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Stockholm Syndrome

In 1973 four hostages were taken in a Stockholm bank robbery. When eventually released the victims defended their captors and refused to testify against them in court. Their experience led to the coining of a term that represents, by some estimates, 8 percent of persons who have been intermittently harassed, beaten, threatened, abused, or intimidated by another person.

Initial explanations were that the captives had been brainwashed by their abductors. Over the years other researchers have suggested that when hostages, prisoners or war, or victims of domestic violence develop positive feelings toward those who mistreat and traumatize them, it is evidence of a confusion caused when the desire to live is greater than reasons to hate.

So what is happening when readers of the Bible discover that they are commanded to love a God they are afraid of, or to love an enemy who hates, abuses and insults them?

Many of us have come to rightly or wrongly believe that you cannot by authority, threat, or coercion force someone to have a healthy and meaningful love for you.

Doesn’t this, at the very least, raise questions about what is at stake in how we read and interpret our Bibles and personal experience?


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139 Responses to “Stockholm Syndrome”

  1. jeff1 says:

    So what is happening when readers of the bible discover that they are commanded to love a God that they are afraid of, or to love an enemy who hates, abuses and insults them?

    If I have a right relationship with God then what is happening is that I am trusting God to make all things right, i.e. to put an end to my enemies and bring me back to Himself.

    That I fear God stops me from retaliating against my enemies and leaving vengeance or forgiveness to Him.

    He has given me forgiveness that I did not deserve so only God knows whether my enemies have offended Him beyond His forgiveness and that is for Him to decide.

    I may struggle, I may falter but God has promised me that I am sure of a place in heaven because I am His child and all He asks is my faith in return.

    I, personally, am troubled, at how so many come away with different interpretations of the bible and have witnessed disagreements getting passed that and becoming confrontational.

    The fact remains that God is always right and if I look at the characters in the bible I see this. God turned up in their lives and it was His righteousness in them, but they faltered and they struggled with guilt, sin and omission and I do too.

    That I am afraid to admit I do is because I have been indoctrinated into believing that I must be righteous before God and so my head is in opposition to my heart which says that God accepts me as I am and He will finish what He has started.

    God asks for faithfulness and not perfection and ‘Christ’ is the evidence of that truth.

    The struggle is in the mind because I believed since I was a child that I had to keep the ten commandments and that is imbedded in my brain and blocks the peace that I would have with God.

    God isn’t withholding from me but in my humanness I am blinded from receiving.

    God doesn’t withdraw His love and while in my heart I know this my head is telling me otherwise.

    My dad walked in harmony with God and the one thing my dad had was stability of mind because it takes a heart and mind for God to do this.

  2. Beloved says:

    Powerful thoughts Mart. Life, living, love all connected because of violence done to my Savior so I can be like Him by surrendering my life to Him no matter how I am abused. Called to love not pay back with more hate, abuse or insult. Lord have mercy on me.

  3. Beloved says:

    Stockholm syndrome might make all the difference while here on earth, but in eternity it’s a whole different story. Must make sure I’m following Jesus, alone.

    Why should I gain from His reward? It’s pure gift, there no other explanation and that same gift I’ve received I must pass on without reservation. Just as Jesus did.

  4. poohpity says:

    Wow I think the premise is all wrong. If we hate someone they may never know and if they do it may never effect them but it does effect us, it turns our hearts away from compassion and into coldness but not only for the person hated but for others who cross our paths. One gets angrier more easily over many things then when we hold it inside it causes depression and the desire not to be around people.

    I have never thought in reading the bible that God forces us to or commanded us to love others but just to give away what He gave us and we were never asked to do it on our own either but with His help.

    Sometimes from those held captive in some form or another I think their feeling toward the captors may change because sometimes as one gets to know another they can see what has prompted them to be the way they are, so empathy develops but other times the fear seems so great to go against the abuser that it is better to not make any waves and just go with their control so they will not get angrier. Then again some have lived so long under the abuse they make excuses for the behavior just to have some form of normalcy and do not know there is any different way out there so they just stay in the horrible environment because that is all they know.

    It would seem anyone can take many things out of the bible to apply it to themselves to call right what is wrong or good that which is evil. People did that regrading slavery, treatment of women, the abuse of Native Americans, to name a few or justified hate like we see in those now who use violence to force their opinion on others, so they can shut them up and no one can hear a differing view. Awww so much brainwashing going on in our country in this time because people would rather hear the hate instead of solutions and love for their fellow human beings. Then those prone to hate and anger which are many can persuade other like minded to follow.

  5. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    “Authority, threat or coercion” is a mixed list of terms, it seems to me. As in the Bible, a corrupt and violent earthly oppressor uses threat and coercion. But authority? Not so much.

    That overlord may seem to have authority. But, any authority an oppressor has is based on physical threat — or “brainwashing” as some call psychological abuse.

    The long saga of God’s relationship with God’s people is a tale of the ultimate authority in the universe — the Most High God — loving and wooing His fallen creatures into His kingdom.

    The authority of God is supernatural, cosmic and eternal. Any power to enforce obedience that comes from mortals is a counterfeit of that true power, in my opinion.

    It may be that the Israelites suffered from some degree of Stockholm Syndrome when they complained that Moses was trying to kill them in the wilderness. They wanted to go back to their slavery in Egypt — where they had meat, fish, cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic to eat.

    Blessings all day,
    Maru

    14C/58F in the valley. Smoke is clearing a bit from the forest fires.

  6. Beloved says:

    Just thinking, who is the author of life, if not God?

  7. bubbles says:

    Stokholm syndrome. . . isn’t this what happened to Belle in The Beauty and The Beast?

    I don’t understand anything any longer.

    I have been thinking about the man born blind and how the disciples asked who had sinned there, and Jesus replied no one and that he was born that way to bring glory to God. I always took that story without thinking. But now I wonder what sort of God would have a man born blind for a single second to bring glory to Himself? That poor man’s life would have been one of poverty and hardship; after he was healed, what type of skill did he have to sustain life? I don’t understand all of that. God forgive me for even having such horrible thoughts, but this seems CRUEL.

    Nothing makes sense. I am beginning to wonder if God just turns things lose in the world. People say God is in control. What verse explicitly says this? I have said He is in control my entire life and BELIEVED it with all my heart and mind. But what verse says this?

  8. jeff1 says:

    Having faith in God requires trust more than understanding. It is not always easy to know what God is doing either in my own life or the world at large but I know in my heart that God is true and no matter what my head tells me my heart knows best.

    When I don’t like my thoughts I listen to my gospel music and remind myself that God sent Jesus because He loves us and that gives me the peace of mind I need.

    I do not try to understand all the ugliness in the world because it is a fallen one but I believe God does not forsake us and though it is a struggle in my head I know in my heart God’s love will triumph whether in this life or the next.

  9. poohpity says:

    bubbles, how about thinking about that it was not God who made this man blind just so He cure him but that in our fallen world there are many diseased people but God is able to restore them and the onlookers would not have known the power of Jesus as God if He did not grant him sight as He did in curing many others as well. Our fallen world is what has brought disease to mankind, it was never God’s intentions from the beginning that any would suffer any disease but because we have chosen to do things our way it happens. It was showing the power of Jesus to heal. So later down the line they would know who Jesus is and the power He had but did not use it to save Himself from the Cross.(Matt 27:42 NIV)

    Yes it is sort of a sick way of thinking that God made him blind just to bring Him glory but that is not really what the scriptures says.(“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. John 9:3 NIV) That would be human thinking and reasoning without knowing God very well or knowing how our thinking is far below how God thinks.

  10. poohpity says:

    God does not control although He has that kind of power but does allow things to happen not because He does not what good for us but because we rebel and often do not want Him to interfere with our lives. He did not create puppets with no brains but gave us brains so we could learn to love Him not by force or it would not be love.

  11. poohpity says:

    How often in a day does anyone ask God for direction or guidance or do they just go out on their own with no thought of God? He has given us a whole book of guidance but people would rather do as they please no matter the consequences.

  12. poohpity says:

    But God can restore, heal and make whole then we can see His power manifested.

  13. poohpity says:

    bubbles thank you for being honest about your thoughts. I imagine there are many who think along the same lines but may not say anything.

  14. jeff1 says:

    Pooh’s post 7.07 pm

    He has given us a whole book of guidance but people would rather do as they please no matter the consequences.

    God sees people as individuals and cares for us as individuals while our tendency is to stereotype.

    I have seen God work in my life enough to know this.

    Also God leads by the indwelling Holy Spirit because He cares about people so the truth is God does not hold our failures against us as humans do but will keep His promise to bring us back to Himself as is His intention.

    When I have trouble with my thoughts I focus on the one who is greater than them and find my thoughts pass and God is still in control of my destiny.

    God doesn’t criticize or forsake us but corrects and sustains us whether in times of testing or by our own human error, it is God who is faithful, and when you realize it is all the work of God and not of yourself you can be at ease as you and I not being perfect can be assured that He is perfect in restoring and healing us to His image and to what He originally had intended for us before the fall.

    Take heart Bubbles God’s work on earth is not yet complete so keep looking onwards and upwards and you won’t go far wrong.

    God is with you/me today and always come what may.

  15. jeff1 says:

    Come what may (Luxembourg Eurovision song winner 1972)

    There were times in the days gone by
    When I thought I was living, having fun with all the friends I knew
    Now it seems so long ago
    For my life changed completely the moment I met you

    Come what may, I will love you forever
    And forever my heart belongs to you
    Come what may, for as long as I’m livin’
    I’ll be living only for you

    Now I know I was lost till I met you
    When I met you, love told me what to do
    Come what may, in a world full of changes
    Nothing changes my love for you

    Never ask what the past was like
    I will live for tomorrow, yesterday is very far away
    Now you’re here, everything is new
    You are all that I long for, and I long for you to stay

    Come what may, I will love you forever
    And forever my heart belongs to you
    Come what may, for as long as I’m livin’
    I’ll be living only for you

    Now I know I was lost till I met you
    When I met you, love told me what to do
    Come what may, in a world full of changes
    Nothing changes my love for you

  16. SFDBWV says:

    I came late to this subject yesterday morning, too late to have time to respond as it has been a tough few days for us and “us” usually is higher in priority than this.

    The name of this site refers to we who participate as Mart’s friends. As a friend I worry sometimes about the subjects as they often paint a picture of a crisis of faith.

    Of looking for answers to settle and satisfy a troubled soul.

    Thinking of all of the heartache and troubles we all struggle with it is certainly always a proper subject to delve into when it comes to finding peace not only in a troubled world, but more personally in “our own” troubled lives.

    I applaud Mart for asking the deeper questions instead of just sticking to the safety of more shallow waters.

    We like songs? Here’s one…
    1. I Can’t Make You Love Me
    Bonnie Raitt
    Turn down the lights
    Turn down the bed
    Turn down these voices inside my head
    Lay down with me
    Tell me no lies
    Just hold me close, don’t patronize
    Don’t patronize me
    ‘Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t
    You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t
    Here in the dark, in these final hours
    I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power
    But you won’t, no you won’t
    ‘Cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t
    I’ll close my eyes, then I won’t see
    The love you don’t feel when you’re holding me
    Morning will come and I’ll do what’s right
    Just give me till then to give up this fight
    And I will give up this fight
    ‘Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t
    You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t
    Here in the dark, in these final hours
    I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power
    But you won’t, no you won’t
    ‘Cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t
    Songwriters: ALLEN SHAMBLIN, MICHAEL REID

    We are alive in a world, and it is this world we have to learn how best to survive in.

    The one thing that belief in the God of the Bible and more importantly Jesus of Nazareth brings to our ability to cope and survive in this world is “HOPE”.

    On my wall right in front of me as I write are the passages of the Bible found in Philippians 4:4-7 KJV special attention to verse 7, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

    I have a lot to discuss in this subject and will as time allows.

    Watching the tragic flooding in Texas I am mixed with emotions of sadness and gladness as I see people doing the right things and people dying horrible traumatic deaths.

    Prayers for Texas.

    Steve

  17. poohpity says:

    Viv, I agree that God treats us as individuals and not stereotypes but the most important thing is God never changes. The guidance He gives can be applied to every human being, it works for all humanity in every circumstance that we may happen upon or that comes into our lives because most of it is our common thread that makes us human.

    Mart, wrote a topic a while back that said we read things or listen from our own perspective, it may be or not be what is really happening but it is how each person receives it. One person may see God’s grace in a situation while another may see God’s harsh punishment in that same instance. If one is having a bad day emotionally then what they read or hear may appear to fit into that bad day but come back when one is feeling better and reread or hear it again and gain a whole new outlook.

