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On the Ground

I appreciate your willingness to smile and reflect with me on the stunning repetition Moses used to describe what happened on the ground—shade in the day, warmth and light in the night—as God led in The Cloud overhead (Numbers 9:15-23).

Your comments show that in the wilderness of then and now, the direction of God depends far more on him than on us. Together we are learning that if we want it, we don’t miss it (Prov 3:5-7).

In the unheard yet unmistakeable whisper of Jesus, he lets us know…when its time to stop, stay, and go.

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313 Responses to “On the Ground”

  1. Mart DeHaan says:

    Am going to copy below some of the string of comments on the last subject from earlier today:

    street says:

    January 27, 2018 at 12:50 am (Edit)
    thinking about this rest and faith. to not be in it is to return to law and all that comes with it. not a good place to be. this faith in Christ is quite remarkable and extraordinary because of the God Who gives freely. walking with Him would be a joy. not so much with all people. i have to admit i have enjoyed the company of some immensely. the common denominator was God.

  2. Mart DeHaan says:

    jeff1 says:

    January 27, 2018 at 3:53 am (Edit)
    Pooh’s post 26 Jan 10.54 am

    Some just seem satisfied with Salvation.

    I am thinking I spent my younger life trying so hard to win God’s favour and falling short and then I learned that God accepted me as I am warts and all and at first I could not believe this as in my head I had to obey God’s commands which was to me what learning the 10 commandments was all about and I learned them in Sunday School when I was a child.

    You hit the nail on the head Street, return to law and all that comes with it, not a good place to be. The struggle is in my head when it comes to how I please God and obedience is my stumbling block because while I cannot do it perfectly I cannot get it out of my head that it is what pleases God.

    To know I have God’s Salvation because of what ‘Jesus’ has done is all the peace I need and when it comes to ‘oneness’ with God I am assured He will keep His promise so that in ‘Jesus’ I am complete.

    It’s ‘I’ who separates me from God so when I start thinking of blaming others then is the time to focus my thoughts on ‘Jesus’ because He knows best as to why I am the way I am and accepts me like that because He will clean up my act and all I have to do is agree that it needs cleaning up so it seems to me that if it were not for ‘Jesus’ I would be confined to hell and when I realize that I am very content to be among the ‘SOME WHO ARE JUST SATISFIED WITH SALVATION’ as it is what I have been seeking and failing to get all my life.

  3. Mart DeHaan says:

    SFDBWV says:

    January 27, 2018 at 6:02 am (Edit)
    I’m not sure I have the time nor energy to finish this, but I will start.

    Mart asks “when we replace Moses with Jesus”, in his last paragraph leading to how it is we sense God in our day to day living, our repletion.

    The character of Moses is just like many of us, in that we ran from God’s plan for us, but Moses found out you can’t out run God. And if we ever grow up and learn for ourselves we also learn that we can’t run from God forever.

    Equally Moses could do nothing special, it was never Moses who performed a single miracle, and it was always God who did so.

    Moses was simply the man through whom God used to accomplish His will.

    The cloud that led the Israelites was God’s doing, Moses also an Israelite was also led by that same manifestation of the hand of God.

    The observed and witnessed hand of God upon the Hebrew nation was done so that there was no denying it a supernatural event only God could accomplish and done so well that even the enemies of Israel could not deny that the God of Israel was indeed God.

    In my simple observation of things there just is no way I can “replace Moses with Jesus”, but there are plenty of people who try to be like Moses; thinking they speak for God and leading others through the wilderness without that cloud or pillar to accurately show them the way.

    What we should have in us is that cloud, that pillar of fire, the manifestation of God in the Person of the Holy Spirit.

    He came at Pentecost to the Christian Church, to the body of believers so as to replace an outward physical apparition with the indwelling of Himself.

    “God with us” should now be *God in us*.

    If God is in us His light will shine out from us, His fruit will show forth from us, we become the reflection of our Creator.

    We become that cloud that the Israelite’s needed to direct their day to day movements, now to the rest of the world in order to show them the way.

    We are to show the way.

    20 degrees mixture of stars and clouds.


  4. poohpity says:

    I am satisfied with my salvation but because I am saved I want to have more of God, to learn about Him, to get closer and closer to Him learning to trust and depend on Him. That is what I was talking about the more than salvation. I want to know His promises to me and learn how deep and wide His love actually is, how all encompassing His grace truly is which all is coming to find out more than salvation alone but to enter into a intimate relationship to truly know Him.

    That takes me beyond my understanding and my own wisdom to knowing His understanding and His wisdom just plainly again, to know Him. Understanding I can never be that cloud in the day or the fire at night but to point others to Him the cloud and fire, not to me.

    If anything shows that one is filled with and follows the Spirit living within them knows that loving or being kind to those who return those things is common to the flesh all mankind but to Christ followers it is loving and being kind to those who do not return it. As Jesus said,

    “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”(Luke 6)

    So anyone who boasts in treating people nice who treat them nice it is boasting in the flesh. Nothing Spiritual or godly about that nor is it a reflection of God in anyway, quite the opposite is true. How can someone who does not know God see God in another just as the religious people in Jesus’ time did not recognize Him because they did not know God. The flesh sure can see the flesh in another but they will often fail to see God because it seems evident they do not know Him either.

  5. poohpity says:

    If human beings were not worthwhile to God then why did He and why does He continue to pursue us to come to Him? If we are not worthwhile why did He come down from heaven and take on human flesh to reveal God to us? Why did He suffer the Cross? That proves our worth and value to Him! He created us to be in a relationship with Him and did everything needed to prevent us from feeling or thinking that we are not loved to the fullest by Him.

  6. poohpity says:

    Mart, great emphasis should be placed on, “that if we want it, we don’t miss it” IF we want direction from God but sadly many are satisfied going their own direction, so is it more about Him? That seems to show it is about us listening and following because His direction will always be there for those who want it.

  7. tedmgossard says:

    Yes, the repetition part. I probably missed that in my thinking through the last post, except to say that it’s the importance of going back to scripture over and over again like the Bereans of old. Of course that is a different context. And there are other factors involved, like biblical interpretation. For me, the emphasis has to be on *us*, not on me. And as I think about it, the church is not like Israel in the past, in that it’s scattered throughout the world, and more importantly, in all kinds of different traditions, with no one “Moses” or ecclesiastical authority. And yet by the Spirit, Jesus is certainly present with all of us. So that we have to draw on that, and find our commonality and what unites us in and through the gospel. And not lose the mooring of scripture. But the repetition aspect for me would be continuing in the fellowship of believers, and remaining in the word and prayer. And to be lead, there has to be an openness. Maybe the Lord would have some groups emphasize this or that so that the church at large might learn from that, while at the same time that group from which they’re learning, must be open to learn from others. I am thinking out loud. Thanks again, Mart.

  8. jeff1 says:

    If I am seeking God then I see past my personal and cultural differences to see ‘Jesus’ in others. I will only identify ‘Jesus’ in others when I am walking closer to God myself and I don’t believe it is my place to say how a person stays close to God in a world where there is such diversity in beliefs as each of us as different journey’s with different perspectives.

    I can remember being told by two different people how they felt closer to God fishing than in church and while I might think that is an excuse for them not to go to church it is not for me to judge that spiritually they are not nearer God and feel so when they are fishing.

    Hymns and gospel music are what connects me to God more than sermons so I am not going to judge another’s method of walking by faith.

    I think a person’s individuality can get in the way of unitedness and why I agree that it has to be ‘us’ in a secular world and I am very much of the belief that ‘united we stand’ ‘divided we fall’ which is why we put ‘Jesus’ first and set all other differences aside as it is about ‘Jesus’ and not about our differences which lets face it cannot be resolved without His presence.

    Competitiveness is causing a division in churches today because we have not done what ‘Jesus’ told us to do and put ‘Him’ first and the sooner we realize that then the sooner we get around to fixing it.

    Christ crucified
    Christ risen
    Christ will come again

  9. Beloved says:

    Ted I like your thoughts on the church at large and coming together to discover more of just what God is doing in the world through different groups. Many authors have come to the same conclusion, that community is where its at! Even here on this blog we have such a diversity of faith experiences and we tend to have a hard time or at least I do with the differences. I agree and disagree at the same time often. Yet are we called to be a community of exclusives, or are we the “sent out” ones whom God has chosen to be His truth bearers in a fallen world. And if so how do we do this? Bloom where you are planted, the old saying goes. Does geography play a part in the overall plan of God? Does God equip the Church enough to be His representation of His body on the ground as Mart said? I’m facing my own pivotal change from inward to more outward thinking. This is good I think. Thanks Mart, street, Viv, Steve and forever for your friendship, encouragement and thoughts to the thinkingabout forum. We’re all in this together.

  10. Beloved says:

    I didn’t mean to leave out Maru as I am looking forward to her take on the subject.

    Also wondering what Chris, pooh, pat and pearls thoughts on the subject are.

  11. Beloved says:

    As well as saled and regina- don’t mean to leave anyone out, but I might inadvertently.

  12. poohpity says:

    Does God call us individually or as a group? I believe He calls each individual to first and foremost have that intimate relationship with Him and only with that first step it will effect how we relate to everyone else and in community at large. He called each disciple by name, individually not only in the NT but also in the OT. He chose those who really wanted to follow His direction to lead others however there were the others that usually followed their own way which they ended up being the most rebellious and leading others to rebellion against God and His direction just like Satan did in the garden with A&E.

