all of his music he borrows from Scripture as well as hints at Christ in much that he writes.

    Here it seemed to me was a man searching for God and his place in it all.

    I love his music, it pleases me you enjoy it too.

    God is a big God and He touches us all, the blessing is when we can recognize Him in the things, places and people we meet along our way.

    Thanks again Viv.

    65 degrees f with light drizzle in the mountains this morning.


  163. saled says:

    Thanks Viv and Steve for the Leonard Cohen songs. I’ve loved Hallelujah since the first time I heard it on a ‘House” episode. I guess it is a song that people have to agree to disagree about the interpretations, and even the verses. A Rolling Stone article quotes Cohen as saying his favorite verse in the original version was this last:

    “And even though it all went wrong
    I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
    With nothing on my lips but Hallelujah.”

    The article interpreted this to be encouraging praising God in all things. Some of David’s Hallelujahs were ‘holy’, given in the good times. And some of them were ‘broken’, given when David was in a broken state, but still given.

    Last Christmas a version of Hallelujah done by a 10 year old autistic girl from a special needs school in England was a big you tube hit. I especially love this version. It was rewritten for Christmas, and there is this broken child singing it to perfection. But because of her disability, she seems totally oblivious to her effect on the audience. It is maybe both a holy and a broken Hallelujah. Google autistic girl sings Hallelujah. You won’t be disappointed.

  164. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Saled, yes I have seen the rendition of Hallelujah you speak of it is indeed superb. There are many.

    This is the thing isn’t it, interpretation *can* be seen as agreeing to disagree. As I listen to and especially read the words of Leonard’s songs it like any good art, whether poetry, music, paintings or literature the interpretation is very personal and usually speaks of the heart of the interpreter.

    I hope you all take a little journey and sample some of Cohen’s music, like Saled says I don’t think you will be disappointed.


  165. poohpity says:

    Yes, saled those children all have special needs and are from a school in Northern Ireland. Goes to show ya that some who others would consider throw a ways are all gifted in some form or another. God does not make junk.

  166. Regina says:

    Good Morning, BTA Brothers & Sisters! :-)

    Ok… So, I read this *spiritually beautiful* quote, by Karen Wolfe, in ODB this morning…

    “We are good–and we please God–when our hope and faith are in Christ alone, not in our goodness.”

    And, oh my goodness!, it brought to mind one of my all time favorite songs! You HAVE to take a listen! :-)
    In Christ Alone | Brian Littrell – YouTube

    Was truly blessed by the song (and the quote) this morning because the lyrics were included, and, while I was reading the lyrics, I thought of jeff1 because I think she’ll LOVE this song!!! Will write/chat more when I have time.

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

    Love to all,

  167. poohpity says:

    It would seem that we can either sing hallelujah or wallow in self pity. We are given a life of choices and the Spirit which gives us self control, patience, long suffering, gentleness, kindness, joy, peace and love to draw from within us or act out with anger, depression, hate and fear that comes from our human nature. We have a choice which we will listen to and act on.

    Freedom to allow others to disagree without having to consider them enemies for doing so.

  168. joycemb says:

    In Christ Alone is also an all time favorite Regina. No disagreements about that!

  169. jeff1 says:

    There must be lights burning brighter somewhere
    Got to be birds flying higher in a sky more blue
    If I can dream of a better land
    Where all my brother walk hand in hand
    Tell me why, oh why, oh why can’t my dream come true
    oh why
    There must be peace and understanding sometime
    Strong winds of promise that will blow away the doubt and fear
    If I can dream of a warmer sun
    Where hope keeps shining on everyone
    Tell me why, oh why, oh why won’t that sun appear

    We’re lost in a cloud
    With too much rain
    We’re trapped in a world
    That’s troubled with pain
    But as long as a man
    Has the strength to dream
    He can redeem his soul and fly
    Deep in my heart there’s a trembling question
    Still I am sure that the answer is gonna come somehow
    Out there in the dark, there’s a beckoning candle

    And while I can think, while I can talk
    While I can stand, while I can walk
    While I can dream, please let my dream
    Come true, right now
    Let it come true right now
    Oh yeah

  170. SFDBWV says:

    Emmylou Harris while speaking with Mumford and Sons said “sometimes it feels good to feel sad” or something to that effect.

    She was talking about how sad songs make us feel.