  18. poohpity says:

    There are days when I look around at my life and see all the things that are missing or that I think should be different because I want them to be but on the other side I can look around at all the things that are and be grateful and thankful for what I do have. Sometimes that can happen within minutes when I change my thinking.

    Chuck Swindoll wrote about “Attitude”;

    The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.

    Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home.

    The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

    And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.

  19. remarutho says:

    Good Morning BTA Friends __

    In the midst of unspeakable loss and torment, our old friend Job cries out:

    Oh, that my words were recorded,
    that they were written on a scroll,

    that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead,
    or engraved in rock forever!

    I know that my redeemer lives,
    and that in the end he will stand on the earth.

    And after my skin has been destroyed,
    yet in my flesh I will see God;

    I myself will see him
    with my own eyes—I, and not another.
    How my heart yearns within me!

    Agreeing with you over here, Steve, the self-giving and the care of Texans (and even rescuers from every state in the union) make my heart rise up in the hope of Something eternal — the ground of our being — the Source of justice and mercy.

    As the Apostle Paul says:

    You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.

    How hard it is to glance briefly at my tormenters, but keep my eyes steadily on Jesus! Although the Accuser moves at God’s command, God is good all the time.

    Joy all day,
    Maru

  20. poohpity says:

    Amen Maru! At times it seems we can look at things as those who deserve or do not deserve what is happening yet to know that God is there in all of it does bring hope as Steve said.

  21. SFDBWV says:

    Don’t really have much time, just having a cup of coffee in between things and looking over BTA.

    Will just leave this thought for us to consider…

    The Stockholm syndrome seems to be turned into a blessing not so much for the captive as the kidnapers in regards to what occurred with Saint Patrick.

    An entire people were brought to salvation because a prisoner loved those who had enslaved him.

    Steve

  22. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, it was during some of the worst days of my life that I felt near to God and you do not forget those personal times come what may.

    A person’s nature i.e. whether they are a positive or negative person affects their attitude. Some people are better at taking the knocks in life while others are not.

    Also life does not seem fair because some get more than their share while others do not. There is much we do not understand and trusting God is best in a world where the more knowledge we have the more confused we are.

    Peace of mind in a troubled world is more precious to me than anything and I find that through music, beauty as in the rainbow, and people who make me laugh because I have not had enough of it in my life.

    God has given us good things and as I get older I am finding I have time to enjoy them more.

  23. bubbles says:

    Every dime I make is going towards bills. Today I learned one, ONE medication I have to have so I will not die costs $9,000 and I have to have four of them. Impallned to mow the yared after the appointment, onlynto be told I cannot bathe for a day. I cannot mow the yard and NOT tkae a shower because the humdity is through the roof here. If they would have told me in advance, I would have mowed a day earlier. They assume that wveryone has a spouse or a team to help them. . I do not.

    I had to leave work early so I had to go in early to preapre for a sub. I tuped up notes for her to follow. I needed to get in early to print them out along with other documents in thr comouter. Printer would not work. Imtried for half an hour. Would NOT work. I tried connecting with a cord. Would not work. Studemt came piling in and I had to give them my attention, Then schol began and we hit the ground running. During my planning which has been cut shorter this year, I tried prinitng again. Antoher came to the room and learned the printer had defaulted to another name that has never been used. Tech man was supposed to be in the building today, but I had to leave for an appointment. I had to go to the ktichen to get water. I tripped ob the threshhold and spilled cold water all over mu foot and shoe and in the hallway. I did not have time to clean it up. kitchen is on the other end of building. My arm is in pain so I I I cannot carry heavy things . Ran back to the copy room to copy something. Copier would not work. It would not feed the paper, so that caused me to lose more time trying to get it to work snd then when it did not, colating by hand. Parents bad notes with questions I did not have time to answer becuase mynshortened planning was messed up trying to get the printer to work. Substitue csme in thr middle of class. I expalined everything to her, grabbed my phone and glasses and all my work and left. Got half way home and thought mybphone was missing. ait was..Turned around and went back to work to find the phone snd glasses. Went all thr way back upstiars, looked and they were not there. Wend all the way downstsirs, back out tomthe car, tok everything in my bags apart, looked under car seats. No phkne or glasses. Went back in the school, alll thr way back upstiars, and foind them where i alid the, down. Now I am running late for my appointment, I walked across the school yeard, and my shoe fell apart. It broke all the way back to thr srchnod my foot. I started crying. Got to the car, and my window was down. I had left my purse, school bag, and computer and iPad in a car with the windwomdown, They could have been stolen! Then I ran bto my house, ams as I was going, I remmeber some importsnt information I forgot to relay tomthe sub. I got in my house and called the school. Busy signal. I was supposed to eat before the appointment, somI heated up soemthing. Called the school again. Called the sub, and no answer. Called the other grade level teacher, no answer. Called another teacher to ask her to tell the Tech many about the printer, and she talked too long. My time was running out to eat and get to the appointment. I called another teacher and she would relay the information she said. As soon as I got on the rosd, my phone started ringing from the first teacher I had called. Good grief. Mynphone had all these texts from random numbers I did not know. aimwasmhalf hcoir late getting to my house becuase of the confusion,

    It frels like my life has been a mess from day one. I cannot do two things at once becuase I mess up. I try so hard to get things done snf the equipment willl NOT ever work when it is needed. That printer not working messed up everything .

    ATTITUDE??? I feel like there is an invisible force trying to keep me from getting the most simple tasks done dialy. I am so frustrated with all this that will NOT work. It wastes my time and exhauts me.

    Nothing, no matter how small, ever works out right. Pencil sharpeners will not work. I do not have cssh to buy all these things for school.

    Doctor tells me to take a leave of absence. Easy for him to say. It is not easy when there is NO one to support you in any way, financial, emotional, nothing. I have NO one, no support, nothing. I found a mentor, and ahe says she cannot help me because ai am too far away and we are supposed to meet. So no help again. I was on the phone for ten hours looking for someone to help me, and got nothing.

    Today agter work, they had a Lularoe sale, so I ran back there to see if ai could find some work clothes becuase it is so hot. It was foing to lat to six o’clock. I got there at 5:30, and they were packed up and gone. Another disappointment.

    My room is always 82, 84, 86 degrees. I was told this treatment would leave me fatigued. I am already fatigued from the hest. I stand up and come close to passing out. I cannot go to the store after school becuae I am afraid I will pass out beside my car on the parking lot snd I would get robbed. I wake at night with leg cramps from the heat all day. I asked two, TWO, doctors to write an order that I need air condtioning to help with the heat becuae I have additional fatigue. They both laughed at me. The heat exhausts me. I cannot imagine having more exhaustion in addition to that, and then there is the horrible pain from thr $9,000 injection that will come. I cannot stand and walk around with swollen bones and that pain.

    Yes, attitidue is important. But I am at the end of my rope here. I have NO one to help me and I am so lonely I cannot stand it.

  24. Beloved says:

    Praying for you bubbles. I know God is faithful to meet your every need.

  25. poohpity says:

    bubbles, sometimes if you write or call a Pharmaceutical company they will help with the cost of RX’s. Where is your dad and step mom can’t they help? Just letting go and allowing the sub to take over even if it is not done your way the class will survive. Sometimes we have to just let go and things work out because somethings are more important than others like your health and not worth the headache or heartache or sweat.

    Viv, trust me when I say that I understand feeling close to God in times of trouble which is most often how my life is. Often I do have enough money to make it through a month to even eat, I am in constant pain which causes depression, I have lost those closest to me over that last few years, my family has moved away and most live in Montana and I could go on and on about the things I do not have or the other troubles, struggles that I face everyday but if I think on those things and not on what I do have and what I am able to do then life does not seem very much like living. BUT my relationship with the Lord is strong and I am more dependent on Him than I ever have been. He gives me reason to wake up every morning, a purpose to live for and a joy that I could not think possible. He has given me an attitude adjustment.

    I don’t look at what I can’t do but what I can and some days that may just mean getting out of bed. To me knowledge or knowing things and God stops chaos and brings order to most of life, reasoning and wisdom helps makes sense of it all and often brings the ability to overlook that which is not really very important. Which a lot of what happens in life is just not that important in the grand scheme of things. I love people and when I am around them I enjoy myself and they enjoy me, when I teach about God or pray for others or look for ways to be of help never to get in return that also brings me joy but when my focus is on myself that brings me down because there is nothing worse than self pity and I know that well, been there done that and it doesn’t work for me.

    So yes attitude is a major part in anyone’s life and it is a choice to look for the worst in others and life or to look for the best, good, beautiful and admirable qualities in others and in life and it does change one’s attitude. Like night and day. I know!

  26. SFDBWV says:

    Have you ever felt like looking skyward and shaking your fist at God for all the pain, suffering and discouragement you are forced to endure?

    I’ll bet most of you have, even if some won’t admit it.

    Too often when we think of love we all have a different view of what love is. But without question it is a fact that you cannot force someone to love you.

    I would suppose the ultimate act of love is when you love someone even though they don’t love you.

    And when I say love in that usage, I mean love them enough to aid them, help them, encourage them, feed them, clothe them, forgive them, and as an ultimate act of love, die for them. Even if they show no love for you.

    I get it that it seems that we are “commanded” to love God, but the truth is we are not commanded to love Him at all, we are commanded to love others as we do ourselves and to obey God.

    But it is in our disobedience to Him that He died for us.

    He doesn’t ask us to die for Him, He asks that we live for Him.

    And how do we do that? By showing love and kindness to others, even when others show no love for us.

    However what is the relationship between you and God?

    Do you actually believe that there is an all seeing, all knowing, “Being” that is everywhere at once? That this “Being” controls every event of not only your life, but the lives of everyone else including the lowly cockroach that scurries about the earth?

    The subject grows from here.

    In the last subject we mentioned looking at the night sky and having a feeling of awe and the stirring of there being something else in life, something bigger and beyond ourselves.

    In our Bible it says that God “wrote” eternity on our hearts from the beginning. Instinctively we know there is something bigger and beyond us. It is that “longing” in us to seek God that is akin to what we know of as “love” in that use of the word.

    Whereas we may long for freedom, what we are actually seeking freedom from is the captivity of this world we live in. If there is a “Stockholm syndrome” at play here it is that we have assimilated to life on earth and as a result we suffer all the disappointments and injustice that this world presents.

    Our “Creator” offers us freedom and provided a way. We just have to accept it and believe.

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

    Hold fast to what faith you have, our rescue is at hand.

    54 degrees and cloudy this morning, the remnants of “Harvey” are headed this way.

    Steve

  27. SFDBWV says:

    Hugs and prayers for you Bubbles.

    Steve, Matt and Glenna

  28. remarutho says:

    Thank-you for ventilating your issues, Bubbles.

    I also am a single person, with quite a few people depending upon me. My brother recently came to live with me, since he is out of options in life. Sometimes I feel that nobody has my back.

    Hold fast, Bubbles. It may be there are entitlements you are eligible for to help with the staggering medication costs.

    Blessings,
    Maru

  29. Beloved says:

    Psalm 18 When I thought, “My foot slips,”
    your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up.
    19 When the cares of my heart are many,
    your consolations cheer my soul

  30. Beloved says:

    English Standard Version
    Lukr 10:27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.

  31. poohpity says:

    When I have those times of anger at God usually it is because I am trying to control what He does. I think there is a type of magic to get Him to do what I want and when He doesn’t I get mad. It has taken a while in this journey to fully realize what the meaning of your will not mine means and His time table usually is far different than mine. I want things easier in the natural life rather than asking to be made stronger in my spiritual life.

    Like most captors they want ultimate control over people and I would submit that those who want to control others also want to control God. I want God to obey me, grant my wishes rather than looking at life through Spiritual eyes and watching God work out things I thought could not be worked out, not only outside myself but inside. Developing compassion, patience, joy and love toward God and others not a genie who grants wishes and gives me comfort to not experience any pain or troubles but to a trust and dependence that when those troubles or pain come I have a place of rest to hide in, to go to for shelter and a place to retreat my weary head.

    I do not think God wants to control us but maybe help in our responses or reaction to life’s various trials. Not to take them away which sometimes happens but to help us get through them and then on the other side be able to help others when they go through them. Most of what I have learned about God is that His concern is about developing relationships with Him and with others to get through this journey of life, not to get everything I want or protection from the valleys or mountains in life but to travel over them with God and others. It seems that is what awaits me in heaven, community with God and all those who have believed, a community with no tears, no sorrow or pain or suffering and now we are being taught with eternity in mind.