    If God asked us to love others as we love ourselves(Matt 22:39; Gal 5:14) there has to be a “me” in that doesn’t there? Or to treat others as you want to be treated(Luke 6:31), isn’t there a “me” in that as well? First though we treat others as God treated us that is His command for us. (John 13:34-35, 15:12) But that command is not very hard to follow when we understand God’s grace!!

  13. poohpity says:

    and have His Spirit living in us.

  14. poohpity says:

    Joyce I already did comment on this new topic.

  15. poohpity says:

    Ted there are also several other areas that God tells us to look within, me rather than the us. If one thinks about it that is what stops us from pointing our fingers at anyone else.

  16. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, God’s promise is heaven, to save us from hell as would be my destination if it were not for ‘Jesus’.

    After 30 years of violence and hatred I had a glimpse of hell and I have found peace in knowing that not because I have done what is right but because I am trusting Him who makes me right in God’s sight, hell is not my destination though it is what I deserve.

    Your a bit late in telling me to love my enemies as they have been killing us for 30 years and we have been hating them for it so its ‘Jesus’ who has saved me as He will them if they too are trusting Him with their sins.

    For someone who keeps saying they know they are a sinner you don’t half like to play the saint. Your repetitive posts about referring to people who boasts gets monotonous and who are these people because I don’t hear people boasting so is this all in your head or whom are you talking about specific people!

  17. Beloved says:

    Together we are learning that if we want it, we don’t miss it (Prov 3:5-7)

    Oh yes so true! Yesterday Pooh commented about intimacy and God kept me in bed 2 hours longer than usual to show me in a dream the difference between Godly and ungodly intimacy. Eye opening to me and helpful to let go of some sadness. Moving on here I’m happy to say, with the help of the Body of Christ and the desire to learn all I can about Godly living here while still on the ground.

  18. Beloved says:

    Viv I think we don’t have to like the messenger to hear the Message God may have for us. If it’s not for you, let it go. :-) Sometime when someone appears stuck on the same thing it’s because the message hasn’t truly gotten into their own heart yet. Patience patience patience. God alone is holy holy holy.

  19. tedmgossard says:

    Thanks, Beloved. Yes, poohpity. I don’t mean at all to suggest that our individuality before God and before each other isn’t of great importance in scripture. I would only suggest what I was taught in seminary, and what seems to be borne out in scripture, that there is an emphasis on community which actually is more a part of that culture, than here in the United States. The Modernist Great Enlightenment stressed individuality in the context of freedom, against authoritarianism. But no, it is so important, our individuality before God, and I agree with the points you make. I would want to stress that we are individuals in community. So that community as well as mission should be our focus in just how our individuality should play out, and even be edified. Primarily. With of course that one to one relationship with God through Christ remaining intact.

  20. foreverblessed says:

    In the wilderness…
    God speaking

    It depends on God….

    God speaking through Moses
    and God speaking through Jesus!

    I have some things to say about that!
    I was raised in christian church, that believed Jesus died for our sins, that we needed to repent, confess, and then go back and keep the law of Moses, the 10 commandments, the Sabbath, and as in Exodus says, keep my Sabbaths, plural, it was found in Leviticus 23 what the other Sabbaths were: the yearly Sabbaths. We read the Gospels, and Pauls letters, but is was as if a veil was over our minds. Prophecies of Revelation were more important.

    And so we pursued obeying God, as He spoke through Moses.
    And we asked the help of the Holy Spirit to keep these laws.

    So the 10 commandments were the life rules.

    For me this saying Mart had in the last topic: if we exchange Jesus for Moses…

    That was a crucial point in my life 23 years ago.

    I started to pray to God in a very open manner: God, you know I want to follow you, with all my heart, and mind and will, please explain to me what you want from me!

    At that time I could not read the Bible, as when I read it and would see f.i. no body shall do any work on the Sabbath, I would fall back to the literal meaning of that command.

    So I read Christian books about living in faith in Jesus Christ.

    Living in faith in Jesus Christ…It was abacadabra to me!

    But…. I felt so incredibly close to Jesus! It was as if He came to me personally.
    I did not go to a church at that time, did not read my own Bible.
    But…I was so close to God!
    I read many many Bible verse though, the ones with the Gospel Grace. I had to read them over and over.
    And I heard God speaking to me personally!

    So if anybody tells you, you should do this or you should do that….
    Listen to God Himself, He is leading each one of us personally, and intimately.I joined a interchurch prayer group, and then we had to move: I told God: What are you doing? I have this support group, now You even take that away?
    He answered me intimately, and comforted me.

    If would be all right: He was with me wherever I would go!

    What God was teaching me is for me, I can tell my story, but if someone does not understand the background of growing up in a &#@church, it’s no use saying anything!

    A site like this, a Christian site where you can speak with living Christians who want to follow Jesus, and understand what the Gospel is, is just great! A good place to stay in contact with fellow Christians.

    I now have been going to a church almost 10 years, before that time I would go to Christian conferences, and interchurch woman’s ministry, they helped me a lot.

    Now that I have joined a church, it is as if God is saying to me:

    Spent more time with your fellow Christians around you than the ones in cyberspace.

    So I probably I will comment less and less.

    But some more on Moses and Jesus:
    When the Israelites went into the Holy Land, Moses had died, it was so.d preacher that said: leave Moses behind and go with Joshua ( Jeshua, meaning Jesus) and enter the Holy Land.
    When I heard that it struck me to the bones: Yes, ofcourse! That’s it!!!

    It was Moses himself who said:
    Deuteronomy 18:15

    Moses says: You must listen to Jesus!

    Moses is replaced by Jesus,
    Jesus who died for me, and took all my infirmities
    And Jesus who was raised from the dead so that He could live in me through the Spirit to an eternal life that already has started now, yes this day, and long ago when I was born of the Spirit!

    A Bible study by Andrew Murray: The Two Covenants,
    Really helped me too!

    And I do study my Bible daily, I talk with God for more and more moments of the day.
    And I am living in the Sabbath, resting from my own work, the scriptures Street gave in the last topic about the Rest, Hebrew 4:10
    Being always in the Sabbath and I never want to go out of it!

    That is my testimony!
    It took me 1 hour, and I really enjoyed writing it.
    But now I have to go to bed.
    God bless you all, and may you all hear Him intimately.

    ( Beloved I would like to hear what God had been teaching you about Godly intimacy, if you are allowed by God to tell it. )

  21. Beloved says:

    Forever thank you for sharing your journey thus far, I love hearing it. As far as what God showed me about intimacy it is too personal; meant for me alone. But I can tell you the pathological distrust I’ve had toward people- all people- is no more. Another altar in my journey. God is faithful even into old age. Feeling very blessed today!

  22. jeff1 says:

    Thank you, Beloved, why is it that some stretch my patience to the limits but when I focus on Christ I am restored and have peace again and only He can give me that so why do I get drawn into strife that is not what He wants for me!

  23. Beloved says:

    Viv we do live in a broken world with other broken people just like us, I know you know that well as does everyone here. I rejoice that you turn to God for help! Rejoice that your name is written in heaven, rather than being in command/control of things on a blog. He is our helper in time of need, indeed!

  24. jeff1 says:

    Yes, you are so right Beloved, turning to God, is the right thing to do as it calms the Spirit and gives me hope for change in me and God’s assurance of not forsaking me in my need.

  25. Beloved says:

    A different perspective on being on the ground. Maybe someone can explain the difference in God’s attitude then vs today? Or is there any difference? Thanks.

    Psalm 95:6-11The Message (MSG)
    6-7 So come, let us worship: bow before him,
    on your knees before God, who made us!
    Oh yes, he’s our God,
    and we’re the people he pastures, the flock he feeds.

    7-11 Drop everything and listen, listen as he speaks:
    “Don’t turn a deaf ear as in the Bitter Uprising,
    As on the day of the Wilderness Test,
    when your ancestors turned and put me to the test.
    For forty years they watched me at work among them,
    as over and over they tried my patience.
    And I was provoked—oh, was I provoked!
    ‘Can’t they keep their minds on God for five minutes?
    Do they simply refuse to walk down my road?’
    Exasperated, I exploded,
    ‘They’ll never get where they’re headed,
    never be able to sit down and rest.’”

  26. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Joyce. When I read your last post the quote from psalms 95 just did not look familiar to me at all, so I looked things up.

    Here is Psalms 95:7-11 KJV in the king James it sounds nothing like you have given and is easier for me to understand.

    Clearly Jesus took the wrath of God for all mankind once and for all at Calvary, including those spoken of in the wilderness.

    While I thank you for the little exercise I caution everyone about reading new translations and paraphrasing Scripture.

    I know you understand that seeing one piece of a jig saw doesn’t permit you to see the finished picture puzzle.

    I hope I have been of a little help.


  27. poohpity says:

    Viv, there are way more promises for us than heaven alone. The other thing you spoke of regarding seeming stuck about loving others was not meant for you alone, it was about Jesus. When I write it is often not directed at you, that is a good time to take the “Me” out of it and applying it to this group as a whole, the here and now, not your past struggles that is between you and God, not my business at all. What is my business is how I treat people that have ill will towards me, my response to them is the only thing I have control over, to love them in spite of how I am treated that was what I was talking about in essence.

  28. poohpity says:

    Back to the topic. Experiencing God’s leading on the ground now seems to be toward the same type of direction as it always has been just the delivery methods seem to change.

    It seems to be back then they had the pillar of cloud and fire but now we have His Word(Jesus) and word to be our guide. Not just the words in a book but John 1:1,14. Think about it, there is a real, living, pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night, and spiritual rock, living inside our heart. Jesus Christ, the Word of God and His Words planted in the soil of our heart.

    The cloud by day and fire by night is an ever present symbol of God’s presence with His people.