    When I visit “YouTube” and listen to any song I always like to read the comments people make from all over the world about the song or its author/singer.

    The comments are always a mixture of differences of opinions salted with nice comments, insults and even disagreements about a comment.

    For Leonard Cohen you get a lot of appreciation for his talent as well as many who understand his search for perfection in his music and in his place in life.

    Some recognize his tortured soul. Always looking for peace and contentment.

    I have known some people who “tried” church in an attempt to find their peace. Their experience failed them.

    I believe it was because they went into the “experience” with unrealistic expectations of what it means to be a Christian. When they did not get the experience they expected or what it was they wanted they left disillusioned, confused and still searching for what it was they thought would fulfil them.

    For such their search never ended. Their peace never came.

    What is it we expect from God once we “say” we have accepted Jesus as Lord? What is our motive for accepting Jesus as Lord? What is the peace that Jesus offers that other religions don’t?

    Jesus said come trusting as little children do. There is no intellectual involvement in children, but there certainly are in adults.

    Look at all of the denominations of Christian churches. Do you suppose they all agree to disagree on their details, but agree on the only thing that matters? That Jesus is the Son of God, the Lord and is in point God in the flesh?

    Or do you suppose each one thinks only they are “right” and all others are going to hell?

    Could it be sadly that the reason some people like Leonard look all of their lives for what is right in front of them is because what is right in front of them has been grossly misrepresented?

    This took me all morning to write, because of interruptions and the gathering of my thoughts. Not in any way of comparing it, but it is said it took Leonard 5 years to finish writing “Hallelujah”.

    Wet cool and 62 degrees in the mountains.


  171. poohpity says:

    This is what childlike faith acts like trusting God no matter if He does not do anything we want Him to do and no matter if I expect other Christians to act like I think they should. I know how many times I fail so it is unwise to trust another human being to do any less but for those who have faith and trust in the Lord they will never be disappointed but if that faith is in other human beings disappointment is sure to follow.

    Letting go of every single dream
    I lay each one down at Your feet
    Every moment of my wandering
    Never changes what You see
    I try to win this war
    I confess, my hands are weary, I need Your rest
    Mighty warrior, king of the fight
    No matter what I face You’re by my side

    When You don’t move the mountains
    I’m needing You to move
    When You don’t part the waters
    I wish I could walk through
    When You don’t give the answers
    As I cry out to You
    I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You

    Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings
    There’s not a day ahead You have not seen
    So let all things be my life and breath
    I want what You want Lord and nothing less

    When You don’t move the mountains
    I’m needing You to move
    When You don’t part the waters
    I wish I could walk through
    When You don’t give the answers
    As I cry out to You
    I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You
    I will trust in You

    You are my strength and comfort
    You are my steady hand
    You are my firm foundation
    The rock on which I stand
    Your ways are always higher
    Your plans are always good
    There’s not a place where I’ll go
    You’ve not already stood

    When You don’t move the mountains
    I’m needing You to move
    When You don’t part the waters
    I wish I could walk through
    When You don’t give the answers
    As I cry out to You
    I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You
    I will trust in You
    I will trust in You
    I will trust in You

  172. poohpity says:

    Steve, are you saying that if a person has any intelligence they can not trust God with childlike faith? (1 Cor 1:27)

    For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 20Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not know Him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.…

  173. jeff1 says:

    Steve, growing up in this country it was not uncommon for me to hear those Catholic’s are going to hell or vice versa and I remember my sister telling me that her catholic school friend said to her when they were parting after secondary school that she was really OK for a protestant.

    I have a son now living in England and another son thinking of going to Australia next year and though I would rather he stayed I am encouraging him to go because I see there is still division and hatred here that I don’t like and sometimes all you can do is get away from it.

    An English soldier once said to me when he was upset about his colleges that for a Christian country we did not behave much like Christians and I could not disagree with him because I knew there was too much truth in what he was saying.

    My dad was a visionary and as such he knew what should have been done but there were few of them on the ground at the time and all hell broke loose and the rest is history.

    It was my dad that taught me that behaving like a Christian takes courage because he applied values that was right and not what was popular.

    I have learned that there is much more to being Christian than believing in God and perhaps that is the reason that God is grossly misrepresented.