  32. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, I believe that is when I depend on God in life’s difficulties otherwise I forget my need of Him so it’s when I seek Him. It’s my relationship’s with others that suffer when I’m in a bad place because I don’t understand people and they don’t understand me.

    My dad was the only person whom I could confide in and he didn’t judge me and I find it’s rare because people who know you judge you as you do them because its human nature when you know people well and live in close knit communities which I do.

    While people often mean well they are much better at telling you what you should do then they are listening to what you are saying and that frustrates me with people while God listens doesn’t He and speaks to my heart in ways that overwhelms me.

    In my heart I have a good connection with God but I have a lot of difficulties of the mind that disrupt that connection and gets in the way of my peace of mind.

    I am too much like my mum and not so like my dad and I know my dad knew my mum was her own worst enemy and I tend to be mine, like mother, like daughter it would seem.

    I have always looked for the best in people but when I don’t find it then it upsets me and I will give up on people who do not have a good attitude because I find it will rub of on myself if I don’t.

    I struggle enough with my own flaws i.e. anger, guilt without adding to them.

    I have learned in life that you cannot change people, only God can do that so if they are making you miserable then you have to walk away and leave it in God’s hands.

    I learned the hard way i.e. having a nervous breakdown that others will not see you are struggling nor will they care and when hospitalized I was able to count on one hand the people who came to see me because of the stigma about mental illness.

    This world is not an easy one and knowing God is with us is comforting and reassuring on this tedious journey but that does not make it any less tedious.

    It is hard to imagine a community with God, with no tears, no sorrow, pain or suffering and the longer I live the more I long for it and I guess that is the good news about getting older I am nearing the final battle in this world because I find that trusting God does not mean understanding the ‘why’ but knowing the ‘who’ that knows best.

  33. poohpity says:

    For me it is really not my business what other people do, it is only my business what I do or don’t do. I know that there are no people who do the right thing all the time just as I do not do the right things all the time. To accuse them of things is really accusing myself because I am also human with all my frailties, faults, failures, shortcomings and weaknesses. I need to pay attention to my responses to people or how I treat them no matter how I am treated and that is the only thing that is really my business. People are not here to live up to my expectations nor am I able to live up to theirs or for that matter I can not even live up to my own expectations of myself most the time.

    I am asked to act justly, do what is right and walk humbly with God not to require that from others. Boy wouldn’t our communities be much better if we only paid attention to our own actions and not those of others.

  34. street says:

    27
    Why do you complain, Jacob?
    Why do you say, Israel,
    “My way is hidden from the Lord;
    my cause is disregarded by my God”?
    28
    Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
    The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
    He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
    29
    He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
    30
    Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
    31
    but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
    They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

  35. SFDBWV says:

    O cursed curiosity and unsatisfied thirst to understand everything…

    When you study history what you find are the more intellectual the ancient society the more intellectual are their religions. The less intellectual the more simple. Then there are the depraved societies whose religions were also depraved.

    However I don’t recall any that did not believe in a god or gods that either influenced their lives or had direct interaction with them.

    Nearly all either demanded “worship” or made their followers think they needed to appease or please.

    Very interesting is the religion of the famous “Magi” of whom the Christmas story speaks of as the three kings or three wise men who came to worship the new born King in Bethlehem.

    They saw His star rise in the astrological charts they believed held everyone’s destiny, and also “believed” the ancient prophesies found in the writings of the Hebrew texts available to them from the Israelites who remained in Babylon from the 70 year captivity.

    Their intellectual pursuits brought them straight to Jesus. The Messiah of all the world.

    Their particular religion wasn’t about a singular god who demanded worship, rather it was about a god who would bring perfection from an imperfect world and many other similar beliefs found in Judaism, Islam and Christianity. The study of astrology and alchemy and the advent in the belief in “magic” as well.

    Still what the intellectual pursuit of the “Wise men” produced was the finding of Jesus whom they considered to be the savior of all mankind.

    I believe if you look in our Bible, what you will find is that what pleases God is “faith”.

    I also believe if you look what you will discover is that “love” comes to God as a result of getting to know Him, not because it is demanded from you.

    Lots more on this subject to explore, especially how it affects us and our relationship with God.

    48 degrees and a misty morning.

    Steve

  36. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, I don’t think it is my business what other people do but I live in a close knit community and every one knows each other’s business and does make judgements on what they know i.e. we have travelling people living in our village and I work in a charity shop and these two very young travellers came in and ask to use the toilet where my coat and bag was hanging and when the lady working with me started to get uneasy at the long he was in there so when he left she said I should check my belongings and I found that my money had been stolen.

    After talking to other volunteers I was told how they had been in every shop trying to steal and had also stole from peoples cars in the town.

    Their reputation for stealing is further than their feet so to speak, so yes, we make judgements on people’s actions whether we think we do or not and while on this earth a person is known by their reputation and as my dear Mum used to say get the name of being an early riser and you can lie till dawn.

    I was raised in a disciplined home and so looking at my own actions is a habit I have had since childhood and comes easy to me but my heartfelt responses is a very different matter.

    It is those that I struggle with because when I see others actions are wrong I believe they should be corrected but society does not know how to change people nor their actions and so the law is what we have to correct people from wrong actions.

    You are correct as a human being I am as much the problem as the solution and why God is the only justified judge in dealing with mankind.

    My right reaction is to agree with God but in my humanness I find a reason why I should not agree which makes me as much God’s enemy as those I believe are God’s enemy.

    Whom do I see as God’s enemy those who deliberately steal, kill, or slander because having been brought up in a Christian home I was taught not to do these things.

    Also in order for another person to see me as a Christian they will judge me my reputation because that is all they can judge me on and that is why following Christ is a very restricted life while on this earth if I am walking the walk.

    It is why God knows that many will falter and fall away because the closer I get to God the more alien this world becomes.

  37. jeff1 says:

    correction to paragraph before last, should read; they will judge me by my reputation

  38. poohpity says:

    Since I have worked with the homeless and destitute about 25 years, I learned early on that trust has to be earned. I never take anything of value with me that could be taken a lesson I learned early on. I either leave that kind of thing at home or lock them in the trunk of my car before I go in. That is what I was meaning about minding my own business. It is a temptation for anyone to have easy access to anything of value especially since not many have respect for themselves or anyone else nor care about their well being. So it was not my business whether they took my things, it was my business to take care of my stuff and not to place a temptation in their path. I was more upset with myself than I was them.

    As one who tried to defend myself when falsely judged and falsely accused, the Lord has shown me that is what also happened to Him but He did not defend Himself so I am learning not to either because it really makes no difference because if someone has taken no time to really get to know me then they are thinking from their own perspective and the things they do and it is really not about me in the end.

    We were all God’s enemy at one time before we became His friend, after we came to believe. That is why showing others grace just like we have received shows who really has faith and has taken His place in our minds and hearts. Will we do it all the time, no but just like everything else in our spiritual journey it is a process. We fall down then God picks us up again to try again.

    Here is a song for you Viv which shows what our Christian journey is, just like it says in the bible by Bob Carlisle “We Fall down”

    Cursing every step of the way, he bore a heavy load
    To the market ten miles away, the journey took its toll
    And every day he passed a monastery’s high cathedral walls
    And it made his life seem meaningless and small

    And he wondered how it would be to live in such a place
    To be warm, well fed and at peace, to shut the world away
    So when he saw a priest who walked, for once, beyond the iron gate
    He said, “Tell me of your life inside the place”, and the priest replied

    We fall down, we get up, we fall down, we get up
    We fall down, we get up
    And the saints are just the sinners
    Who fall down and get up

    Disappointment followed him home, he’d hoped for so much more
    But he saw himself in a light he had never seen before
    ‘Cause if the priest who fell could find the grace of God to be enough
    Then there must be some hope for the rest of us
    There must be some hope left for us

    ‘Cause we fall down, we get up, we fall down, we get up
    We fall down, we get up
    And the saints are just the sinners
    Who fall down and get up

  39. poohpity says:

    When I came to realize that I was unable to do everything right not to say I do not try to do but often fall then I can give others a break too! Their journey with God is their journey and maybe just maybe if mine was perfect I would have a right to judge, I know some people think they are perfect but we know the truth about that, but I know all the areas that God is working on within me so I will leave that up to God. I can however judge a behavior I see in others that I do not want to copy because it is my business what I do.

  40. poohpity says:

    I have often wonder why in those countries that are under communism that the people even though they are many more than those in the government do not revolt but like Mart was saying their desire just to live(self preservation) becomes stronger than their desire to hate(revolt).

  41. poohpity says:

    Steve, when did a god of wood or stone have interaction with the people that worshiped them, when did they ever do anything for the people that worshiped them? There was several times the Living God put them to the test to show the people they were not anything but creations from the minds of people.

    If the Magi did not worship the living God how is it that God spoke to them in a dream to tell them to go another way back home?(Matt 12:2 NLT) Did God communicate with people who did not believe that He was the One true God? I would think they had to have been opened to spiritual things just to even go looking for Jesus. You mentioned during the captivity in Babylon that there was those who witnessed God’s hand through Daniel and others who were held captive, so maybe their ancestors met God then and it was passed down. Many people worship things that can not make a difference in their lives, like other people or idols, Israel did that which it seems was why God left it to the god’s they worshiped to save them but they couldn’t because they were not god’s at all but wood, stone, stars, and many other created things but refused to worship the living God.

  42. poohpity says:

    ooops that was Matt 2:12 NLT

  43. poohpity says:

    There were people in all the surrounding nations that witnessed God’s mighty hand and believed although Israel did not even when it was them that God did the mighty works for.

  44. jeff1 says:

    We are individuals and are very different in our thinking and outlook, Pooh. I agree I cannot do everything right but that which God puts in my pathway I must endeavour to do what is right.

    I cannot agree with you that God would see me as doing the right thing by ignoring another stealing from me and seeing it as my problem. Firstly the person needs to know their behaviour is unacceptable and brought to answer for it otherwise they will just move on and steal from others which is exactly what these young men are doing because no one has been able to catch them in the act and bring them to the authorities for it.

    This to my way of thinking is not helping the offender or those offended because the offender will never learn if he/she is not challenged and the offended may decide to take the law into his own hands (not me personally) if he sees that no action is taken against the offender.

    I believe God’s expects us to use discernment when making choices and if the offence is against me then I do think that God would see it as my business and want me to take the right course of action that benefits both the offender and the offended and the right course of action to me is reporting it to the authorities who deal with it.

    We have a legal system because people are not perfect and we are all subject to it if we fall foul.

  45. Beloved says:

    Whatever choices we make for whatever the reason whether through pain and suffering, peer pressure familial/national/demographic or conscience it is so good to know that as Jesus’s modern day disciples we can study and learn more about Him in the Holy Scriptures and what He expects of us. John 15:16-17

  46. Beloved says:

    My previous post is in regard to the topic.

  47. Beloved says:

    Mart I don’t think it could be any clearer, Jesus said in John 14:21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

  48. SFDBWV says:

    Dearest Beloved, please don’t be discouraged nor feel offence, God wants our love there is no doubt.

    I was in the United States Marine Corps from age 17 through to age 22. I learned quickly to obey orders. Not so much because of the consequence of not doing so, but because I knew the rewards of doing so.

    Not having the afternoon time to jump ahead of my thoughts along our subject line, I will say that the whole of Scripture produces an instruction as how to live a better life. As well as an example of what will occur as a consequence of not following God’s directives and advice.

    Whereas God doesn’t come right out and say either love me or go to hell, He does say if you obey me, you show that you do love me.

    Adultery is a theme God uses all throughout Scripture to explain what occurs when we disobey and or follow other desires other than the desires He has put in place for us to follow. Because where our heart is there are we also.

    If we “love” God it isn’t because we are afraid not to, it is because we “believe” Him and show it by being obedient to His will. We understand the rewards of doing so, and in some cases just walk on the water in blind trust.

    It is that “faith” that pleases Him and is love in action.

    Steve

  49. Beloved says:

    If I am offended or discouraged because of the Gospel then I have no love for God, but only for myself. Bearing in mind all He has done for me how could I not want to submit to His commands to love Him and my neighbor I’d be a poor soldier

  50. Beloved says:

    if I didn’t. Yet any strengths I have are from Him.