  29. poohpity says:

    John 14:17, 26; John 16:13; Hebrews 1:1-2

  30. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, I have forgiven a teacher who abused me as a child and it was a long hard struggle but I now can sit down and have a conversation with her and feel no animosity and that is because I was listening to God and many times previously when she would be speaking to my friend I could have reached out and throttled her so there is much about ‘me’ I have good reason to want changed and why I am more like my mum than my dad when it comes to understanding the darker side of human nature.

    When it comes to loving a group of terrorists who have yet to say they did wrong then that is way above my head and I am very glad that is God’s call and not mine as He knows if their hearts have changed even if their heads have not.

    You talk a great deal of forgiveness and love and how God won’t forgive unless we do but yet you keep talking of people who boast like you hate them and if that is so who are you referring to as I don’t hear anybody boasting in this group just talking of their thoughts, their trials and trying to give encouragement when they can and sensitive to the fact that others may not be as far on in their walk which not meaning to be harsh I find you are rather insensitive to.

    I suppose what I am asking is do you love those who are doing you ill or are more like myself who struggle to love whom you consider to be your enemies?

    When I brought the hatred of my teacher out in the open and discussed it with my friend God worked through her in healing me as I have found that God often works through others when I am stuck myself.

    It is as you say each of our concerns how we forgive those who do us ill and some hurts go deeper than others and requires time and patience as we are all human and can be hurt deeply by others which is why God is patient and loving in giving us time to heal as he is with others whom we have hurt.

    It is a two way street but there has to be give and take by both parties for progress to be made and that comes from being honest about how you feel and I don’t lie to myself if I am harbouring a grudge because I know God won’t allow it He will purge me until I relent as it is for my good as well as the other party and God wants results and not excuses or back sliding.

    The more honest I am with myself the more God reveals to me while I spent a lifetime trying to win His favour by doing what was right I now find that God wants me to talk about what is wrong with me so that He will put it right so God does want a personal relationship with each of us but it is not to the exclusion of others whom we can trust despite their weaknesses as we are all His children and in a world that is not seeking God I find I need all the friends I can get.

  31. poohpity says:

    Making a commitment to follow Jesus seems to say we no longer want our own understanding but His, not my will but His and the Lord knows those who make that choice which seems to open us up to hearing His voice, the unheard yet unmistakable whisper of Jesus. I often wonder if the sound of our own voices overshadows His more often than not or if we are even listening at all. For that it seems we must get out of self and be lifted off the ground to fly with Him.

  32. poohpity says:

    Viv, I talk about God not forgiving those who do not forgive, it not me saying that, that is what is said in the bible. It is not like forgiveness comes naturally nor is it easy and it is certainly not saying that the offense was right in anyway, it is just putting it out of our hearts and into God’s hands because God knows how destructive holding on to it is for us when we don’t.

    People’s lives are destroyed by holding onto grudges and hate. Is there really room for God’s love when our hearts are already full of unforgiveness?? Yes confessing that to God is to seek His help which is the only way to get healing. But often talking about it all the time and dwelling on the past seems to be more like picking at a scab and the wound never heals which stops us from moving forward cause we are stuck in the past.

  33. poohpity says:

    Matthew 5:7

  34. jeff1 says:

    Quotes from C S Lewis that help me understand God’s intent.

    I suggest to you that it is because God loves us that he gives us the gift of suffering. Pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world. You see, we are like blocks of stone out of which the Sculptor carves the forms of men. The blows of His chisel, which hurts so much are what makes us perfect.

    There are two kinds of love: we love wise and kind and beautiful people because we need them, but we love (or try to love) stupid and disagreeable people because they need us. This second kind is the more divine because that is how God loves us: not because we are lovable but because He is love, not because He needs to receive but He delights to give.

    Morality is a mountain which we cannot climb by our own efforts; and if we could we should only perish on the ice and unbreathable air of the submit, lacking those wings with which the rest of the journey has to be accomplished. For it is from there that the real ascent begins. The ropes and axes are “done away” and the rest is a matter of flying.

    From Sunday morning reflections may the words of this beautiful hymn make us all a channel of His peace in a world that is so desperately in need of it.

    Make me a channel of your peace
    Where there is hatred let me bring your love
    Where there is injury, your pardon Lord
    And where there’s doubt, true faith in you

    Make me a channel of your peace
    Where there’s despair in life let me bring hope
    Where there is darkness, only light
    And where there’s sadness ever joy

    Oh, Master grant that I may never seek
    So much to be consoled as to console
    To be understood as to understand
    To be loved as to love with all my soul

    Make me a channel of your peace
    it isn’t pardoning that we are pardoned
    in giving to all men let we receive
    And in dying that we are born to turn around

    Oh, Master grant that I may never seek
    So much to be consoled as to console
    To be understood as to understand
    To be loved as to love with all my soul

    Make me a channel of your peace
    Where there’s despair in life let me bring hope
    Where there is darkness, only light
    And where there’s sadness ever joy

  35. Beloved says:

    Thanks Steve for the reminder of Jesus, (I did read it in several translations and all said the same to me but I like using Petersons contemporary idiom sometimes).

    Not sure why but I can get so caught up in the moment like when reading about God being angry I feeling suddenly overwhelmed. Could be more PTS which is good as it reminds me what I need to work through, again. Bless you Steve for your tenderness and lovingkindness at home and here on the blog, Joyce

  36. Beloved says:

    Thank you Viv for the words of St Francis of Assisi its one of my favorites that was set to music by John Michael Talbot in the 70’s.

  37. poohpity says:

    We have a choice to dwell on other people or dwell on the Lord. I have made the choice to dwell on God what he says I am, who I belong to and what I mean to Him. I know better than anyone else all that is in my heart and as I have said before some of it is not very nice and I know that I can never follow God perfectly but He does not expect me to either. I agree with God that I will never be without sin nor have I ever lead anyone to believe otherwise by flowery talk or telling others how godly or spirit filled I am or only being nice to those who are nice back to me but I will not dwell on the sin but on the Savior.

    Looking up to the cloud and fire rather than the one’s it covers.

  38. Beloved says:

    1 Thessalonians 5:12 (MSG) And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience.

  39. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Pooh, I couldn’t agree more that holding onto grudges destroys us as I have done it myself and so know the destructiveness of it. As an individual I need God’s help not only to get over the hurt inflicted but the reality that the offender is not seeking to stop the offense which means I have to find a way to live with an enemy without wanting to harm them which is what I see myself as doing now.

    The reality being that my enemies are seeking what they see as their right and do not consider others who do not share their beliefs.

    That is not within my realm of understanding and so leaving with God is the right thing to do and as an individual getting on with my own life in the midst of uncertainty is where I find myself.

    I do not hold a grudge against my enemies i.e. I am not out to harm them but past and present words and actions on their part tell me I cannot trust them and I don’t believe God asks me to but to leave it with Him as He is the better judge.

    I want a closer walk with God but I cannot know what others are seeking as I only know what they tell me and their words have not always proved to be honourable.

    What you have said is what I am trying to do leaving it in God’s hands as I know He knows best but my enemies have had a long reign of terror and the consequences of it go deep as you can well imagine and so that you do not think I am exaggerating the official statistics from 1969-1998 are that there were some 35,669 shooting incidents, 10,412 explosions and this countries total inhabitants is 1.8 million and so many have been personally effected by the troubles.

    There are no winners when it comes to war as those who have suffered through it will tell you and men like my dad who were the peacemakers of the day were not listened to proving that hindsight comes to late for many.

  40. Beloved says:

    Ephesians 3:10 is the reason we follow day in and day out. It’s good to be reminded that as Gods representatives we glorify Him, not ourselves. The enemy doesn’t care how rich, powerful, independent knowledgeable of the Bible or self righteous we are. What bothers him is seeing Godliness on earth. The whole earth is filled with His glory- be filled with the spirit of God in all righteous living especially within relationships in the Body of Christ- the Church. Love one another and do not provoke one another to anger. Pray for the weaker brother/ sister in Christ. Be still when necessary and know God. No one can tame the tongue James said. Bite it! When needed. Better to have a bloody tongue than bloody brothers/sisters that Christ died for. Be holy as I am holy says God.

  41. jeff1 says:

    I choose this quote from C S Lewis as I cannot find my own words to explain.

    “(To have faith in Christ) means, of course, trying to do all that He says. There would be no point in saying you trusted a person if you would not take His advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.”

  42. jeff1 says:

    I can remember the expression being used ‘hold your tongue’ and if we only counted to 10 and did that on occasions this world would be a much better place as once it is said there is no taking it back and relationships are damaged by words perhaps more than we can begin to know.

    I have days experienced someone rubbing salt into my wound unintentionally and it has caused me anguish that the person could not begin to imagine but it has also made me think before I speak as I realize that I may not know what difficulties another is facing in their life and I now know what it feels like so I am putting ‘holding my tongue’ into action or non action, well you know what I mean.

  43. Beloved says:

    On the Ground, yesterday and now.
    I Cor 10:9-14

  44. street says:

    jeff posted ….There would be no point in saying you trusted a person if you would not take His advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way.

    it’s my understanding He gives us a new Spirit or a new heart. not like the old one. new creation comes to mind. the fun of discover and the fun of mortifying.

    i do like cs lewis statement, yes He is dangerous, but He is Good!

  45. foreverblessed says:

    Good morning Jeff, the others are in a different time zone.
    I too liked the Lewis statement! Thanks!

    Because there is already a little bit of heaven in us…
    we follow, and obey Jesus.