  174. poohpity says:

    John 6:29 NLT;

    After we come to really believe then the Lord sends His Spirit to live through us. So in believing we learn to trust and then we know it is God’s work in our lives that changes us to be more like Him. Without belief we depend on ourselves, our intellect, our own wisdom, our own strength and begin to think we are good enough by our own merit.

  175. poohpity says:

    Yes being a Christian is more than believing it is being submissive or allowing ourselves to follow Jesus once we come to believe.

  176. poohpity says:

    The followers of Christ’s teaching were called Christians first in Antioch. They were a ragged tagged bunch of misfits and broken people who came to believe. Being a Christian does not mean you do everything right or are a good or bad person it means you have made the choice to follow Jesus period. Acts 11:26 NLT

  177. poohpity says:

    Notice it does not say that they had everything together, never sinned, or never messed up but that they believed.

  178. poohpity says:

    Remember that Saul was the one Barnabas brought back to the church in Antioch the very one who was killing those who believed in Jesus later known as Paul.

  179. poohpity says:

    The church in those days was referring to the people, as it is today, to those who met together to learn about the Lord and sing His praises and hold each other up. Usually they met in the homes of those who believe. They shared the same belief in Jesus which was their common ground and did they have disagreements you bet they did because they were human but it all came back to the Lord’s teaching on which they agreed which gave them unity of purpose and goals.

  180. poohpity says:

    I get so sick and tried of people slandering the church or those following Jesus because their expectations are for perfection within, when there is no such thing nor is there any person alive that meets those standards either. It usually comes from those who do not go to church, just like those who slander the bible are those usually who do not read it. We are a forgiven group of people who have been shown amazing grace and mercy from a God who went to such great lengths to prove His love for us.

    Romans 12:3 it is not what we do but how much faith we have and that in and of itself is from God. Eph 2:8-9 NIV

  181. bubbles says:


  182. joycemb says:

    Daily Dig for July 8
    François Fénelon

    Do not fear then, that your past faithlessness must make you unworthy of God’s mercy. Nothing is so worthy of mercy as utter weakness. He came from heaven to earth to seek sinners, not the righteous; to seek that which was lost – as indeed all were lost if it were not for him. The physician seeks the sick, not the healthy. Oh, how God loves those who come boldly to him in their foul, ragged garments and ask, as of a father, for some garment worthy of him!

    Source: The Complete Fénelon

  183. jeff1 says:

    I believe that faith itself is a gift because it is doubt that disturbs my peace and I get doubts when I see history repeating itself because we allow the past to dictate the present and deny a younger generation the future.

    It is God and God alone that makes all things new because left to man this world would not change.

    We talk of giving God the glory but the glory is God’s because He is the goodness in me or there would be no goodness in me at all.

    Nothing to this world I bring simply to the cross I cling.

  184. joycemb says:

    17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
    John 3

  185. joycemb says:

    Such great good news!

  186. SFDBWV says:

    Setting here with black coffee and my favorite, Oreo cookies, looking over the news on the internet and of course at what may be new on BTA.

    It would seem lots of people disagree on just about everything and very few agree to let anyone disagree with them.

    Reading in Scripture when the early church appeared to be totally in one accord. Everyone selling off what they had, giving it to the church and everyone operating as one. Acts 2:41-47 KJV

    Today we call that a cult.

    Admittedly I don’t really understand why Scripture appears to say that Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead because they “lied”. Acts 5:1-11 KJV

    Why was fear such an important factor in establishing the early church? Is it fear that continues to drive Christians today? Fear of eternal punishment, of loss, of unrest?

    There are other emotions hovering around fear, one is anger and once the door is open a flood gate of seemingly un-Christian attitude follows.

    And before I get attacked for bring up fear in the subject I remind you of Acts 2:43 KJV and Acts 5:11 KJV this being the time of great “unity”.

    When I read of the actions of the United Nations all that is ever accomplished is that everyone agrees to disagree on just about everything. Wars and conflicts of violence continue with no action from a unified front to avert them.

    Nations learned quickly that the UN had no punch behind their “words”.

    Can there ever be peace of mind when coupled with fear?

    A dear old friend of mine who passed away a couple years ago worried about her adult children right up to her death. Fear of them being lost to hell even though all had at some point in their lives confessed Christ as Lord, their subsequent life styles were questionable as to living a holy life. So she constantly worried.

    Can anything really be accomplished when we “agree to disagree”? Or is it that we just shake the dust from our feet and move on?