  51. jeff1 says:

    I would agree Steve, that faith is what pleases God because it shows we are trusting Him in our trials and the truth is when I am doubting God I have lost my faith in Him whether I see it or not.

    I have said before I am very much a wanderer where my dad was very consistent. Wandering causes a lot of distress to yourself whereas my dad had great stability and walked in harmony with God. My tendency is to get behind or run in front and confusion is then my companion.

    I feel the touch of hands so warm and tender.
    They’re leading me in 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 don’t worry me;
    For I’m sheltered safe within the arms of God.
    He walks with me,
    And naught of earth shall harm me,
    For I’m sheltered in the arms of God.

    Soon I shall hear the call from heaven’s portals
    Come home my child,

    It’s 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 safe within the arms of God.
    He walks with me,
    And naught on earth shall harm me,
    For I’m sheltered in the arms of God.

  52. Beloved says:

    So what is happening when readers of the Bible discover that they are commanded to love a God they are afraid of, or to love an enemy who hates, abuses and insults them?

    Jesus said it takes being born again, to have His spirit in us to teach and show us. It takes the mind of Christ to dispel the many voices including experiences, imaginations, thoughts and perceptions. Not to mention voices of my neighbor and the enemy.

  53. foreverblessed says:

    Dear bubbles, it looks like you have a real substantial Job experience, one thing after the other failing!
    A real test!
    hang in there! I pray for you too, but hold on to Jesus!
    I pray for you, yes I do
    On holiday now, bad wi-fi. Just read Bubbles, did not have time to read all the others, may God bless you all, He knows all!

  54. poohpity says:

    Viv, I never said in any way to not call stealing, stealing or any sin a sin. Yes the person needs to be held responsible for their behavior without a doubt. But we also have responsibilities not to put temptations so easily in the path of another. Do you honestly think leaving one’s bag with money in it was wise and that circumstance could have been avoided. It is like putting candy on the table in front of a child that has diabetes and telling them not to eat it and going in the other room away from them. I am sorry if that is hard to understand and I know without a doubt had you known better it would not have happened, just like the first time I sat money in front of someone who had no self control and they took my money. It was wrong but it would be remiss of me not to understand the part I played as well. The lesson learned was just not to take valuables with me any more to places that they were not safe. I would never call what is wrong right. I think there may be a misunderstanding in regards to what I meant what is my business and what is not, changing others is not my business nor within my abilities shoot I can not even change myself the Lord can however.

    Sometimes I do not know how to clearly get my meanings across very well. That may not have been the best example.

  55. jeff1 says:

    You are making judgements when you don’t understand the circumstances, Pooh, firstly the manager of the shop has a rule that no one uses the staff toilets as there are public toilets some yards up the street so while we allowed him to use them they are not open to the public and it is where the cloakroom is for us to hand our coats and bags.

    I agree I would not deliberately leave money in the public domain but it was not in the public domain as no one but staff used the toilets.

    The world would be a better place if we had the power to change ourselves and others but I am 63 years of age and as a child I can remember my mother talking of travellers stealing and how they were richer than some of the people they were stealing from. They had family wedding’s in the local hotel and left it in some a bad state that the grandmother (being an honourable woman) went into the hotel owner on the morning after the wedding and paid for the damages and I was told by a person who worked in that hotel that it was no small amount of money not to mention that there was no expense spared for the wedding.

    There are those who steal out of need and there are those who steal because they feel there entitled to.

    As I see it the legal system works here in the UK very well because a person whether they can afford it or not is appointed legal representation and so when it goes before the judge the reason for the person stealing is taken into consideration by the judge and a warning giving if it is a first offence. Also many are given community service instead of sentencing so gone are the days when severe penalties are given to those who should not be getting them.

    Even in more serious crimes many feel that the UK system has gone too soft as crime is on the increase and if someone is in your house robbing you and you take action he could be taking a lawsuit against you which just proves that man will never solve his own problems because we are all too imperfect when all is said and done.

    I look forward to being changed beyond recognition, the day God has His way, won’t be a day too soon.

    God will make a way
    Where there seems to be no way
    He works in ways we cannot see
    He will make a way for me

    He will be my guide
    Hold me closely to His side
    With love and strength for each new day
    He will make a way, He will make a way

    By a roadway in the wilderness, He’ll lead me
    And rivers in the desert will I see
    Heaven and Earth will fade but His word will still remain
    And He will do something new today

    Oh, God will make a way
    Where there seems to be no way
    He works in ways we cannot see
    He will make a way for me

    He will be my guide
    Hold me closely to His side
    With love and strength for each new day
    He will make a way, He will make a way

    By a roadway in the wilderness, He’ll lead me
    And rivers in the desert will I see
    Heaven and Earth will fade but His word will still remain
    And He will do something new today

    Oh, God will make away
    Where there seems to be no way
    He works in ways we cannot see
    He will make a way for me

    He will be my guide
    Hold me closely to His side
    With love and strength for each new day
    He will make a way, He will make a way

    With love and strength for each new day
    He will make a way, He will make a way

  56. SFDBWV says:

    The age of the “Prophets” ended with John the Baptist, as Jesus said there would be no more.

    What made a Prophet was that he was called by God to be so, anointed to the task and spoke for Him.

    The world won’t see such men again until the days of the apocalypse as ascribed in Revelation, and at that time God uses two Prophets who were already.

    Some say they are Elijah and Moses personally I believe them to be Elijah and Enoch.

    Proof of a Prophet was that what he prophesied came to be, 100%.

    I say all of this because we as members of the Body of Christ must be very cautious when we believe we “speak for God”.

    Interpretation of Scripture, like prophesy, is a task of The Holy Spirit.

    Mart asks, “So what is happening when readers of the Bible discover that they are commanded to love a God they are afraid of, or to love an enemy who hates, abuses and insults them?”

    Please bear with me as this is a very deep and layered subject for me to sort out and attempt to address. Equally I pray we all seek God in our comments about such things.

    A few weeks ago I watched a BBC program about the nurses from Australia and New Zealand who administered aid to the soldiers during WWI.

    In one of the episodes after a trying long night of being under attack from the German air force and fighting near to the town where they were stationed one of the nurses, whose fiancé had been killed earlier in the trenches of the war, stumbled upon a group of German soldiers who had been taken prisoner by the allied forces. They were badly wounded, dying and just left in a room unattended by any medical staff, to suffer and die.

    She quickly went about the task of trying to alleviate their suffering and attend to their wounds when one of the wounded men handed her his bible and in German ask her to pray for him.

    At the end of the saga of these nurses, that particular nurse told another one she did not believe in God any more.

    She simply could not believe in a God who would allow such horror and pain to continue in the world, especially to those who called upon Him as God.

    What particular “thing” is it that makes any one of us come to be a Christian?

    Is it because we fear that “if” there is an eternal punishment such as a fiery hell, there is safety in professing to be Christian? As in being afraid of God’s punishment?

    Is that why we believe Jesus came?

    Is this how we interpret Scripture?

    Where is love in such a view of God?

    I said the subject is deep and has many roads to explore and will take time to “think about”.

    I think I have said enough for today.

    53 and foggy.

    Steve

  57. poohpity says:

    Viv, I apologize for jumping to a conclusion without having all the facts.

    Steve, this is the first time I have ever heard of the “age of the ‘Prophets” or that it has ended. Isn’t one of the Spiritual gifts, prophecy, during this the age of the gentiles and grace prophecy still exists according to scripture and experience.(1 Cor 12:10; Romans 12:6; 2 Peter 2:1; 1 Cor 14:3)

  58. poohpity says:

    I believe in God for who He is not for thinking I will have an easy life after coming to believe, in fact sometimes the closer one gets to God the more at odds against the world one becomes. People cause war, abuse and destruction from a lack or absence of God in their life. God gave us all kinds of ways to make life better for others and ourselves but no one listens, obeys or depends on that then want to blame God for all the ugly in the world when that could not be further from the truth.

  59. poohpity says:

    I chuckled this morning because I see and hear all the times that people raise their fists towards God for all the evil in this world when He has been fighting against it since the beginning yet when their is good happening they celebrate the human beings doing it without grateful hearts and raised hands for the One who taught us what good and loving is. Go figure!!

  60. poohpity says:

    oops not their but there is good happening.

  61. Beloved says:

    Go figure; the world’s ways indeed.

  62. Beloved says:

    Remembering how Jesus wept when he saw how lost his generation was.

  63. jeff1 says:

    Steve 5.54 am post

    Is it because we fear that “if” there is an eternal punishment such as a fiery hell, there is safety in professing to be a Christian? As in being afraid of God’s punishment?

    If I believed God wanted to punish anyone forever then I would not believe He was a loving God because that is not what a loving God would be like to my way of thinking.

    I believe that God has told us to expect pain and suffering in this world but that it will not be forever and that heaven is our reward for trusting Him with that truth.

    As for those who do not trust God I do not believe He will allow them to suffer any more than anyone suffers in a fallen world and will bring them into heaven after He reveals Himself to them.

    Is that why we believe Jesus came?

    I believe Jesus came to make mankind right with God but man has yet to fully believe or comprehend the implications of His selfless act.

    Is this how we interpret Scripture?

    Different denominations have very varied accounts of Scripture and therefore I believe focusing on Christ and being led by the indwelling Holy Spirit is what God requires of us.

    Where is love in such a view of God?

    You have to be cruel to be kind and man brings disaster on Himself and God has to clean up after Him and that makes this a messy world to live in. I can only speak for myself but I have messed up enough times to know that I am as much part of the problem as part of the solution.

    That God sent Jesus to save me from myself as much as from the world is how I see it and therefore I want that mercy and grace to be extended to others who are not trusting of God because I was raised with God since childhood and many did not have that inheritance so I am exceedingly blessed to know of God’s care and concern for all of us.

  64. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, thanks for the apology and I know I am not the best at getting across what I am trying to say so I apologise for not being so clear about it.

  65. poohpity says:

    Viv, thank you.

  66. SFDBWV says:

    Many years ago, as you might imagine, I got into quite a spirited discussion about John the Baptist, Elijah and yes reincarnation.

    Malachi 3:5 KJV states that Elijah will come before the “great and terrible day of the Lord”.

    John’s disciples ask Jesus, for John who was in prison, if He, Jesus, were the one they were looking for. Matthew 11:2-3 KJV Jesus’ answer is found in Matthew 11:4-6 KJV

    Going a step further Jesus gives testimony of John in Matthew 11:7-15 and answers the question of Elijah and John in Matthew 11:14 KJV as well as stating that such prophets ended with John in Matthew 11:13 KJV, “For all the Prophets and the Law Prophesied until John.”

    I particularly like Matthew 11:15 KJV as this verse gives notice along with Matthew 11:14 KJV that if you listen to what is said and have a heart to receive truth the truth can be revealed to you.

    Beloved I also want to say particularly to you that yes Jesus said we are to love God, however I see it more as an admonishment than a commandment.

    Love in this tone being one of respect and honor. The results of disrespect and dishonoring God being catastrophic both in this life and the one to come.

    I will repeat myself in saying we have to be very careful thinking that we speak for God when talking to others, when far too often we are simply giving our own opinions and they are not always correct concerning what that particular person needs from God or needs to hear.

    We as Christians are to offer the Gospel and that is that Jesus of Nazareth died for our sins and evened the score with God, we are forgiven through Jesus’ sacrifice…Believe on Him and receive eternal life. Be born again into an entire new creature and receive the Holy Spirit through which all truth would be revealed.

    Sometimes the truth is hard to accept. Especially when we get in the way.

    Last evening I received a surprise email from one of our participants here on BTA. It appears that person has joined too many others in leaving BTA because of one person’s unrelenting effort to thwart mine and others comments by picking at them and sowing the seeds of discontent, disunity, and strife.

    The clock is ticking on BTA and if we are indeed Marts friends we should be about making others feel good about being here, not discouraged to a point of leaving because of a non-Christian attitude and behavior from any of us.

    51 degrees under a mixture of stars and clouds.

    Steve

  67. jeff1 says:

    When I see how my dad walked with God I can see that you are right Steve, because he never spoke for God but was disciplined in keeping his commands. He kept his own relationship with God on the right footing and harmony was his companion i.e. making godly choices.

    My companion is confusion because I do not have my dad’s discipline and I wander so I spend more time taking refuge in Christ than I do walking with God.

    Leader, follower or wanderer, in hindsight, I am the latter, hiding from God because of sins of omission which for me are so much greater than my sins of commission.