    I have told you about a family member, who had mistreated me ( not abuse, but by being very egocentric, by thinking only about himself, before anyone else, this happened in many traditional churches, who are hierarchial: the husband has to be served, the oldest brother has to be served. It makes me think of the bibleverse of today: of biblegateway. ” Whoever wants to be the greatest must be the servant of all)

    God showed me thema Bible verse before Christmaseiland:
    Matt 18:15-16
    God spoke to me: hou have done the first step, now do the second step!

    And the promise is: you have won your brother!

    So I got a Christian mediator, and through her told him again what he had done wrong. But in the spirit of forgiveness!

  46. foreverblessed says:

    Proverbs 3:5-7
    That is the bible verse Mart gives with this topic.
    Yesterday that also was the bible verse given in my church!

    “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight”

    God told me: get someone else, and tell your borther agian how he has treated you! So that is what I did. And you know, I was so full of joy! Real joy filled y heart, as I pursued the course. It was as if strength increased, not my own strength. But His strength!
    I really felt the difference: I have heard the voice of God, and acted on it. In great trust that God would do what He can do, in great trust in Him have I done this.
    Not in any way, thinking that it was me who was correcting my brother, but that God wanted me to show him the error of his ways. God wanted me to show him what he had done to others, how he had hurt others by only beingn interested in hiw own life.
    But… all in the spirit of forgiveness, but I hav esaid that already. It was al ong journey for m me to come to this forgiveness, I has said that I had forgiven him, but my old man was still screaming out loud in y head. I had to kill that old man.

    But I have to tell you that I have won my brother! He has reacted very good to my message!

    He has said sorry: sorry for who I was, that I have hurt you so much, and thank you that you have forgiven me.

    Now my joy is even greater! The joy that follows when you have obeyed the Word of God.

    Jesus said, the will of God is meat for Me. We are being fed meat, when we do what Jesus tells us!

    (I only cannot find the scripture in the Gosples…)
    Maybe this one will count too:
    If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether My teaching comes from God.
    John 7:17

    And so I found out wht the will of God was, and rejoice greatly now that is has effect!

    God wants reconciliation!

  47. foreverblessed says:

    Oh, again, sorry for all the typos!
    I was so enthusiastic about this story, that I did not proofread it, and just posted it.

    But in the meantime I found the words Jesus told His disciples; I have meat to eat.

    John 4:31-34

    31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.

    32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.

    33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?

    34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

    That your inner man is being strenghtened when you do what Jesus tells you to do.

    Now, the only thing is: WHAT is Jesus telling you today?

    I pray that we all come to the Rest, the stilling of all the different voices that scream in our ear. And that we hear that still small voice, as Steve often wrote, but not only hear, but also act on them!

    And God will make our paths straight. And build up our inner man, that will last for eternity.

    May you have a blessed day!

  48. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning from America Foreverblessed. I see at the time registered on your last comment that Matt and I were up at that time, but I was not on the computer yet.

    Because of our time differences I often hope when I do get to look in on BTA that either you and or Viv has been there. I also miss hearing from lovely a half a world away.

    I thank you both for staying the course as I know it isn’t easy, but you both bring a bit of sunshine to my heart especially on a morning like this where it is 26 degrees f and very foggy.

    Foreverblessed I am 70 years old and all throughout my life I have witnessed the hypocrisy of people. A person who demonstrates such behavior and claims to be Christian is far from being Christian.

    I have also witnessed that in such people the more you try and show them the err of their ways the more entrenched they become in their selfish twisted view of themselves.

    I have always liked the good advice given when Michael the Archangel dealt with Satan over the body of Moses (Jude 1:9 KJV), “The Lord rebuke thee.” And from Jesus when tempted by Satan in the wilderness “Get thee behind me.” (Luke 4:8 KJV)

    I can also give a list of verses whereby Jesus rebuked the “holy” men of Israel and then just walked away rather than get drawn into a trap of endless argument with such men.

    What I have always tried to do is ignore such people, and avoid them. However that isn’t always possible and so at some point there is a confrontation. Doing all I can do to heal is all I can do, it is up then to the other person and if it never comes, then I have done my part and give the matter over to God (“The Lord rebuke thee”) and walk away.

    At some point God has always given me peace concerning the matter as that person and the evil that they bring no matter matters to me.

    I do hope my little experience of life has helped you in some way, if not, thank you for your patience in allowing me to share.

    Praying for you to have a very blessed day.


  49. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed, I see that you continued to post as I wrote. I too have “typos” but hope you can figure out what was supposed to be said.

    I am happy for you to have had a good outcome from your family member concerning your ordeal of forgiveness.


  50. poohpity says:

    In the picture of the birds at top, where are they looking? They seem to be focused looking up not down at each other which seems to be one valuable lesson Jesus often taught in more ways than one. Then we learn what it means to turn the other cheek because we can react when we get our feelings hurt and take everything personally when often it is not, now that is egocentric or in other words all about me. Again we see in others often what we are guilty of ourselves being it is easier to look around than it is to look up to God. Then so many things around us just do not seem that important any more.

    O soul are you weary and troubled?
    No light in the darkness you see?
    There’s light for a look at the Savior,
    And life more abundant and free:

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
    Look full in His wonderful face;
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
    In the light of His glory and grace.

    Through death into life everlasting
    He passed, and we follow Him there;
    Over us sin no more hath dominion
    For more than conquerors we are!

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
    Look full in His wonderful face;
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
    In the light of His glory and grace.

    His word shall not fail you He promised;
    Believe Him and all will be well.
    Then go to a world that is dying,
    His perfect salvation to tell!

    Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
    Look full in His wonderful face;
    And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
    In the light of His glory and grace.

  51. poohpity says:

    When someone SINs against us that is like; lying to or about us, jealousy, adultery or lust, stealing from us, gossiping, slander, idolizing someone other than God but just getting our feelings hurt does not seem to fit into the sin category. It can damage a relationship if we are not full of mercy, forgiveness and grace understanding that no one is immune to having faults, shortcoming and failures.

    The minute we begin to pick or point out the faults, shortcomings or failures in others we lose sight of the many in ourselves, looking around and down on the ground, wallowing in the dirt rather than up to be grateful for the many things we have been cleansed of.

  52. poohpity says:

    It made me smile remembering the many times I took a tissue and wiped the dirt from my children’s faces, well isn’t that what Jesus does for us? He can see the dirt that we may not be aware of, just as that child can not see the dirt on their own faces.

  53. foreverblessed says:

    Steve, I have done what the Lord told me to do.
    That was my story. And I wanted to tell you all, what came out of it!
    I had to do what I had to do. I already felt very relieved when I did it. But now as I see what it has worked out: I am soooo happy.

    To God be the glory.

    Ofcourse, I am willing to read your story too! But you never know what He will tell you soem other time! Just wait.

    It is so much easier now, when the offending party has seen the error of his ways. The hardest thing is:
    when the offending party does not see they are doing anything wrong!
    Intercessory prayer for the offending party.
    That is what Narrow keeps saying: lets pray for one another.

    And then the hardest thing is letting go, if there is no sorry. It is not about the sorry, it is about the continuation of the offences. It is about the not changing their ways, which brings hurt everythime it happens.

    But at the same time I was thinking about Jeff, where she lives in a country, where many have done atrocious things, and have not repented of them, let alone said sorry, and yet, they are now in the parliament.

    So my prayer is for Ireland, and their healing, my prayer is for Jeff, and her healing.
    Lord have mercy over Ireland.

  54. poohpity says:

    Forever, I just want to ask you a question. Do those you have hurt demand an apology from you and are you even aware of the the hurt you have cause them?

  55. jeff1 says:

    Thank you so much for your prayers, Forever, as I know how prayer has worked in my personal life and it can work for this country too as God wants us to know peace and put an end to the awful hatred and violence of the past.

    I have just come from a funeral of a dear college from way back who died suddenly and after a heart warming tribute to him we sang this hymn. The church though small was full and people had to stand outside in the graveyard as he was known as a warm kind hearted generous man and his sister’s called him the ‘gentle giant’ as he was big in stature.

    On my way home I seen two rainbows and one had such bright colours that I could hardly take my eyes of it, it was so dazzling and though I had just been to what was a sad passing this rainbow filled my heart with joy and I thought of how God finds away to make us smile in the midst of sorrow.

    This is such an uplifting hymn that I believe it was well chosen for such a sad occasion.


    When the trumpet of the Lord shall sound,
    And time shall be no more,
    And the morning breaks, eternal, bright and fair,
    When the saved of earth shall gather
    over on the other shore,
    And the roll is called yonder, I’ll be there.

    When the roll is called up yonder,
    When the roll is called up yonder,
    When the roll is called up yonder,
    When the roll is called up yonder,
    I’ll be there.

    On that bright and cloudless morning
    When the dead in Christ shall rise,
    And the glory of His resurrection share;
    When His chosen ones shall gather
    to their home beyond the skies,
    And the roll is called up yonder,
    I’ll be there.

    When the roll is called up yonder,
    When the roll is called up yonder,
    When the roll is called up yonder,
    When the roll is called up yonder,
    I’ll be there.

    Let us labour for the Master
    From the dawn till setting sun,
    Let us talk of all his wondrous love and care;
    Then when all of life is over,
    and our work on earth is done,
    And the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.

    When the roll is called up yonder,
    When the roll is called up yonder,
    When the roll is called up yonder,
    When the roll is called up yonder,
    I’ll be there.

  56. narrowpathseeker says:

    Foreverblessed.. thank you for sharing your beautiful experience of being free from unforgiveness of a family member. I am sooooo happy that worked out so well for you. You are a Blessing and Forever Blessed. :-) Prayers for Vivian and Ireland….will do.