    More questions the Lord will give answer to in that hour when we get to see Him face to face.

    50 degrees under foggy skies.


  187. jeff1 says:

    Fear of God was a very big part of my growing up because He was represented as a judgemental God and if you failed to keep His commands then hell was your punishment.

    I tried to be so good and failed miserably and as a result I have been running and hiding from God ever since when I have wrong thoughts or my heart is not where it should be.

    I think that believing in a judgemental God means that I have stopped looking for God’s approval and instead take refuge in Christ because I see myself as both victim and perpetrator and as such ‘I’ need saving.

    As a manic depressive I have to keep peace of mind or I become very ill and has someone who has suffered psychotic episodes I can tell you when you are having one of those hell is very real.

    Steve, you spoke of a woman who feared for her adult children who confessed Christ as Lord, mine do not believe in God and so they are oblivious to whether God is judgemental or merciful and to my way of thinking in their scenario ignorance is bliss.

    The Gospel is very much about Jesus and not us because to my way of thinking, even today, if Jesus where here on this earth and asked the question:

    Anyone here who has never sinned can throw the first stone at her?

    Truthfully who would be left standing.

    I feel the touch of hands so kind and tender.
    They’re leading me in the paths that I must trod.
    I’ll have no fear for Jesus walks beside me
    For I’m sheltered in the arms of God.

    So let the storm clouds rage high,
    The dark clouds rise,
    They won’t worry me;
    And naught of earth shall harm me,
    For I’m sheltered safe within the arms of God.

    Soon I shall hear the call from heaven’s portals
    Come home my child,
    Its the last mile you must trod
    I’ll fall asleep
    And wake in God’s sweet heaven
    For I’m sheltered in the arms of God.

    So let the storm clouds rage high,
    The dark clouds rise,
    They won’t worry me;
    For I’m sheltered in the arms of God.
    He walks with me,
    And naught on earth shall harm me,
    For I’m sheltered in the arms of God.

  188. poohpity says:

    If I did something in private thinking it was a secret then have someone who I thought did not know tell me just exactly what I did, I might fall down in shock or it may cause me to have something like a heart attack as well.

    When I think of all that God is, His power, His intelligence and things happen at the sound of His voice the earth even trembles of course I am in reverent fear. That is God we are talking about, to fear Him is understanding exactly who He is. It however is not the kind of fear that oppressors cause when they subjugate a people but the kind of fear in understanding the majesty of God. If I thought He was a puny God that was swayed by people, nature or anything else I would not fear Him but He is not. I also know what He has the power to do yet doesn’t because of His love for us, that is reverent fear. He does not want us to cower and quake before Him but come to Him as in like a child would go to their Father.

    Steve, I have to say it is very interesting your thoughts about God, scripture and the community of believers.

    Viv, about ignorance is bliss, Ignorance is what seems to cause chaos, destruction, division but gaining knowledge leads to peace and understanding. Sometimes though ignorant people when they have just a little knowledge without wisdom can also lead to chaos, etc.

    Luke who wrote the book of Acts being a doctor seemed to have paid careful attention by adding at the beginning of that story by informing the readers that that couple did not have to give the full price and could have withheld as much as they wanted. People sold their extras to give to those who needed help. Just like God made provisions in the OT for the poor, needy and destitute when He instructed Israel not to harvest their whole field but to leave the edges untouched so those without could have. People hang on to things that they will never use when it could help someone in some way.

  189. poohpity says:

    I guess even agreeing to disagree comes down to the very heart of the matter is it more important to be right than it is to learn or care about the well being of others?

  190. joycemb says:

    Pooh I like your question.

  191. joycemb says:

    It reminds me of the question, Do people care more about what you know than how much you care? If God is known by His love think how many more would want to know Him! Joy joy joy!

  192. joycemb says:

    And really, does it matter whether we agree or disagree? What matters to me is what matters to Jesus who became the once and final sacrifice for sin for all of mankind for all of time. If I spent half as much time sharing this great good news as I do thinking up fancy arguments (in my head mostly) I’d be a lot better off and so would a lot of other people :-),

  193. Regina says:

    Good Morning, All
    I pray all is well in your lives today (and forever)! At home this beautiful Sunday morning to take care of some personal matters, chores, etc. and decided to stop by to chat with yall… Grateful for the opportunity to comment on this blog topic… I thought Mart would’ve changed it by now.