    I need thee every hour,
    most gracious Lord;
    no tender voice like thine
    can peace afford.

    Refrain:

    I need thee, O I need thee,
    every hour, I need thee.
    O bless me now, my Saviour;
    I come to thee.

    I need thee every hour;
    stay thou near by;
    temptations loose their power
    when thou art nigh. (Refrain)

    I need thee every hour,
    in joy or pain;
    come quickly and abide,
    or life is vain. (Refrain)

    I need thee every hour;
    teach my thy will;
    and they rich promises
    in me fulfil. (Refrain)

    I need thee every hour,
    Most Holy One;
    O make me thine indeed,
    thou blessed Son! (Refrain)

  68. SFDBWV says:

    Viv you do very well in your view of life and of your faith. Hold on to that and even though some may try and chip away at it, Jesus will protect you and keep you safe in the relationship you and He has.

    Blessing for you all day.

    Steve

  69. SFDBWV says:

    Thinking a bit about this subject, I was reminded right away of the story of Patty Hearst. Not only did she become a passive captive, but was photographed helping them rob banks.

    The thought surfaced in me how abused women stay with abusive men and even defend them.

    Too many people see no way out of a bad situation and end up just making the best of it however they can.

    I wonder if as the worlds views are changing everywhere as a result of “social media”, Christians are also letting down their guard and softening to the subtle rise of anti-Christian principals in opposition to the “rules” of living a holy lifestyle?

    Because we feel we are being pushed further and further into accepting the attitude of the mob instead of staying true to the advice and directives of Biblical values.

    Scripture says that in these last days even the “elect” could be deceived if it were not for the protection of the Holy Spirit.

    Great caution in whose and what voice we pay heed to.

    Steve

  70. Beloved says:

    Dear Steve,
    Thank you for explaining your wisdom to me directly. I guess I didn’t understand the rules of fellowship here. I do now though.
    I pray your knowledge of our savior Christ Jesus grows deeper and deeper each day.

  71. pegramsdell says:

    Hello my old friends. I’ve been away from here for a while. Sorry Bubbles for everything you are going through….praying for you. It’s so good to be able to read all of your posts.

    I’ve thought about the topic and all I know for sure is that God loves me. And maybe I’m an ends to His means, but I am important to Him. And I really do love Him and I want to be with Him. Like the prodical son and the other son.

    I love you all and I’m so blessed to be here.

  72. poohpity says:

    Steve, wasn’t Jesus saying that all the prophets that came before John were prophesying about the coming of Jesus the Messiah which if one reads what the prophets wrote then one would see that and then John came to make clear the path before Him(Jesus). The prophecies as Jesus taught started in Genesis all the way through Malachi;

    25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

    44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

    45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. Luke 24 NIV

    Steve, I am so sorry that what I share is taken as so offensive to you personally when it is not meant in that way at all. I know the time that you put into reading the scriptures but is it possible that there is still more to learn. The other prophecies in the OT were to tell Israel what would happen to them if they turned away from God and look to the nations around them or following other people rather than God, to do what only God could do, guess what God still sends prophets(which includes teachers), dreams and visions to share what will happen when people turn away from God to follow the understanding of human beings and not Him.

    Steve, you get away with much of what you say the bible says because not many on here know what it says themselves but they follow you. That is a great responsibility and to lead people down a wrong path is just not right. Hopefully and prayerfully people will look up what God teaches in the bible and not go on what either of us say.

  73. poohpity says:

    The logical reason that prophecies ended about the coming Jesus is because He came.

  74. poohpity says:

    But life goes on and God still has messages for us that seems to be why He gave the spiritual gift of prophesy for the future.

  75. poohpity says:

    Ya know Steve, I have to apologize because I could have went about this a whole other way in saying you are right about the end of the prophesies “regarding the coming of the Messiah” which ended with John the Baptist but not the end of all prophesy. I understood what you said as saying that that with John the Baptist was the end of ages of all prophesies.(The age of the “Prophets” ended with John the Baptist, as Jesus said there would be no more.) but that only applied to the prophesies about the coming of the Messiah and the reason was because the Messiah came. The way I went about it could have gotten the tails feathers of anyone up in arms, next time I will try to be more specific in response.

  76. jeff1 says:

    In my better moments I know you are right Steve, that God is in control and keeps me safe. Yet so often my life spirals out of control and I fear my relationship with Him is in jeopardy.

    I believe you are too much like my dad in your walk to understand what that is like Steve, it is the instability in myself that causes me to wander from the peace I know into the danger I don’t know and I loose sight of God and it is hell itself to loose sight of God, Steve, and you cannot imagine how fearful a place that is to be until you have been there.

    God provides, I have a friend, who understands and says I am under attack from the spirit world.

    She knows how to help me as I am stone cold physically and mentally having a panic attack. She prays and anoints me with oil to bring me out of what is a psychotic episode.

    Thankfully I have not had a full blown psychotic episodes for years now but I do suffer from symptoms which lead to having one so I am on medication which reduces my chances of getting them.

    I am convinced because of my experiences that hell is being separated from God and so that has become my greatest fear that I or those I love be separated from God.

    Peace of mind does not come easy with struggles of the mind and so it with my heart that I seek God.

    God speaks to the heart or He does to mine knowing how weary of mind I have become.

    It never ceases to amaze me the lengths God goes to in order to communicate with us.

    How deep the Father’s love for us
    How vast beyond all measure
    That He should give His only Son
    To make a wretch His treasure

    How great the pain of searing loss
    The Father turns His face away
    As wounds which mar the Chosen One
    Bring many sons to glory

    Behold the man upon a cross
    My sin upon His shoulders
    Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
    Call out among the scoffers

    It was my sin that held Him there
    Until it was accomplished
    His dying breath has brought me life
    I know that it is finished

    I will not boast in anything
    No gifts, no power, no wisdom
    But I will boast in Jesus Christ
    His death and resurrection

    Why should I gain from His reward?
    I cannot give an answer
    But this I know with all my heart
    His wounds have paid my ransom

    Shy should I gain from His reward?
    I cannot give an answer
    But this I know with all my heart
    His wounds have paid my ransom

  77. Beloved says:

    Jeff1 I once was called in to help a neighbor undergoing psychotic distress. I lowly read some of Davids Psalms to her and watched God deliver her to her right mind. It was a miracle and the power of God still today. Oh yes He is faithful and Is powers limitless.

  78. Beloved says:

    The reason she was in distress was she quit taking her medications for bipolar because she was pregnant. She delivered 7 healthy thriving children but suffered greatly each pregnancy, yet God sustained her and her husband. He’s a truly awesome and able God!

  79. Beloved says:

    Marts question regarding personal experience. Well, I have learned over time to not trust anyone knowing as Jesus said what is in a man/woman and that our holiness journey will not be completed until we are finally gone from this earth. But I do trust that God dies not change, and that verses such as:

    Jeremiah 33:1-3New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    Restoration Promised
    33 Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the second time, while he was still [a]confined in the court of the guard, saying, 2 “Thus says the Lord who made [b]the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it, the Lord is His name, 3 ‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know’.

    ..that these are trustworthy sayings or else my faith is in vain.

  80. Beloved says:

    Thinking also about “desire to live becomes greater than the desire to hate”. Blessings in the wilderness!

  81. Beloved says:

    “evidence of a confusion caused when the desire to live is greater than reasons to hate” apology for misquoting. Holy confusion maybe?

  82. Beloved says:

    Thinking about love- whether an admonishment or command it is so important.
    15Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. I john

  83. jeff1 says:

    Thinking it means not to love the systems of the world but I cannot see how we are not to love the things in the world because God uses nature, music, food and people to sustain us while we are here.

    Personally speaking I can comfort eat which is a weakness I developed when I was ill and troubled about things and still struggle to overcome it. This is what is wrong, not loving food but using it instead of seeking Him which is a habit I have got into.

    Discipline is hard when you have gotten away from it!

  84. Beloved says:

    God does use the things of the world to reveal Himself to us. Maybe when those “things” become greater to us than God is when our love is misplaced, like someone trapped in an abusive situation where there’s seemingly no way out and end up with Stockholm syndrome? Not sure but I struggle with addiction (sin) also. Its pretty common and hard to overcome but not impossible. Maybe it (addiction) is the result of a Stockholm-like experience the mind has yet to overcome? Just thinking…

  85. Beloved says:

    Back to the things of the world, the next verse explains what he is talking about:
    15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.

    I do really hate sin.

  86. jeff1 says:

    I think it is good to hate sin because it shows God how much I/we need Him in our times of weakness. It also shows God that we desire not to sin and it is through weakness and not deliberate or intended on our part.

    That I want to do God’s will and not my own is the struggle within for some more than others. My dad walked close to God and didn’t struggle because he was of sound mind whereas I need constant reassurance because of my instability of mind which causes inconsistency in my walk.

    It is like being on a see-saw of now I trust you, now I don’t and so I know there is much to overcome for me to know God as I should.

    I think its easy not to love the world but when it comes to ‘anything’ in the world that is where the struggle is because there is much to love in the world so I have to use good judgements here as to what God is referring, to my way of thinking, anyway.

  87. Beloved says:

    Way off topic here but I think that anything that’s more important than God is sin. And I daily struggle with this. I never really know how important things are to me until the threat of loss or conviction from God disturbs the status quo. We struggle don’t we. Good thing that God is faithful because of His grace alone. “Why should I gain from his reward”?

  88. jeff1 says:

    Yes, God understands us very well so much better than we understand Him because we are His creation. We gain from His reward because He wants it to be so, His will for us that we shall be with Him in heaven.

    It is just so hard to get my head around that because God is so awesome and I am so little in comparison yet in my heart of hearts I know it is true, God speaks to the heart so much more than He speaks to the mind but as I said that’s because He understands my state of mind gets so confused.

    I am sorry too for going off topic but struggle a lot with sin myself and need reassuring to keep guilt at bay.

  89. bubbles says:

    No, Pooh. My family has been NO help. I asked to have the yard mowed for two weeks. I finally did it myself. I cannot afford to pay to have it done. I didn’t feel well but it needed done. My parents have done NOTHING to help me.

  90. SFDBWV says:

    “What is light without darkness?”

    When you read a really good book there is always just enough information omitted for you to keep reading and looking for explanation.

    If you try and cheat by reading the last chapter, much of the story is lost and the outcome a bit confusing.

    Keeping the idea that the Bible or Book of Books is a story with a beginning and an end the same ‘rules” apply.

    I am not sure why Mart chose the “Stockholm Syndrome” as a connection to our faith. Unless he wondered if we looked at being “forced” to love God and obey His commandments as a way of being held captive and coerced into submission in order to avoid eternal damnation.

    We did address that concept several subjects back in discussing a book of a fictional Adolph Hitler’s view of God.

    I have several times said I do not like the theme of the Book of Job. Only because it seems to picture God as being pushed into proving some point to Satan at the expense of extreme suffering for Job as well as the death of his children.

    It seems petty to be forced to prove a point and something people might do instead of God.

    But then maybe there is a hidden picture underneath the pages of the Book of Job that might expose the entire story of the Bible.

    That after all the suffering of life everything is restored and made new. By a God we have not the capacity to fully comprehend.

    Then again why would God feel He has to prove anything to us?

    Love is quite a powerful “thing” as it can get us into trouble and get us out of trouble depending how used.

    53 degrees and wet after a day and night of rain.

    Steve

  91. foreverblessed says:

    Steve, I could answer you, God was not proving anything to us, but to Satan:
    that no matter what, a real child will love God, even if he is in the fire of feary trials.
    A real child of God, loves God, not for the blessings, but for Who God is, the I AM.

  92. foreverblessed says:

    Steve, years ago we had a topic on Job, and I ws reading the last couple of verses where God asks Job questions, and something strange happened to me, in one supernatural moment I saw the very very deep meaning of Job. A meaning that is the basis for the whole bible, as you said: that God wants to save EVERYTHING that He has made.

    it was something that I read between the lines of:

    Who will discipline the Leviathan?

    who the wild donkey?

    Job’s struggle is a grat example for us:

    where Paul says; we struggle not against flesh and blood, but against pricipalities, and powers in the spirit world.

    Just like Job did.

    Like God was saying to Satan, look to Job, a real righteous person will love me, no matter what, he does not love Me because he wants to be blessed by Me, but because of Who I AM

    That is what Satan was accusing Job of:

    no matter he loves You, because You so bless him.

    God was proving to the sprit world what a real son of God looks like.