    I can also see the Blessing in Steve’s solution by imitating Jesus by rebuking and then walking away as not to get into an endless as well as pointless debate which serves no other purpose than to set up the sheep for the slaughter. thank you Steve.

  57. poohpity says:

    When did Jesus rebuke someone and walk away? I do remember Him rebuking religious people for rebuking others and not considering the problems within themselves before they did but staying and talking with the person they had rebuked.

  58. street says:

    On the Ground

    Matthew 6:10
    ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, “On earth” as it is in heaven.

  59. foreverblessed says:

    Good morning everyone!
    This is another day that the Lord will guide us through!

    Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!
    Yes! My heart should be a little bit of heaven, every day a little bit more.

    Pooh, to answer your question, if that were so, I would in the first place say: Sorry, it was not my intention to hurt.
    Secondly I would ask: can you explain how I did hurt you
    Thirdly, if that would get a bit hard, I would get another person, like a mediator to talk things through.

  60. foreverblessed says:

    But all the while I would train myself to have my eyes put on Jesus!
    He tells me He loves me,
    That He delights in me
    Psalm 37:23-24

    But that does not mean that Jesus could send a person to tell me where I can improve in some or other area.
    If I am being corrected, I can humbly see that as a correction from the Lord. I do not have tho think that people attack me, neither do I have to think that I am altogether a wicked person, a depraved person. But that there are areas in my heart that need more light to them.

  61. foreverblessed says:

    Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

    Ephesians 4:12
    verse of the day of Bible gateway

  62. foreverblessed says:

    Ephesians 4:2

    that was.
    But the Spirit is building us up, the Body of Christ, until we all reach the unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fulness of Christ.
    Then we will be no longer infants tossed back and forth, by the waves, and blown here and there…

    There are some more good points in that chapter,

    Ephesians 4:15-32

  63. jeff1 says:

    I know that I am not surprised when non believers are speaking and acting in a way that is not Christ like as they do not believe He exists to begin with so I cannot expect them to.

    I am seeking to be more Christ like and I am the one who therefore should be sounding and behaving more like Christ.

    Did Christ rebuke Peter for His behaviour? Yes, He did because Jesus expects His followers to behave in a way fitting to who they say they are, which is followers of His, otherwise others see them as hypocrites and that is not what Jesus wants us to appear like to those who do not know Him.

    We all have weaknesses but among other believers we should expect support and if I want to become more Christ like I will listen to those believers because the one thing I do no there is plenty of room for improvement because I am a long way from looking like my Master and that should be my main concern, not what others say but the fact that they are right in what they are saying because who sees my faults better but the other person if they know me well enough and it is someone who knows me well that can tell me my faults.

    It is my loss if I choose to ignore others doing their best to correct me, as I am the one who looks less like my Master for ignoring their pleas.

    It is when I am willing to listen to criticism that I see the need for change in me and that is just the start of a closer walk with God to my way of thinking.

    I must agree with God there is need for change in me and when I see how very far from perfect I am then is when I am willing to let God change me.

  64. poohpity says:

    Forever, You did not answer my question. But you did give me “if” that happens then I would do so and so. So obviously no one has come to you demanding an apology. I am sure that you have not gone through this life without causing hurt or harm to someone but saying “if” that ever happens means that one is freeing themselves from taking responsibility of doing so therefore is not aware of all the people hurt or harmed by you but only those who have hurt or harmed you.

  65. narrowpathseeker says:

    Vivian, I share your thoughts of this morning. I think the difference lies in remorse of our sins..those who seem to enjoy and defend their sins by pointing out that we all sin seem to lack something in their heart if not their heads as well. But it could be that such are used for the purpose of teaching us NOT to let someone else’s mal behavior dictate ours. I believe that whole heartily, but I have not quite mastered the act of not letting such irritate me unless I ignore them. However, I DO pray for that victory everyday, so I believe it will be so one day.

    Forever, you are loved!!

  66. poohpity says:

    In our country right now many come against our President with hate filled personal attacks about his character but when asked if any of them have ever had any personal contact with him, the answer is often NO. But people spread false rumors, then others climb on the bandwagon and most often it is based on nothing other than lies, gossip and propaganda but that does not stop the character assassination none the less that is how the world works when the flesh is leading.

    But God calls us to a higher ground and if no one knows what that higher ground is then maybe they ought to start learning from the One who knows everything about us but yet does not pick out all our shortcomings but His love covers a multitude of sins.(1 Peter 4:8) It is love and grace that changes people’s hearts not constantly barraging someone by pointing out the faults, sins, failures or shortcomings we see in them that just puts us on a pedestal, thinking we do not do any of that rather than on God.

  67. foreverblessed says:


    Oops, sorry, WHEN…

  68. poohpity says:

    Narrow, this one is for you so you will see that it is not me who teaches that but Jesus. (John 8:7; Romans 2:1) so if you have an issue with that, you have an issue with God not me. That is what seems to be the problem with most on here, not many are even familiar with what God teaches us, that is why I always get blamed for the things that He says attributed “AS IF” they are coming from me. That is so very sad and disturbing to say the least.

  69. poohpity says:

    forever a simple no would have worked. No, no one has come to me demanding an apology. So simple just to be honest.

  70. poohpity says:

    I think that once a person comes to the realization that God’s love and care for us is not based on our performance, our works, human effort or law keeping and finds that we are all justified by faith which is a gift from God as well, looking at the performance, works, human efforts or law keeping of others takes a back place in our lives. We no longer pay that much attention to what is on the ground but what is above, on God.

    Why do you hold others to a standard that we ourselves can not even meet up to but demand that they do?

  71. poohpity says:

    Forever as for the story you shared I do not know one counselor with a hill of beans who would go into a relationship problem between two people without first hearing from each person alone. In every relationship there are two sides no one being more in the right than the the other. We can always find someone to take our side over another but that does not bring the whole truth into it just partiality which will never find any healing until both sides are heard from. There is a proverb that says going into court and one presents their side which may seem right until they hear from the other side. That is why in most court cases there are two sides represented. On here we only hear your side which only gives us what you would like us to hear, only your perspective and the whole truth about it gets totally lost in that.

  72. Beloved says:

    Good morning all,

    Thinking about boots “on the ground” I think the saying goes “shoot first ask questions later” or the old World war mantra “kill them all and let God sort them out”. My my my no wonder Christlikeness is such a radical departure from the world’s ways.

    Also thinking about woundedness. Some scars run deep and it takes the “patience of a saint” to walk them through with others. Trying to live up to my calling I am with my feet on the ground and my mind fixed on Jesus again today, this new day. Hallelu-jah

  73. Beloved says:

    Yes, Jesus is the great healer deliverer sanctifier. What good news we have for our friends neighbors and the world!!

  74. SFDBWV says:

    If any of you watch the weather channel here in the USA you may have heard them say another winter storm was blowing from North West to north east and sweep across West Virginia and the Appalachian Range.

    Well it is.

    Woke this morning to about 5.5 inches of snow. Problem being we are burying another friend of mine this afternoon. So After getting Matt settled in I went up to the cemetery in the dark to plow open the roadways.

    I went again after Matt was finished exercising to make sure all was ok and talked with the fellows who bring the vault and set up the tent for the graveside service.

    They were a little worried about wind, but I assured them there are trees to the northwest of the grave that would block any wind from being a problem.

    The woman we are burying today is one of those people everyone should have in their life that brings color to an otherwise dull grey life.

    She worked with the FBI during the prohibition days, was a professional wrestler, lived and worked on a farm, was a wife and mother,and her last job was in the coal mines.

    I knew her well.

    It is with a smile that I remember her.

    You see this is life on the ground. Our lives are interwoven with many other lives and whether we see it or not behind the scenes is God providing far more than we clearly understand.

    I told you I will always remember Beryl with a smile. Shouldn’t that also be a goal for us all to be remembered with a smile.

    We may not see that “cloud” Mart speaks of nor that pillar of fire, but they are there. God still directs our movements, if we are attentive to Him. And when we walk with Him we too will be remembered with a smile.

    13 degrees with peeks of sunshine in between snow showers.


  75. street says:

    Laws of Justice and Mercy
    on the ground

    23 “Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness.

    2 “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd, 3 and do not show favoritism to a poor person in a lawsuit.

    4 “If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it. 5 If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it.

    6 “Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits. 7 Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.

    8 “Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the innocent.

    9 “Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.

  76. Beloved says:

    Wow, the honesty of Justice and mercy applied is strikingly different within the Kingdom of God!

  77. jeff1 says:

    I think difficult people do teach us patience and I find lack of patience difficult to overcome, so, yes, Narrow, God is teaching us from others but like yourself, I find it hard not to let them irritate me but when I see that is their intention, then, I realize they are not as mature as I first believed they were and if I want to grow myself then I think it is best not to engage with them until they have gotten past this stage especially if it is upsetting my own growth.

    I don’t believe God wants me to jeopardise my own walk by spending too much time with others who do not see a need for change as it is His purpose for us to grow more like Him and if a person is showing no willingness to change then there heart is not in it as it is what it is lip service.

    I went through a stage myself where I was being too critical of others and it did take me quite a while to get past this stage but God has succeeded in bringing me through it and strengthened my patience in doing so.

    I am amazed at how my patience has grown when I am around difficult people and I am less likely to feel annoyed with them and let it go over my head instead.