    Mart said, “But did Jesus or Paul ever suggest that people of the truth could, would, or should think alike about their diverse interpretations about almost everything? Seems to me that they advocated the kind of unity that comes by learning from one another… and when necessary, agreeing to disagree (Romans 14:1-19).”

    I think many relationships suffer and some, sadly, end up dissolving because some people don’t have the ability to “agree to disagree”. Am wondering if “A to D” can be done without help from the Holy Spirit?
    The Holy Spirit gives us the supernatural ability to walk in gentleness (humility) and self control… HE gives us the ability to disagree with a person’s way of thinking, feeling, etc. and still keep genuine love in our heart for the person (whether he/she be a family member, friend, associate, co-worker, whoever) thinking of Gal. 5:22-33. My thoughts for now…

    Side Notes: I was on this blog on 7-7-17, and I didn’t realize the significance of the day until later on that day! Sigh… I LOVE numbers, and I had to stop, make mention of that day and reflect on the fact that we won’t ever see it again…

    Further, I turned 50 this year!!! :-) I tried to chat with you on my birthday, but that’s when I realized that I couldn’t log on because I forgot my username and password… Yeah… it’s the year of JUBILEE for this gal! And, come what may this year, I’m expecting great things and I’m ever ready to worship and praise my God! I’m SO excited to be ((50))!

    80 degrees and beautiful sunny skies in my neck of the woods…

    LOVE to all,

  194. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, I was not referring to Christians being in ignorant bliss but my children who are non believers because they are not seeking God so it does not occur to them whether He is judgemental or not because they are looking to science for their answers.

    If I am truthful I believe that it is not faith without works that is dead but faith without love.

    I cannot pretend to God that I love my enemies because He knows that I do not so it is not a case of me being right but rather God showing me that I am a sinner as much as my enemies are so that I may see how easy it is to have double standards which is what my dad knew I was doing because he was a righteous man.

    My dad unlike me never hated his enemies and never was critical of them because He knew what was right and put politics and religion after God’s will which is what God requires of a disciple to my way of thinking.

    I needed to see that it was not my enemies coming between God and I but my sins because I was focusing on their sin and blinded myself to my own.

    God’s love is inclusive while my love was exclusive and it is God who gets it right.

  195. joycemb says:

    “The conversion of a soul is the miracle of a moment…the manufacture of a saint is the task of a lifetime.” ~~Alan Redpath~~

    Viv have you heard of this British evangelist (he died in the early 1900’s I think).

  196. SFDBWV says:

    Good evening Viv, I just wanted you to know how much I admire your honesty. It is a virtue that many who profess to be Christian do no practice.

    Saying the “right” things when a heart secretly says another comes out by the actions of such people and their fraudulent Christianity is seen and sensed by all.

    I am so relieved to know that it is God who judges the hearts of all mankind knowing far more than any of us could ever.

    Hold on to what you know and don’t allow anyone to steal your joy. You do just fine Viv.

    Even though you don’t need it, my advice is to prayerfully give your children’s salvation over to the Lord and let God work it out…Keep praying “mom” God is listening.


  197. jeff1 says:

    No Joyce, I haven’ but He knows what he is talking about.

  198. jeff1 says:

    Thinking Steve that the shock at realizing how I blinded myself was a wake up call for me and ever since that I try to be honest with God because I spent too much time listening to other’s and not listening to God.

    Yes, Steve, God cares so very much but living in this world can dull the senses and doubt causes worry but Jesus is evidence of God’s love for us and holding on to that truth renews faith in God and His plan to save the world.

    Search me, O God, and know my heart today,
    Try me, O Saviour, know my thoughts, I pray;
    See if there be some wicked way in me;
    Cleanse me from every sin, and set me free.

    I praise Thee, Lord, for cleansing me from sin;
    Fulfil Thy word and make me pure within;
    Fill me with fire, where once I burned with shame;
    Grant my desire to magnify Thy name.

    Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine;
    Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine;
    Take all my will, my passion, self and pride;
    I now surrender, Lord, in me abide.

    O Holy Ghost, revival comes from Thee;
    Send a revival, start the work in me;
    Thy Word declares Thou wilt supply our need;
    For blessings now, O Lord, I humbly plead.