    Now, there started to ordeal of Job, because Job did waver, he starts to blame God: Why are You doing this to me, I have been obeying You all along.

    But God had said to Satan: Job will prove Me right, Job will serve me no matter what. So Go dwas very positive that Job would be true to Him.

    In the end.

    It was a close call, Job almost went down,

    so that is why we pray, in the Lord’s prayer: Father, make, that when we are tempted, we do not forget You.

    (and I keep Bubbles in my prayer, that all though people around her leave her alone, God will never leave her, even now, when He seems far away)

    You could say, why would God do that, if He writes in Revelation that He will throw the adversary away in hell, why wait, and let him torment us, like he tormented Job? So there must be something real big coming ages and ages to come, for God did not throuw satan in hell years ago, before Adam was formed.

    But anyone can say to me: You did see a fairy tale.

    And then again, I do believe that God is LOVE, and that LOVE always hopes.

  93. foreverblessed says:

    Job is a great axample to us, (not grat)
    Hang in there, and do not give up!

  94. jeff1 says:

    I am not sure why Mart chose the “Stockholm Syndrome” as a connection to our faith. Unless he wondered if we looked at being “forced” to love God and obey His commandments as a way of being held captive and coerced into submission in order to avoid eternal damnation.

    This is a struggle for me because I was raised with a God of wrath i.e. keep the commandments or you will find yourself in hell.

    It was very much the preaching when I was a child and when my son went to a funeral of his friend who died of a drugs overdose my son came home distressed because the preacher had focused on his friends sin and him being in hell rather than God’s mercy and grace and that wasn’t that long ago so many still see God as a God of wrath rather than of mercy and grace.

    I can only speak for myself and I had a disciplined upbringing in that the commandments were my guidelines for how I led my life but I failed to keep them which resulted in me turning away from God because I believed His commands I could not keep.

    It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in God but more that I couldn’t live my life as He wished me to lead it so I turned away.

    I did marry in my church and had my children baptized and took them to Sunday School and church until they were old enough to make up their own mind but history repeats itself and like myself they turned away from their faith.

    Today I have come back to my faith because I believe that God has forgiven me for my sins but in the back of my mind I believe there is always the fear that He has not because I live in a community where many would still argue obedience is what makes me right with God.

    They see me as weak for not obeying God’s commands and of course I also see myself as weak.

    There is still division among believers when it comes to obedience and it seems to be that those who believe they are keeping God’s commands see those weaker like myself as not being committed to God while I see myself as being honest in admitting my struggle with sin.

    I am not saying they are not better at walking closer with God just that He has saved me too because ‘love’ is the key to my belief that He ‘first’ loved me/us and that is what my heart tells me and not my head.

    I see God from my perspective and I need a God of mercy and grace but for many who have suffered but see themselves as obedient to God they may need a God of wrath.

    Its why I believe my dad was right in keeping his focus on ‘Christ’ as in doing so He was led by the Holy Spirit and was aligned with God’s will rather than being confused about God.

    Confusion comes from my own understanding when I wander from God and that happens not because I am disobedient to His commands but to the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit which aligns me to His will.

    My dad never spoke for God because he knew it is God who leads each of us when we allow Him to and we do this through obedience to the Spirit and not obedience to His commands.

  95. SFDBWV says:

    I think Foreverblessed that you have commented well on my thoughts this morning.

    Revelation knowledge is that assurance of our relationship with our God and the closeness we feel when He opens our eyes to understanding.

    All will be well in the end of all things, we just have to have faith and believe, keeping always our eyes ahead of our circumstances and fixed on Him.

    Thank you Foreverblessed, praying that you are indeed forever blessed.

    Steve

  96. poohpity says:

    I think on a grand scale “Stockholm Syndrome” can be witnessed in NoKo. While the money that country makes is devoted to the military might or weapons for war; that the head of that country eats fine foods while the people eat straw and much money is also spent on pomp and circumstance while anyone who says anything different than what they are told to say or are told to think are thrown into massive prisons. They are fed on propaganda and lies yet their desire to just live over powers hate of what their leaders do. The desire to live although it is really not living at all but they just want to survive so they take it.

    It is the same in smaller measure in homes where there is a domineering person who demands that everyone thinks as that person does and if they ever speak their mind there is normally hell to pay in some form or another. But because of the fear the remain brainwashed to think that is the best they deserve and there is nothing better out there so the just survive rather than hate enough to want change.

    It seems the difference in man and God is man forces submission in some way of another while God seems to let us choose to be submissive(Romans 12:1) to His ways knowing that they are meant in a spirit of love and the with the best intention of the one’s He loves in mind. So the comparison is submission by coercion, oppression and fear or because of knowing that God knows much better what is in our best interest so we place ourselves in His mighty hands as we gather under His wings, following the GOOD SHEPHERD. Not the kind of shepherd that needs followers to satisfy the ego.

    God told Ezekiel in chapter 34;

    I myself will tend my sheep and give them a place to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign Lord. 16 I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak. But I will destroy those who are fat and powerful. I will feed them, yes—feed them justice!

    17 “And as for you, my flock, this is what the Sovereign Lord says to his people: I will judge between one animal of the flock and another, separating the sheep from the goats. 18 Isn’t it enough for you to keep the best of the pastures for yourselves? Must you also trample down the rest? Isn’t it enough for you to drink clear water for yourselves? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? 19 Why must my flock eat what you have trampled down and drink water you have fouled?

    20 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will surely judge between the fat sheep and the scrawny sheep. 21 For you fat sheep pushed and butted and crowded my sick and hungry flock until you scattered them to distant lands. 22 So I will rescue my flock, and they will no longer be abused. I will judge between one animal of the flock and another.”

  97. SFDBWV says:

    Another extraordinarily day…I see Viv that somewhere in the mix you posted after I wrote to Foreveblessed and yet your post came before mine.

    This is exactly what I mean when I say I like the honesty you bring to your comments. The truth is most everyone who was raised up in a church was introduced to hell fire and brimstone indoctrination into Christianity.

    Then spent childhood and their youth feeling guilty about everything they enjoyed or experimented in.

    By the time they began to understand what grace and forgiveness from God means the harm is already done and guilt remains a burden they carry to their graves.

    When something bad happens to their children or loved ones immediately they believe they have done something to cause it and so it goes on and on.

    There is a huge problem that exists in balancing this striving to live a holy life and feeling deep remorse when you fail.

    The entire ordeal causes a rift between us and God and keeps us from having that wonderful “loving” relationship as being a “friend” of Jesus and so a loving friend of God. Loving friend in this light being a companion.

    God offers us companionship in walking with us through all of life’s struggles and ordeals, understanding when we stumble, always quick to forgive.

    Will we have struggles? Yes! But not as a result of God judging us, just a result of life.

    I really don’t want to make light of this important subject of sorting out how we perceive God and our relationship with Him. I think it is a subject we all need to see deeper into ourselves and try and come to terms with where we truly are, relying deeply on God to see us through it.

    Steve

  98. Beloved says:

    Thinking about Job, would we understand mercy and Grace without knowing evil and the destruction it brings? Just thinking out loud…

  99. bubbles says:

    The book of Job does not make sense to me. What I see is God choosinf someone who was trying to do the right things and cover all the bases, even with his children. He was not perfect. And then God allowa Satan to almost destroy one of His own. WHAT was the REASON?!!!
    Was it for God to prove that he can do whatever he wants??!!! What did Job do or not do to deserve hell on earth?!? He lost everything but his life. In my view, his life was ruined. He loat all his children, and you cann replace children, His wife was an idiot, who bailed out on him. To me, this shows there is NO purpose to this life except suffering and turmoil. God will do whatever he wants regardless of what anyone asks. He uses us as pawns fo prove some sort of point that he is a despot. He allows little children and animals to be abused and hurt. He allows suffering to happen to innocent bystanders in life and allows horrible criminals to get away with murder and strife, and jorrible acts and they go unpunished. it does not make any sense. This world is so out of control and in such a mess and WHERE is GOD?!?!!! I sure does not look look He cares about anything.

  100. bubbles says:

    Been Thinking used to be a lovely place to visit and share ideas. However, the bully of the blog has destroyed this once good place and people have left due to the seeds of discord that are continually sown by this individual. Examine those seeds against the fruit of the Spirit and see if they are the same. The lies that are constantly told….hurtful words are constantly said towards others and the blantant denial that always follows and the insults that always come..it is very sad that this behavior has been allowed to continue. I want no part of this place any longer. It causes stress and it is not worth it. I taught a lesson on cuberbullying today and that is what caused this to be posted. I am thnakful for good friends I have met here and regret knowing the bully of the blog whose acquaintence has caused pain. I am certain that will please this one because apparently hurt and pain and strife and destroying is this person’s goal. This person’s goal is to control people by whatever means, strife, unkindness, hatefulenss and causing hurt. How sad that this once lovely place has been ruined.

  101. jeff1 says:

    Your post is so true Steve, not only did I hear it in church but I heard it from my mum. She would tell me about this elderly man who lived opposite us on the street who had become an alcoholic and he had beoome so dependent on it that he was drinking methylated spirits as a cheap alternative and my mum said he was paying for his sins because as a young man he was a member of the IRA who had killed a prison officer. So I grew up believing that if I did something wrong then God was out to get me.

    It was my dad who understood this thinking was wrong but it took me a long time to realize my dad was right because my dad knew God better than anyone in the churches did and now I know why because he submitted to the Holy Spirit and was aligned with Godly thinking and not men’s thinking.

    My dad knew that God forgive sins and that this man was punishing himself as I do when I know I have sinned against God. My dad was the most forgiven man I ever knew because he walked with God and that was not an easy thing in a country where hatred was rife and vengeance was more on peoples mind than forgiveness.

    Thinking about Job, and his friends, they were thinking like my mum was that God must have been punishing Job i.e. you reap what you sow and that creates a cycle of tit for tat mentality which is ungodly.

    Guilt is my greatest enemy and you are so right Steve that is what stops me having a ‘loving’ relationship because it is founded on ‘fear’ and not ‘love’. It is not that God does not love me but that I do not have a healthy love for God.

    My heart tells me I am right with God but my head tells me something else and this leaves me so tired that I just want to sleep so that I don’t have to think anymore because its thinking that gets me into the cycle of discontent. Its why music has become such an important therapy for me because the words soothe my mind and help me stay focused on God’s love for me which has become so important for my well being.

  102. Beloved says:

    Praying for you bubbles.

  103. poohpity says:

    It just breaks my heart to hear people talk about God as if He is like what most human beings are like; hateful, vindictive, abusive. I guess that is the world they live in so they think everyone else is like that.

  104. SFDBWV says:

    Many years ago in a town not far from here (Davis WV) two young men kidnaped the Mayors wife. The plan was to hold her for ransom.

    They drove her out to Canaan Valley opened the car door and as she tried to run away one of them shot her in the back with a 12 gauge shotgun, killing her.

    Both got life in prison. The trigger man was interviewed by the press about a year later, what he had to say was both sad and scary.

    He said that he believed being in prison was his destiny and if he had known that this was all that could happen to him for murdering the Mayors wife he would have taken a gun and killed everyone he didn’t like.

    He was murdered in prison himself.

    I admit I don’t intellectually quite understand how angels were able to have sex with the daughters of man and so produce the “giant’s and mighty men of renown” Genesis 6:1-4 KJV however I can understand how the wickedness of man was great in the earth. Genesis 6:5 KJV

    Equally I am amazed to read that God was sorry for having created man and that it grieved Him to His heart. Genesis 6:6 KJV

    But there was hope…Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord, Genesis 6:8 KJV

    I have read that it is the Holy Spirit that restrains the anti-Christ from coming completely into power in the earth. He holds back evil from having dominion over man as once it did when the whole earth and all of mankind fell under its influence and power.

    Where a Savior was promised in Genesis 3:15 KJV we see grace already at work by Noah and all of his house being saved from the flood. Why? Because Noah was seen as righteous by God. Genesis 7:1 KJV

    I need to point out here that during those dark hours between the death of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection that according to Scripture Jesus went and preached unto the spirits in prison who was disobedient in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. 1 Peter 3:19-20 KJV

    Jesus preached the Gospel to the dead who were in that place of torment…

    Without a threat of some form of punishment some people will do whatever it is that pleases them without remorse or conviction. They have no conscience.

    The law brings us a road map of what is right and wrong before the Lord. God promised us He would write this “law” on our hearts so we would instinctively know right from wrong and so by following our “conscience” strive to live a more “holy” life.