  78. Beloved says:

    Viv having worked with dual diagnosis individuals I learned and observed the fact that when a person starts using drugs (in their developing early years) their mental development stops. Even with years of counseling and help they remain immature in their thinking as you can’t redo that damage. Even if they turn their lives over to Christ they remain childish and difficult to get along with. They become a new creation in Christ, yes! But to demand something they are not capable of doing (appropriate social interaction) it has to God’s timing as He and a skilled therapist only know where that person is at and how much they are able to really understand- and change. Does God or a good therapist give up on them? No! Even a resistant person can be helped, it just takes time. Most people have no where close to the amount of time it takes to “bear with” someone in great need. It often takes many helpers on the ground and many years. Part of the process involves becoming a counselor to others who have gone through the same thing- it’s thanks for what they have received.
    Pooh, you have learned some good counseling skills in your own process of growth and thank you for giving back. Follow Christ alone He knows you better than anyone here. I’m glad God has given you some good friends at home and church, you are truly blessed!

  79. Beloved says:

    Smiling here: In the unheard yet unmistakeable whisper of Jesus, he lets us know…when its time to stop, stay, and go.

  80. street says:

    On the Ground
    thinking about forgiveness
    it’s not so much people asking us to forgive them, it more like, ” Father forgive them, they know not what they do.”
    even while they are doing it. patients and kindness are complete in Christ Jesus not in ourselves.
    Jesus was protected till the appointed time and he did ask that it might pass Him by, but we know what He prayed for and how much He loved. He is risen in deed. love does cover a multitude of sin, love is eternal.

  81. narrowpathseeker says:

    Vivian, I think “intentional” is the key irritant here…why would we want to be subjected to someone that “intentionally” sets out to cause anger, irritate, and bring down as many as they can. Being unremorseful is quite telltale of continual, intentional mal behavior. I do not think it is a “bad bad” thing to avoid a pick pocket, con man, or even just an overall trouble maker that will ruin the day if at possible.

    Joyce , I’m sorry but I totally disagree with your fact of drug use in developing years inhibiting mental development. I am Blessed with a wonderful family that the Lord helped me raise because I prayed EVERYDAY for help inasmuch as I just couldn’t do it under the conditions that enveloped me. The youngest got hooked on drugs very early in life….he is now in his 40’s and one the most mature, loving, dedicated father, hardworking, and pleasant… Also when raising my children with the Lord’s help I never condoned bad behavior or made excuses for it. There were consequences which were always worse if one denied wrongdoing and was not remorseful..I hated to punish my kids so I urged them to tell the truth so the consequences would be minimal. I hope you can see why I disagree with you… I have also worked in healthcare and group homes..and I didn’t observe the same things you have observed in mental development there either. But I am not saying it couldn’t be so in some cases, but I still don’t think that would be an excuse for bad behavior…

  82. narrowpathseeker says:

    Vivian, I forgot to say that I agree that I don’t think God wants us to get caught up in a web with someone who like you say is satisfied with mere lip service.

    Steve, I am sorry that your weather is so cold and making so much more work for you. I am hoping that things warm up and that some super Blessings come your way soon.

  83. Beloved says:

    Pearl I never said it was an excuse for bad behavior. Some I worked with had severe mental health issues along with troubles with the law. No one was ever denied consequences for bad behavior but consequences that teach, not punish. Those that changed the most were those who were loved unconditionally, like you did with your son. When we think of a!l Christians as brother and sister father and mother like Jesus said then unconditional love of the Father, the Dad of us all is called for.

    On a blog like this where the same interact almost daily its no different than meeting at the local coffee shop. So everyone has to decide what to do; love, hate, throw stones, or just simply say hello and ignore the one you dislike. Or find a different coffee shop!

    Some days I’ve hated this blog and wanted to leave, but God always drew me back. Jesus whispering in my ear as usual not in a physical voice but the Voice of the whispering spirit.

    Street I was just thinking the same thing when I checked and there you said it! That’s so cool when the same Spirit gives confirmation.

  84. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Beloved, people are complex, much too complex for me to understand which is why I find it best to just try and get along with people and let God change them in His time.

    I find it difficult enough keeping myself right with God as I have many weaknesses that need to be worked on and that in itself is like a mountain some days depending on what kind of day I am having.

    I have learned that broken people cannot fix other broken people, as some are as we say here, in smithereens.

    God does know best when putting us together again.

    Together again my tears have stopped falling
    The long lonely nights are now at an end
    The key to my heart you hold in your hand
    And nothing else matters cause we’re together again

    Together again my tears have stopped falling
    The long lonely nights are now at an end
    The love that we knew is living again
    And nothing else matter now that we’re together again

    No, nothing else matters we’re together again

  85. poohpity says:

    Definition of groupthink–the practice of thinking or making decisions as a group in a way that discourages creativity or individual responsibility.

    Signals of groupthink

    1. A belief that people outside the group are troublemakers or create conflict
    2. Pressure not to disagree with other members of the group
    3. Failure to express doubts or differing opinions
    4. Assumption that what most of the group believes is what all of the group believes
    5. Members who “protect” the leader from conflicting information or dissenters

    Sound like anyone?

  86. Beloved says:

    Groupthink on the ground, yes, lol. Think Kingdom of God instead!

  87. Beloved says:

    Narrow I was just thinking about the difficulties involved in raising young children vs adult children from dysfunctional circumstances. Makes me appreciate more what God sees in all of us everyday!

    Thank you Jesus for dying for my sins of commission and omission.

  88. Beloved says:

    Pooh stop pitying yourself and be the change you want to see!

  89. jeff1 says:

    What I don’t understand is that if someone has learned counselling skills themselves then they should be in a better place to have sensitivity towards others and if they work in that background and are growing in it then why come on a blog where it is evident they want to irritate certain people in particular, surely it would be better for the person’s own growth as well as those they are having a grudge at to abstain when they are surely aware by now that they are upsetting brothers and sisters in Christ.

  90. narrowpathseeker says:

    LOL. I’ve had enough coffee for today. I’ll be back when the coffee is fresh and the merry go round slows down a bit.

  91. narrowpathseeker says:

    Before I leave today.. Vivian once again…I agree with you completely. Have a Blessed day.

  92. jeff1 says:

    Just trying to make some kind of sense of it! Have a blessed day too, Pearl and all.

  93. Beloved says:

    I think Viv that God only gives us a little truth at a time, like peeling an onion, at least that’s been my experience. There’s a saying that there is always a kernel of Truth in what anyone says to me, which I believe but it always hurts. That’s the dangerous part of God. He’s dangerous but good. He won’t let anyone go through life unscathed or we wouldn’t be His. He disciplines those he loves as a good father disciplines his children. Not pleasant, but it works for our righteousness in glorifying Him. No not pleasant at all.

  94. SFDBWV says:

    The difference between reading a book and watching a movie is that in a book we get to see inside the heart and minds of the characters, in a movie we just see their behavior.

    The five books of the Bible that make up the “Pentateuch” takes us from creation to the “law” as the Hebrew people enter the “Promised land”.

    We are only given the characters that were in place to exact the will of God in all five books. Yet there were millions of other people who lived and died in the course of the generations given in these five books.

    Each one has a story also.

    Once the nation of Israel entered the Promised land the cloud was no longer seen by the people, yet God continued to lead them through the law and by way of special men He raised up among them as prophets.

    However as the story goes, without the physical demonstration of God with them in the form of a cloud or pillar of fire the people strayed from the direction of God.

    Or did they?

    Every event of Scripture from Genesis on needed to be in place in order for Jesus to be born and to be the Messiah or Savior of mankind.

    Is the rest of the story any different? Do we really think we are in control of our lives?

    Once you have given your life to Christ, you no longer matter, only Christ does and the only real choice you then have is whether or not you open your eyes and see it or not. And then again maybe even that is decided by God in the measure of faith He gives each one of us.

    The thing is have you actually given your life to Christ or are you just using an association with Him as a means to further yourself?

    Sometimes that whisper Mart speaks of is more of a shout.

    04 degrees f under a magnificent full moon.


  95. poohpity says:

    It seems it is sin that controls and so does Satan but the Lord sets us free to make our own choices; to choose sin or choose God, choose death or life, choose right or wrong, choose His ways or the way our flesh dictates.

    We can choose to listen for the soft whisper of the Lord, or the shout of our flesh. The Lord does not need to shout because His leading and prompting comes by faith not by demand for those who will listen. The shout of the flesh seems to always be louder than the desire of a heart to follow the One who is gentle and humble in Spirit. Matt 11:29; John 13:15

  96. poohpity says:

    The Spirit of God living within us gives ear to our conscience we can either get defensive or take it humbly with thanksgiving that His mercies are new every morning. It is the sacrifice of knowing the truth, not about others but about ourselves, that changes our hearts but one has to realize they need it before they lay anything at the feet or on the ground before the Cross of Christ.

  97. poohpity says:

    Boy talk about groupthink last night at the SOTU when the minority leader looked back to her caucus demanding that they give no respect for the President. Childishness to say the least, more concerned for her little group and their demands than for the good of all the American people.

  98. poohpity says:

    Peace is not the absence of conflict but through the presence of God.

  99. poohpity says:

    I think the emphasis in Mart’s post should be on, “Together we are learning that IF WE WANT IT, we don’t miss it” that is regards to God’s direction.

  100. SFDBWV says:

    Having a bit of fun this morning between my duties. Yes Pearl it is quite funny the merry go round that has become the thread of conversation here.

    Viv there is an enormous difference between actually a trained therapist and someone who just wants you to think like they do and criticizes you for not doing so.

    I do not possess “extra sensory powers”, but I can always predict than anytime I have something to say here it is always followed by an avalanche of comments from the same person, and equally I do not have to read them to know their demeanor.

    I will point out that when someone believes that everyone else (in the group) is against them it is called “paranoia”.