  199. poohpity says:

    Viv, I was not referring to Christians either but all people. It seems the bliss of ignorance can only last a short time until someone says something or teaches something which educates then ignorance is no longer. Ignorance just means a lack of knowledge or information. I think what people do regarding God may not be due to ignorance but rather rebellion and I think that is the work of Satan to blind people to the light and block them with many reasons and excuses from getting to know God.

  200. poohpity says:

    Steve, do you consider yourself a fraudulent Christian who says things outwardly yet the heart is not in tune with the words? The only reason I asked because to accuse someone else of such a thing one would have to know about it themselves since it is impossible for us to know the heart of another isn’t better not to say such things about someone else? In the end times God will separate the wheat from the chaff and when we try to do it we may up root someone that God is working within their heart.

    Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

    27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

    28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

    “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

    29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

  201. poohpity says:

    I have yet to meet a Christian that practices following Christ perfectly, without any flaws but I have met many who claim that they do but that still does not make someone a fraud. Maybe in denial or blind about their own heart condition but not a fraud.

  202. jeff1 says:

    I believe what Steve is saying that many speak the right words but it is not from a heartfelt view but others are not fooled because the person’s actions are a give away.

  203. jeff1 says:

    I think sometimes people are honest with God but not honest with those they have offended but I think you have to be able to make peace with the offended as well because God knows that you can say what people want to hear without following up and acting on it.

  204. poohpity says:

    Since when is that any of our business whether someone else is following through or acting on what they say they believe. Do you follow through and act on what you say you believe? That is all that is really important, not what others do but what you do since each person will answer to God for their own behavior not that of others.

  205. poohpity says:

    I understood exactly what Steve was saying when he had the nerve to call some Christians frauds, there is no need to try to justify or try to make it sound any better than what it is.

  206. jeff1 says:

    It doesn’t make any difference to us whether people follow through or not but it does make a difference to God as to how non Christians see Him because those non believers observe that we don’t do as we preach and that to my way of thinking is how God gets misrepresented on earth.

    God doesn’t get misrepresented by anyone other than His followers because others are not claiming to know Christ so if our behaviour is not aligned with our words that to my way of thinking makes me a poor ambassador for Christ.

    Why did the English soldier say to me for a Christian country there were very few true Christians because as an observer he seen people who were suppose to be Christ like behaving barbaric so you are correct that other believers behaviour does not make a difference to me but I definitely believe that it is the reason He is badly represented on earth and that does upset me very much because I want people to see the merciful God who forgives their sins that draws others to God because that is the God that drew me to Himself and saved me from myself as much as He did the world.

  207. jeff1 says:

    Thinking of how we all see different sides to people.

    I was giving my son and his friend a lift and my son got out of the car and I struck up a conversation with his friend.

    My son’s father knows this friend through taking him for training as a cadet and said his behaviour is not that of someone he likes our son associating with as he is rebellious and gets into trouble.

    I said they are both now adults and he grew up with him from school and I trusted my son to know not to follow his behaviour.

    Interestingly I struck up a very sensible and insightful conversation with this young man and went away with a very different perspective on him than my ex husband.

    I said to my son when we were alone that X seemed a very sensible young man and my son replied that is a side of him that we as his friends would never see.

    When I mentioned it to my Rector he quickly replied you brought out the best side in him.

    What that tells me about others is that they are complex and not surprising then that it is best to leave God to judge because truthfully it is God who knows the whole being and loves us despite of ourselves and if I ever doubt that I look to Christ who is evidence that God so loved the world that He give His only begotten son so that we would not perish but have life everlasting. Amen.

  208. phpatato says:

    FULL MOON!!! Need I say more…….

  209. street says:

    2 But I determined this for my own sake, that I would not come to you in sorrow again. 2 For if I cause you sorrow, who then makes me glad but the one whom I made sorrowful? 3 This is the very thing I wrote you, so that when I came, I would not have sorrow from those who ought to make me rejoice; having confidence in you all that my joy would be the joy of you all.

  210. street says:

    thinking of the great joy and peace when the law is done away with. legalism has an apparent need for judgment and condemnation built right in leading to great division and difficult/impossible circumstance. this can only happen in God’s Eyes, not our own, requiring faith. in other words evil,sin darkness have been done away with. already not yet. while we were still sinners He died for us. should we continue in sin? may it never be! continue in Him Who brought true joy and true peace by faith hope and love.

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