    We will slip from time to time, but are assured of being forgiven.

    This is very different than living a life without listening to that still small voice in your heart and believing it ok because you are forgiven anyway.

    Such an attitude is an insult to the very sacrifice Jesus has made for us all.

    There is a balance we need to find where doing the right thing is automatic without having to think am I going to be punished for my decisions, because our decisions automatically align with Jesus’ teaching to love your neighbor.

    So what is going on when we do all the right things and yet more and weightier trials come against our peace of life? How then does this effect our relationship with God?

    This subject has a lot more to think about.

    46 and partly cloudy…seen a full moon last night and this morning. With all the rain we have had it sure looked good.

    Steve

  105. foreverblessed says:

    Dear bubbles, I keep praying for you.
    The subject of ODB a few days ago was, give it all to Him!

    And as for this blog, why look to the negative, for me it is a means of training yourself to not focus on the wind, but to focus on Jesus.
    Just as Jesus taught Peter, while walking on the water.

    Many many people are praying for you.

    Two weeks ago someone gave me apiece of paper:
    With God all things are possible!

    I hold on to that.
    And God comes a little bit too late in man’s viewpoint,
    like Martha, John 11:21-37

    So hard to understand.
    Yet, God is forever and ever, and we are just here less then 100 years, what do we know?

    Steve, I believe you when you say, without God it would have been a LOT worse!
    ( And thanks for your kind words to me, you are such an encourager!)

  106. foreverblessed says:

    Without God we would not have been here.
    But say, God had left this part of the universe, our situation would have been horrendous!

    We do not even know how many tragedies God has prevented from happening, just as Steve wrote!

    But God is not a dictator!

    Which dictator sends his own son to take up all of the bad things his people have done and have suffered?
    Which dictator?

    None.

    God, Who made everything, is the One Who died for us, so that we could live!

    We may have started out, being afraid of God, but the better we have come to know Him, our vision of Him changes, we see His LOVE.

    And also bubbles will see it, after she has gone through this ordeal.

    Wait and see what God will do!

  107. jeff1 says:

    Thank you Steve for being brave enough to look at our individual relationship with God because it is what I need to do for my peace of mind.

    Steve, I had a confusing childhood, a dad who knew God and a mum who believed she was cursed. Life with my mum was not easy and that is not to say she was a bad woman but an abused child who believed her circumstances were cursed. My dad told me my mum had a difficult childhood and so I should not believe what she would tell me.

    As my life unravelled it seemed to me more that my mum’s words were coming true. She told me stories of the Kennedy family from history and why they were having such bad luck was because they were cursed.

    Other stories she told me you should not tell a child but my now I realized how right my dad was that my mum was convinced that our family was cursed.

    I did not want to believe what my mum was saying but I could not escape the facts about what was happening in my family and my mother’s words were coming true.

    My mother would die a young woman of 61 having suffered more than most people I know she died after a 15 month battle with leukaemia.

    Her sin to be born illegitimate and believe she was cursed as a result of it.

    Life is not fair to those born on the wrong side of the track because society treats them as outcasts and that’s what they then believe.

    I have discovered that in life most people think black and white but the reality of life is that there are 50 shades of grey and I’m not talking of a film here but life is not black and white as much as many see it that way.

    Why is one person’s life such a struggle and others such a blessing is not one we can answer this side of heaven.

    There are some answers only God has and if He has not revealed to us the ‘why’ then He has good reasons because throughout my life I learned to leave my difficulties in His hands and though I have many unanswered questions, and I suffer from my mum’s instability, I trust God but the difficulty for me is getting through life trusting people because I do not other than those I know well i.e. family and friends my trust in people is at a very low ebb.

    My relationship with God is one of trust more than one of love because truthfully I am not sure what love is as life as always seemed such a struggle that love was very far from my mind.

    I love my children more than I love myself which I believe most parents do and it is that love that gives me a reason to get up in the morning.

    My children have been a blessing because being a mother has made me a less selfish person and they bring me joy that I would not know and I thank God I have them because they enrich my life beyond money, status or anything this world has to offer.

    I don’t see my children as the adults they are but as the children they were because those were the happiest days of my life and who doesn’t want to remember the happiest times.

  108. Beloved says:

    In the face of the calamities of every day Life, things like cancer, hurricanes, wild fires and the like my prayers seem so small and insignificant directed to the Creator of everything! But He seems to love to bring order one small prayer at a time. How much more when multiple prayers are going!!
    Our God is an awesome God! He reigns on heaven and earth,
    with wisdom, power and love.
    Our God is an awesome God!

  109. Beloved says:

    It is said that prayer doesn’t change things but changes us. God is always teaching us something when we seek Him. Even the smallest one word prayer, HELP!, is enough when thoughts and words escape us.

  110. Beloved says:

    Or when emotions overwhelm us.

  111. foreverblessed says:

    Beloved, how true that is!

    And Jeff, keep looking to Jesus, or to the good things.
    Phil 4:8-9

    I have had a hard time in struggling, and still have it.
    But one thing I have decided: Not to repeat over and over again, what went wrong.
    And as I have decided, I still fall in that trap.
    So I have to get a grip on my thoughts, and put them on the positive verses of the bible:

    Romans 8:10
    But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness (as I see it, the righteousness of Christ)

    v11 and if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, Who lives in you.

    Just read what is written in these verses!
    Isn’t that enormous?
    Just Great

    14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God!

    Well, that is another one, a beautiful bible verse.
    I must train myself to dwell on these thoughts!

    And as you have said before, the beautifull songs you sing help too.

    But there comes a time, when you will do that too:
    get a hold on your thoughts and tell them to stop it, and look to Jesus instead!

    Relentlessly do so, again and again!

    I have a friend who also has mind instability. She gets tired of doing so, she says: I want God to take away these thoughts!

    And there she goes, down the pit of all these thoughts. Till there is a time that God’s love has grown stronger in her, and she has the power of love to stop them, and turn her thoughts on Jesus, her Savior.

    In the waiting on God, the strength in us is growing:
    Psalm 27:14
    Wait for the Lord,
    be string and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.

    that “be strong” is a promise, it is the strength that is imputed in us, while we are waiting for God, and there something is happening, unseen to the world, and unseen to us too, but after a few years we noticed, things have changed!

    While in years before, I saw: “be strong” as a command: work it up yourself, look in yourself for the strength.
    While it is meant as a promise!

    How wrong we can interpret scripture:
    Like the command to love God!

    How wrong a view that is, as if I would love my husband because my husbands demands it!
    I would be intimidated to love him.

    While the way that he was, nice, and caring, loving, that attracted me to him.
    And that is how our great Lord in heaven is:
    Lovely, humble, gracious, full of wisdom…. go on and on

    The name Lord, is from the word Lafford, from an old german dutch word “laven”, as a baby who drinks with his mother, and is nourished by it, that is the word “laven”
    we are nourished and satisfied at the breast of our mother, and our mother in heaven, as we call Him our Father in heaven, He is a Father and a Mother, both of them are in Him.
    (We as humand are split, in male and female, but I guess we have to develop the opposite traits in us as well, when we get older.)

  112. foreverblessed says:

    We are nourished at the breat of our Father, we are living in Him, we move and have our being in Him.
    All the good comes from Him, all the love He can give to us, that is how much we can receive, all the peace, all the compassion…
    all of it from Him.

    ANd we, we give all that is wrong in us, all the worries, all the anger, all our doubts to Him, on the Cross

    The Great Exchange happens on the Cross

  113. foreverblessed says:

    O come to the altar essential worship

    Are you hurting and broken within

    Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin

    Jesus is calling 


    Have you come to the end of yourself

    do you thirst for a drink from the well

    Jesus is calling

    CHORUS

    O come to the altar


    The Father’s arms are open wide

    Forgiveness was bought with


    The precious blood of Jesus Christ

    VERSE

    Leave behind your regrets and mistakes

    Come today there’s no reason to wait

    Jesus is calling


    Bring your sorrows and trade them for joy

    From the ashes a new life is born

    Jesus is calling

  114. poohpity says:

    The evil in this world is only one sentence in this book of life. There is so much good being done all around the world but like the news programs who only focus on the bad things, people have chosen that to zero in on and neglect looking for the good. Where our heart is there our mind will follow. To look at the sin rather than the Savior who overcame the sin to bring us joy, peace, rest in our lives. To look at what we do not have rather than the things we do have. Look to blame and excuses rather than taking responsibility for our own part.

    There is always another side of the coin, light in the darkness, right and wrong, good and bad, justice and injustice, kind and mean, thankful and ingratitude, grace and condemnation, forgiveness and not forgiving, love and indifference, empathy and intolerance, listening and talking, knowing and not caring enough to know but judge anyway. Which of those does one want to fill their minds with but that does not mean the other is not there. What we fill our minds with effects our hearts, attitudes, behaviors and lives with, in very certain terms.(Matt 6:21)

  115. poohpity says:

    When I first read the bible it was from a heart longing to know the One who wanted me to know Him because He pursued me everyday of me life until I finally listened to His call. Now who in this world would pursue someone like me to the point of death, Jesus did. Who would give their life for me? The good, bad and ugly. Who wanted to be with me just as I am? ONLY JESUS! That is the God I love not because I knew how to love but He knew how to love me. He knew how to love each one of us but how much of ourselves are we willing to give Him?

  116. Beloved says:

    “But for the Jews in Jesus’ time, as well as for contemporary Christians, the fulfillment of the greatest commandment boils down to the duties of increasing our knowledge of God, constantly resetting our priorities and purifying our intentions, and implementing the Golden Rule.”

    Howard P. Kainz is Professor Emeritus in the Philosophy Department at Marquette University

  117. jeff1 says:

    Thank you, Forever, for your quotations which reassure me of God’s word and that His word is not to harm me but to bring me to Himself and that my suffering be it from my own hand or that of another He will bring good from it because God is not wasteful of our suffering but rights the wrongs which causes it.

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

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

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

    Chorus

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

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

    This hymn reminds me that God provides through my life, pardons my sin, endures with me in times of trials and testing and will remain faithful because He does not change.

    It is God who is constant because He endures forever while my days are numbered on this earth and so He asks me to remain faithful and my reward will be heaven and so by trusting Him I will finally share in ‘Christ’s reward which is what I want not just for myself but for those who through ignorance of God have lost their way in this world.

  118. poohpity says:

    “Blessings”

    We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
    Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
    We pray for healing, for prosperity
    We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
    And all the while, You hear each spoken need
    Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

    ‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
    What if Your healing comes through tears
    What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
    What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

    We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
    We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
    We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
    As if every promise from Your word is not enough
    And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
    And long that we’d have faith to believe

    ‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
    What if Your healing comes through tears
    What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
    What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

    When friends betray us
    When darkness seems to win
    We know that pain reminds this heart
    That this is not,
    This is not our home
    It’s not our home

    ‘Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
    What if Your healing comes through tears
    What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near

    What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
    Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
    What if trials of this life
    The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
    Are your mercies in disguise

  119. jeff1 says:

    Thank you, Pooh, music and poetry, gifts from God that give us inspiration and hope for a better world to come.

    Focusing on what God intends for the world because His ways are so much higher then my expectations.

    God bless us all.

  120. poohpity says:

    Viv, you sure are welcome. I stopped listening to secular music when I started following Jesus. Music is a very big part of my life and my relationship with the Lord. I am not much for reading poetry but I love music. Every radio station I listen to in the car and at home is set on KFLR or K-LOVE which I can listen to on the computer as well. I learn so much from that kind of music from the personal experiences of those who write it and it makes the bible come alive as well.

  121. jeff1 says:

    Forever your post Sept 7 9.10 am

    Thinking of the verses you quoted regarding being strong and waiting on God to change us. I have seen this in a friend of a friend who I used to feel so sad for because she lost both her husband and her son in a bomb here. My friend would stop to speak to her and I was with her and I noticed the pain on her face and my friend told me her story and how difficult she was finding it because she had a daughter but did not have a close relationship with her.

    Some years passed and we met her and she got into my friends car for a chat and I could not believe the difference in her and she was smiling again and talking of her grandchild and I could see how she was starting to overcome her grief and it made me feel so reassured that God was at work in her life.

    I find there are no quick fixes in life it is often a slow and painful journey and we do not always know how it will end but God seems to be more concerned that we know He is with us and that He brings us the way that will bring us back to Himself which I can forget when I get tied up with the cares of this world.