    My choice is not to let the devil have his way and ruin my day, so I will resist the devil tell him to “get behind me” and say only one thing more concerning the matter, “the Lord rebuke thee.”

    The Lord has given me a laugh this morning once again and once again used the same devil to do so.

    Thank you Lord.

    Blessing to all today.


  101. jeff1 says:

    Thinking, Beloved, as someone who did it, while my dad did not, how easy it is to become judgemental and play God rather than follow God. I was blessed to have a dad who knew the difference and I learned from him and why I am constantly examining myself when I see I am being critical of others and it is amazing how it keeps my feet on the ground so to speak.

    It is so easy to blind myself and see others faults and overlook that God is wanting me to see my own so that He can change me as I am His child whom He wants to see becoming more like His child and when I keep this in mind I find I am so much more able to see God in ways I would never have imagined and that strengthens my faith in Him and when faced with trials I am then able to see He does not forsake us and in a world that is moving away from God to still see Him is a blessing more than I deserve.

    God wants me to know He is still present as He knows I seek Him for the comfort that He gives me in times of doubt, suffering or conflict.

    The chimes of time ring out the news
    Another day is through
    Someone slipped and fell
    Was that someone you?

    You may have longed for added strength
    Your courage to renew
    Do not be disheartened
    For I have news for you

    it is no secret what God can do
    What He’s done for others, He’ll do for you
    With arms wide open, He’ll pardon you
    it is no secret what God can do

    There is no night for in His light
    You never walk alone
    Always feel at home
    Wherever you may go

    There is no power can conquer you
    While God is on your side
    Take Him at His promise
    Don’t run away and hide

    it is no secret what God can do
    What He’s done for others, He’ll do for you
    With arms wide open, He’ll pardon you
    it is no secret what God can do

  102. phpatato says:


    Steve, you make it so easy to love you!!!!

    Thanks for the laugh.

    Pat xo

  103. jeff1 says:

    I know too well you are right, Steve, about paranoia and when I was suffering mentally myself I believed my best friend was conspiring against me, and today, between medication and looking to God to keep me right, I know how foolish that paranoia was, and that same friend was the one who visited me continuously in hospital when others were too uncomfortable to do so. Though we no longer work together she remains a dear friend and she is going to Africa in July as her husband is a joiner who helps to build a school and she will help to distribute clothes to the villagers and I work in a charity shop and have promised to supply her clothes that will not be suitable for us to sell and ones I will purchase to send with her.

    You are wise like my dad was, Steve, and do not get caught up in the devil’s work because of that wisdom. I see the comments as do others and feel for you but your endurance says you are closer to God for it.

    Resist the devil and he will flee and I admire your resolve and will apply it to myself and as you say smile and walk away rather than be drawn into the web.

  104. foreverblessed says:

    A well-known preacher in our country has died yesterday. So he is in our news now. A lot about the Bible is talked about. He was charismatic, but also controversial.
    He had a church in Amsterdam where many who had left the church felt welcome again.
    Anyway, I want to tell you a joke he had.
    It is about heaven:
    There are two Jews, sitting on a café- outside, on a beautiful summerday. ( In Dutch we call that a terras)
    The two are fantasizing about what heaven is like.
    The one says: heaven is like sitting on a ‘terras’ and afterwards you do not have to pay for your drinks.

    The other one says; I think heaven is like us sitting on a ‘ terras’ and I would say to you:” Hey, Hitler is sitting there too” and both of us would just continue our talk together…

  105. jeff1 says:

    Laughter is often the best medicine, my friend says I have a childish view of heaven, and that is true, I do have, as I cannot really imagine it. There is an advertisement on TV for Philadelphia cheese where these two angels are sitting on clouds and I say to her that is you and I when we get to heaven with not a care in the world. She assures me that my concept of heaven is way of the mark and that we will be doing practical things like we do on earth and I feel that she has just burst my bubble as I rather like my fantasy of heaven better than hers.

  106. SFDBWV says:

    Good afternoon Viv, I so agree with you that laughter is the best medicine. In fact for as long as I can remember “Readers Digest” had an entire page committed to it to prove it.

    If it weren’t for the humor and laughter we engage in here in my house we would be in seriously bad condition, but we laugh at everything we can and I often have to be a stand-up comedian. Matt and Glenna are both a very good audience.

    Sometimes the best humor comes when we can laugh at ourselves, and we do that as often as it works.

    Actually I think God has a very good sense of humor. All I have to do is look at some of the creatures He created and easily see that. Also seeing that we are a shadow image of Him, humor has to also be a large part of the personality of God.

    I think heaven will be filled with laughter and joy.

    Foreverblessed your joke you repeated was not lost on me either, best to just ignore Hitler.

    Thank you also Pat for your friendship, your love and how could I skip, your maple syrup…


  107. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Steve, laughter, joy, music, song and dance is how I imagine heaven and God has to have the greatest sense of humour of all when He looks down and sees how silly we can be.

    My mother would tell me endless jokes of Paddy and we would roar with laughter and as you say Steve laughing at ourselves when we can is a tonic.
    Hope this gives you a laugh today as it did me.

    Paddy goes to court for armed robbery!
    The jury foreman comes out and announced “Not Guilty!”
    “That’s grand”, shouted Paddy!
    “Does that mean I can keep the money?”

  108. SFDBWV says:

    Viv thank you that joke is very funny, in fact I think I may have known such a “Paddy”. Yep I am sure of it, he was one of my bosses at the mines.

    They used to have a saying there in the coal mines, “if you are completely incompetent, they put you on day shift, if you know nothing at all they make you the superintendent.”

    Thanks for the smile Viv.


  109. street says:

    dear steve, thinking about what you said about the time line from creation to the law. was at a bible study that talked about the giving of the law and the following week the giving of the Temple requirements. after receiving the law it became apparent to the faithful that they could not keep the law. even moses. enter in the Temple. made from the pattern shown to moses on the mountain. even God admitted the blood of bulls and goats could not remove sin. yet they were a pattern of what moses was shown. finally God speaks through His Son, the lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world. we have seen what this Son has accomplished in the Scriptures that speaks of Him. how He did not undergo decay and lives. He went away to receive a Kingdom and to send the Holy Spirit, without measure or restraint by the flesh or geography. this Spirit, the same of the old testament and self same in Christ. God does bear with us and has been gracious beyond measure. just like the Temple, people come to get help and be restored to God. now we come to Christ. He is the reward of those who seek Him. happy are they that Trust in Him.

  110. street says:

    Revelation 21:3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them,

    John 14:2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.

    3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

    7 If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”

    “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our “abode” with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.

    John 1:16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.

    Psalm 16:11 You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

  111. SFDBWV says:

    Can’t nor would I disagree with anything you have said street. Any snow on your side of the river?


  112. street says:

    very little snow left in parking lots, from road crews, that have protection from the sun.

  113. foreverblessed says:

    Good morning everyone!
    May you have started your day praising God first!
    It is God who had the first Word, and God who has the last Word.
    And all Words in between are His too!

    And we are His children.
    Everything that is trying to keep us down we can lay at His feet, the foot of the Cross, and leave it there.
    And as a little child who is sure that Daddy handles everything, we can go on playing happily!

  114. foreverblessed says:

    Street, a dwelling place:

    Proverbs 9:1-12

    Wisdom has built her house;
    she has set up its seven pillars.
    2 She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine;
    she has also set her table.
    3 She has sent out her servants, and she calls
    from the highest point of the city,
    4 “Let all who are simple come to my house!”
    To those who have no sense she says,
    5 “Come, eat my food
    and drink the wine I have mixed.
    6 Leave your simple ways and you will live;
    walk in the way of insight.”

    7 Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults;
    whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.
    8 Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;
    rebuke the wise and they will love you.
    9 Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still;
    teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.

    10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
    and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
    11 For through wisdom your days will be many,
    and years will be added to your life.
    12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you;
    if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.

    (The bible reading in the Great Church of my city this week was:

    Psalm 111, that is the first of the 8 Hallel Psalms (Psalms that start with Hallelujah), they are read by Jews on the Passover night, the Seder night they call that here.)

  115. foreverblessed says:

    A dwelling place!

    And we will eat together, all of His children with Jesus, and we will have a great Feast! And if Hitler is there we can be sure that he has been redeemed, and cleansed and made new, that he is allowed in heaven. We can just talk with him, and have a good time. Although I believe that some communication about his redemption will be made clear, just like that of Saul, who persecuted christians, the story was told what had happened to him, how Jesus had struck him down by the Light, and how Saul became Paul. (Acts 26:12-18)

  116. foreverblessed says:

    The preacher went on the explain why this Proverb of Lthe Woman Wisdom was used:

    the first thing he said: God is male AND female. The Woman Wisdom

    !- Wisdom was with God before the world began
    Proverbs 8:22-31
    Jesus was in the Beginning with God The Word, through Him all things were made John 1:1-4

    2-The Woman Wisdom is the one who invites us to come.
    Just like Jesus was the One who says:
    “Come to Me, all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest”
    Matthew 11:28

    3- She has here table laid with meat and mixed her wine.
    Jesus says:
    “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal Life
    For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink
    Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood reamins in me, and I in him
    Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me”

    Johhn 6:54-57

    So the table Wisdom has laid for us, is the table with eat and wine!
    We live on the flesh of Jesus, and drink of the Blood of Jesus.

    This is a mystery, but it is the fullness of life that is shown in Christ, of which the old covenant laws were just a shadow of.
    We now live attached to Jesus, His Life flowing through us, cleansing us as it flows through us, and touching others around us, all those who are connected to us in love.
    So in love I seek to find my fellow man.
    May we have a blessed dinner together!
    A blessed fellowship together.