    That is what God keeps showing me that He knows best in others lives as well as my own, supporting someone is often more about listening then offering my advice or opinions and this is a lesson I am learning because I visit this lady in her eighties and she has had a lot of health problems and when I go into her at first she is very depressed and yet when I leave she is so much brighter and cheerier and all I have done has been listen to her and try to take her mind of her problems and its amazing how it works.

    When I think about it its the same for myself when I am feeling down it sometimes just takes a family member or a friend to give me a kind word and I feel so much better.

    It is often the small gestures that matter so much yet we loose sight of them in the midst of work and other responsibilities that take up our day.

  122. poohpity says:

    One of the very first things I wrote in my bible was “Be Kind, because you never know what battle someone is going going through!” Usually people that are hurting or in some kind of pain want to cause that for others so being quick to forgive and show grace can help both the hurting and the one causing the hurt. Grace upon grace. Grace but not because anyone deserves it but because we didn’t yet it was given to us from our Lord and Savior. We usually give what we are given if we appreciate and are grateful for it.

  123. poohpity says:

    That would be the “Jesus Syndrome”.

  124. jeff1 says:

    Truthfully I do not see myself as giving Grace because I have been given it, for me it is more doing onto others what I would like them to do onto me. I don’t believe the desire of my heart is to please God but more out of the hope that if I am in need myself sometime that my good deed will come back to me.

    When you speak of none deserving then I know this is very true of myself otherwise my motive would be different but it is what it is and truthfully I have not considered God’s grace but a superstition that what I give away, I get back in a similar way.

    I wish I were past being that selfless but I have a long way to go to doing God’s work purely for God, there always seems to be ‘me’ in there too.

  125. remarutho says:

    Good Morning Mart & Friends —

    Read with horror the old news headline you shared, Steve (5:43 a.m. 9/7/17). How can a human being, created in the image of God, have no conscience and no shred of compassion or mercy, let alone love?

    Humanity is totally depraved is the answer — though it is excruciating to unpack this and see where it can take a human soul. There is a twisting and a deep confusion of reason and emotion — until a person looks more like the beast than one made in the image of the Creator.

    When I feel overwhelmed by the chaos and violence of this world, there is nothing to “do” except kneel or bow down and pray — understanding that my prayers are joined with others’ to call upon God to restrain evil until it is once and for all plunged into the lake of fire.

    It seems to me we are experiencing the edge of tribulation.

    And Jesus began to say to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He!’ and will mislead many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs. (Mark 13:5-8)

    I may be held hostage or be imprisoned before the great and glorious Day. Events in the world are distressing at this moment. Pray I will not confuse my tormentors with the Lord of Life. The words of Jesus ring true to me: “Do not be frightened; those things must take place.”

    May all here be given the Holy Spirit to guide them into understanding:

    “God is the uncreated source and end of all things; one; incomparably alive; insurmountable in presence, knowledge, and power; personal, eternal spirit, who in holy love freely creates, sustains and governs all things.” — Tom Oden

    Blessings,
    Maru

    17C/63F here. Had a little rain. Smoke is clearing as the wind has shifted and is now blowing out of the NW — from the Pacific. The Eagle Creek wildfire is about 17% contained this morning. Please pray for the fire crews.

  126. Beloved says:

    My heart is so heavy for all the people’s suffering because of natural disasters in the US, then I watch BBC news and see the suffering in places such as Bangladesh, Africa, and others caused not only by natural but evil human oppression and all I can do is thank God for His merciful grace. I can’t help feeling a little guilt for being in a safe, comfortable place at this time with worries mostly out of my imaginations and memories of suffering healed and almost forgotten. Looking back over a life of being loved so well is pure gift. Prayers for all those called to fight the fires and storms of living with thanks to God for His faithfulness to ALL generations. Thank you Jesus, You are my best friend forever!

  127. poohpity says:

    Maru, that verse in Mark came to me day before yesterday and then another person posted it yesterday and then you today. My thoughts exactly.

  128. poohpity says:

    Maru, glad to hear the smoke is clearing. I have been praying for all the people involved in the fires. I have family right in the midst of the Montana fires right in their backyard also family in Florida. We have Peg and Gary from there in FL as well as her family also people that live in Texas. I have family in the military in regards to the middle east and NoKo with the rumors of war. It seems to be mayhem all over. The devastation in the Caribbean is horrible.

    What I see good happening is people helping each other, neighbor helping neighbor, stranger helping stranger and all the praise going to God for keeping the people safe them being OK with property loss as long as the people are well.

  129. poohpity says:

    That last sentence made no sense but I hope you know what I meant.

  130. Beloved says:

    John Piper: “Open our ears, O God, you who once brought Job to humble silence, announcing from the whirlwind who you are, and that, when all is lost, the story then unfolds that in it all your purpose was compassionate and kind.

    “Whether we sit waste deep in the water of our Texas homes, or wait, uncertain, with blankets on a church pew, or nail the plywood to our Florida shop, or sit secure and dry a thousand miles from any sea, teach us, in mercy, what we need to learn, and cannot any other way.

    “And woe to us who, far away from floods, would point our finger at the sufferer and wonder at his greater sin, forgetting how the voice of Jesus rings in every tragedy: ‘Do you think that they were worse offenders? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.’ The very word of God to all Americans.”

  131. Beloved says:

    This is part of a longer prayer found on DesiringGod,org. By John Piper. Praying in hurricanes. It was too long to post but well worth your time to look up if interested.

  132. street says:

    jeff,”When you speak of none deserving then I know this is very true of myself otherwise my motive would be different but it is what it is and truthfully I have not considered God’s grace but a superstition that what I give away, I get back in a similar way.”

    dear jeff i am quite sure every human being on the earth is deserving of judgment and condemnation before God. but God established the church, the pillar and upholder of truth, to proclaim repentance for sin and trust in Jesus for salvation from sin. if God ever used us for a a measure/standard for salvation we would be just like greek and roman mythology or hollywood soap. the Standard is Christ. we receive salvation by faith trust belief in the shed blood of Christ for the removal of sin. God raised Him from the dead because He died for our sins not His. He was blameless and sinless. sin and death have no hold on Jesus or those in Christ Jesus. does this make us perfect. not so, we are quite familiar with chapter 7 in Romans. flesh and blood can not inherit perfection, but we are given a new Spirit. a deposit or guarantee of things to come.

  133. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Street, Salvation is a gift from God and I believe that but I inherited my faith i.e. raised in a Christian home while many today have not. I as a believer have higher expectations of other believers than I do of non believers because I know I need to change and I expect other believers know they need to change. I know I cannot be perfect but as I see it I with God’s help can overcome my weaknesses.

    If I do not examine myself then I will not get to know my weaknesses and I believe God does want me to overcome them and if I am not honest with myself before God as to what my weaknesses are then I am not taking responsibility for them and God will not change me to my way of thinking.

    I tried to be perfect all my life through wrong beliefs so I know how futile that is but I am not happy being the old me, guilt, sin, waywardness weighs me down and I don’t like this creature that I am.

    I may have to live with it the rest of my earthly days but I will still look at my faults and try to improve on them because that to me is showing God that I know I am not worthy but because of His grace I am blameless before Him and so the least I can do is admit to my failings and try to do better next time.

    I have already been able to forgive an old school teacher who treated me badly and I can tell you that was a burden I carried around far to long and I have only recently been able to have a conversation with that teacher without feeling anger and hatred burning inside me so with God’s help I am becoming a more forgiven person and no it is not easy and sometimes memories come flooding back to haunt me but yes I am getting stronger as each time I succeed in forgiving I feel closer to God.

    It isn’t about me being perfect but with God’s help ridding me of anger, hatred, guilt and all the things that distant me from God and as I do this non believers begin to see not a woman who proclaims to be a Christian but one that is practising what she says she believes.

    When my son who is a non believer said to me that he believed I tried to practise what I believed rather than most Christians I felt I had succeeded in helping him see us and God in a different light because so many non believers see us as hypocrites whether we see it that way or not.

    My son is not ignorant of the bible or Christ because he was churched and schooled as I was but he turned away from the faith because of his experiences in Afghanistan i.e. could not believe that these people had nothing and he said I mean they have nothing other than the clothes they stand in.

    My son blames God while I am old enough to know it is human error that allows for an unbalanced world and that only God can fix it. I am also old enough to know I am part of that human error so I can point the finger at whoever I like but my sin, hatred, anger is as much part of the problem in the world.

    I am wholeheartedly depending on God for my Salvation along with this world as I see it.

  134. Beloved says:

    Dear Jeff and street I so enjoyed your exchange. Thinking about how I tried and tried for years to change myself but to no avail. Then I looked back one day and recognized how God in Christ had changed me in ways far above the now seemingly insignificant rules of do’s and don’ts which even the Queen or an Earl could get right yet not be righteous in the eyes of God apart from Christ.

    I do compare myself to others sadly at times which is futility and takes my eyes off Jesus, my peace. I try each day to do more gazing at my healer/deliverer but am easily distracted, as are many. He is our only hope to get out of this world alive.

  135. Beloved says:

    Your conversation has a lot to do with the question Mart posed to us I think.

  136. SFDBWV says:

    I have written a few comments in the past couple days that I simply deleted because it just didn’t capture what I felt I wanted to say. That in itself says plenty.

    Religion in the history of mankind paid homage to an unseen power that each thought governed events. So sacrifices were offered in hopes of good favor, but when disaster came this “power” was the cause. Because it was displeased. And the people assumed they did something wrong to bring it on.

    Is this still how we perceive the God of our Bible?

    Our friend Bubbles is hurting badly because she feels confused and let down. By both her church, and God. I am well acquainted with such a view of disappointment in life as I have been hearing it for almost 18 years from my beloved son.

    He feels abandoned by everyone, except of course me in whom he asks to let him die a hundred times a day.

    Yet every day he prays for the little things in life he wants to accomplish, only when they fail to materialize, he blames God for not caring about him.

    Matt suffers from brain damage, but there is little wrong with his logic.

    Where did all this go wrong? Where did we get the idea that once we accepted God as the ultimate force in the universe and Jesus as Lord, that all of the problems and difficulties of this life would cease to be?

    Do I ask God for protection against all the ills and evil of this world? You bet I do, every day!

    Who else but to God can I go to for protection against evil?

    However as I have repeatedly said, once you dedicate your life to serve God, your desires are no longer yours as they are now in concert with the will and desires of God.

    In the struggles that then come, God will show Himself in your life in ways you cannot even imagine. And in the end of all things yours will be a testimony to the angels.

    And when He wipes away all tears all of our answers will make sense and be perfectly clear.

    Trust God, listen to His voice and have peace even when it makes no sense to. Have faith, have stubborn faith. Be an example as well as a help to those who need reassurance. God is faithful to us, we only need to be faithful to God.

    Pray for others, God wants us to and to be blessed.

    Steve

  137. saled says:

    Trust God, listen to His voice and have peace even when it makes no sense to. Have faith, have stubborn faith. What good advice. Your stubborn faith inspires me, Steve.

    I believe we can cultivate that sense of peace so that it can be ours even in hard times. Seek peace and pursue it. Like Steve says, even when it makes no sense.

  138. Beloved says:

    Dear bubbles,
    May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. romans5:13

  139. SFDBWV says:

    If any of you want to, pull up the song “Somewhere over the Rainbow” as song by Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole

    If you like music, if you want to allow yourself to see beyond the rain and over the rainbow, he does the song credit.

    I have spoken of a merchant who once lived here in my little town, Mr. Curry. A more generous and gentle man I have not known, and yes Christian.

    He was not generous and gentle because he was forced to, he was a good man because he shown the gentle loving nature of Christ in his actions.

    He buried his eldest son Milo when he was only 21 years of age. Home from the Marine Corps and on his honeymoon he was accidently killed while deer hunting.

    Over the years his business dwindled to nearly nothing as he gave credit to all who ask it of him and when it finally reached that point where he had to close up his store, he sat there beside his old pot belly stove, reading all of the iou’s unpaid to him and remembering each person, threw each iou into the fire.

    If we look, if we open our eyes we can see God everywhere in the kindness of people and in the suffering of people as well.

    A dear old friend of mine suffered the loss of her eldest daughter. As we talked together about her grief I reminded her that the first recorded death in history was someone’s child. We were good friends she and I, we buried her a few years ago beside her husband and her daughter.

    Life isn’t easy for anyone, all we can do is make it easier for others where and when we can.

    35 degrees this morning under fog. I bet there is frost up out of here, higher up.

    Steve

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