  117. foreverblessed says:

    The table with meat and wine
    (not eat and wine)
    Proverbs 9:2

    Let all who are simple come in here.

    You who are simple come to that table

    You who lack judgment: come eat my food, and drink the wine.

    Proverebs 9:3-6

    Leave your simple ways and you will live,
    walk in the way of understanding.

    And the understanding will come when we eat of the Flesh of the Son of God, and when we drink of the Blood of the Son of God.

    It is such a great mystery, and all the laws of the Old Covenant cannot give the power, the Life that Jesus gives through faith.

    And now I have written enough, may God bless you, (remember, God can only bless thankful hearts, seek the things for which you can be thankful, and so I was looking for what can I be thankful, today, and here on this blog, we here together who live in the faith Jesus our Savior:
    the greatest gift is this Table of Meat and Wine to be thankful for)

  118. jeff1 says:

    Thinking, Forever, of this song from Elvis this morning, as it is true we know so little of the unknown and therefor we make assumptions that are based on our own sense of justice and God’s ways are not our ways and so heaven may look very different to what I expect.

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

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

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

  119. foreverblessed says:

    Thabk you so much Jeff, for that song!
    THe mystery is only known to God, but He has given us some instruction what to do:
    Come and eat of the flesh, and drink of the blood of the Son of Man.

    And that is a mysterious command isn’t it?

    I would like to tell you some more, of that table of wisdom. The woman wisdom who says, come into my house (a 7 pillared house)

    When I was at the table of communion, last year, when my brother having this difficult conversation with me and all of the family), I saw a mountain, high as the building was, an alpine mountain, with snow on top. And then I saw a little mountain, high as the table was. And it was as if a question was laid before me:
    “That great mountain I have forgiven you.
    Can you not forgive your brothers mountain?”

    So when I was communicating with my brother again, last December, I would go upstairs and pray every time I had written something. I had written the email, and it was ready to be sent, And then I went upstairs again to pray about it.
    And there was one word put into my mind: Mountains.

    The mountains!
    So I added a PS, and talked about this story just above, that wisdom that was showed to me at the table of meat and wine.

    And you know what, just that PS was the thing that triggered my brother, the thing that touched him at the heart.

    Oh, that we would all sit at that table, and eat and drink, and be wise!

  120. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Viv and Foreverblessed. It is good advice to start our day with prayer as well as doing so before starting any project we undertake.

    Once again I am blessed with a huge beautiful “super” full moon settling in the western sky this morning.

    I love this time of day before the sun rises. All is quiet and dark, yet beneath it you can sense the stirring of life and only in a couple hours the sun will burst forth with all its glory.

    Along with the rising of the sun everything comes to life.

    The entire event has always reminded me of the rising of the “Son” and life with Him.

    With my spirit eyes I can see that day that rises when the “Son” appears. How my soul hungers for it, how my spirit yearns for it. God has blessed me and allowed for me to see it every time I see the sun rise.

    I do pray that you both are blessed today in every event of your day.


  121. poohpity says:

    I woke up this morning to the whisper of the Lord saying to me, I love everyone the same none any more or any less than the other. He seems to find pleasure in the things we do when doing good to others and displeasure when we don’t but it never changes His love for us.

    That brought to mind about the disciples thinking to themselves who would be greatest in His Kingdom only for Jesus who read their minds to say You do not know what you are asking. They did not seem to understand the whole intent that Jesus did not love anyone of them any different than other people. What was different was how closely they decided to follow Jesus but that still did not change His love for them just their decision to submit, listen or abide with Him and some even chose to walk away yet that still did not change His love for them.

    The kind of love that is not dependent on performance but on God. His kind of love is greater than anything our minds can comprehend and was poured out for ALL humanity. It is not about us and them mentality it is about everyone is special, no need to be jealous or envy because God is so big there is room for everyone to find shelter in His heart.

  122. jeff1 says:

    I can’t unfeel your pain
    I can’t undo what’s done
    I can’t send back the rain
    But if I could I would
    My love, my arms are open

    So when you feel like you can’t take another round of being broken
    My arms are open
    And when your losing faith and every door around you keeps on closing
    My arms are open

    I can’t uncry your tears
    I can’t rewind the time
    I can’t unsay what’s said
    In your crazy life
    My love, my arms are open

    Oh, and when your cursing at the sky
    And thinking, “Lord, you must be joking”
    My arms are open
    And when you’re looking in the mirror
    Thinking that, “my life is over”
    My arms are open

    My arms are open (oh, oh)
    My arms are open (oh, oh)
    My arms are open (oh, oh)
    My arms are open (oh, oh)

    So what did they do to you?
    Are you always done for me?
    And let me be the ground
    Underneath your feet

    I can’t unfeel your pain
    I can’t undo what’s done
    I can’t send back the rain
    But if I could I would
    My love, my arms are open, my arms are open

    So when you feel you can’t take another round of being broken
    My arms are open
    Oh, and when your losing faith and every door around you keeps on closing
    My arms are open

    My arms are open (oh, oh)
    My arms are open (oh, oh)
    My arms are open (oh, oh)
    My arms are open (oh, oh)

    (My arms are open)
    I will be standing here
    I will be by your side (my arms are open)
    You see me loud and clear
    With my arms open wide (my arms are open)
    I will be standing here
    I will be by your side (my arms are open)
    You see me loud and clear
    With my arms open wide

    My arms are open

  123. poohpity says:

    “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)”

    Amazing grace
    How sweet the sound
    That saved a wretch like me
    I once was lost, but now I’m found
    Was blind, but now I see

    ‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
    And grace my fears relieved
    How precious did that grace appear
    The hour I first believed

    My chains are gone
    I’ve been set free
    My God, my Savior has ransomed me
    And like a flood His mercy reigns
    Unending love, amazing grace

    The Lord has promised good to me
    His word my hope secures
    He will my shield and portion be
    As long as life endures

    My chains are gone
    I’ve been set free
    My God, my Savior has ransomed me
    And like a flood His mercy reigns
    Unending love, amazing grace

    The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
    The sun forbear to shine
    But God, Who called me here below,
    Will be forever mine.
    Will be forever mine.
    You are forever mine.

  124. foreverblessed says:

    How to find peace in our relationships
    (from bible studytools)

    This peace is more than the absence of war and strife. It is the positive presence of harmony, salvation, joy, blessing, and reconciliation

    —“the state of perfect well-being created by God’s eschatological intervention and enjoyed by the righteous.” [Douglas J. Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), 139.]

    In the context of Romans, it is the reconciliation of believing Jews and believing Gentiles both with God and with each other—both vertical and horizontal. We taste it now whenever we enjoy the fruits of repentance, confession, and forgiveness with each other. One day we will experience it fully.


    Can you go on insulting your fellow man and then say: God loves me always, unconditionally?

    There are no conditions to His love, no there are not.

    There are, however, conditions in living close to Him.

  125. Beloved says:

    Matthew 5:22-24
    Mark 11:25

    Good morning friends. These scriptures seem to uphold the horizontal conditions of fellowshipping with our LORD. I was just thinking how we treat each other may be how we treat Jesus. Its all intertwined I think. Love on the ground? I have a lot to think about today. Thanks Forever and Pooh.

  126. Beloved says:

    I took a bold step and placed a sign on my door the other day that says Jesus is the Answer. To my surprise and his also my caretaker came and asked if I was born again. I said yes, of course, then he proceeded to tell me how God had led him here and that he was feeling incredible guilt lately because he too was born again but terribly back-slidden. We had a wonderful conversation after that. Please pray he will return to Jesus and find the right church to begin anew in. Thanks. ( I’m truly excited about watching God move in my apt.building.)

  127. foreverblessed says:

    God loves you Pooh, very very much!
    And I love you too! Yes I do, no matter what, and no matter how you treat me.

    God loves you very very much Pooh!
    You are His beloved child! No matter what you do.

    Did God treat you like this, insinuating that you are not honost?:
    poohpity says:
    January 30, 2018 at 9:14 am

    forever a simple no would have worked. No, no one has come to me demanding an apology. So simple just to be honest.

    Did God treat you like this, insinuationg that you twist the truth, that by telling half the story the whole truth gets lost. Did God ever treated you like that?

    poohpity says:
    January 30, 2018 at 10:02 am

    ….On here we only hear your side which only gives us what you would like us to hear, only your perspective and the whole truth about it gets totally lost in that.

    These things that you write about me, really do make me weep. And I am very very sad about it.

    And I hand it over at Jesus at the Cross, and I say, I have forgiven Pooh, but what do You want me to do now?

    Simply say:
    Father in heaven, forgive her, for she does not know what she is doing?

    And then walk away?

  128. Beloved says:

    My Utmost today has good thoughts about the Gospel.

  129. poohpity says:

    Forever, Fact – there are always two sides to every problem in any relationship.

    Fact- you never answered whether someone has come to you DEMANDING an apology from you to them?

    Fact-anyone who wants someone to apologize to them would never demand them to apologize because that is actually not an apology at all but someone controlling the actions of another and nothing heart felt.

    Fact- I know how much the Lord loves me for many years and I know how much He loves you too. But as for you loving me it is only words to me that I do not believe in the least.

  130. poohpity says:

    1 Cor 13:4-5 NLT Love does not demand

  131. poohpity says:

    I know what the actions of love are.

  132. street says:

    after i read this i have a retraction to make, the retraction is from January 31, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    “Hear now My words:
    If there is a prophet among you,
    I, the Lord, shall make Myself known to him in a vision.
    I shall speak with him in a dream.
    “Not so, with My servant Moses,
    He is faithful in all My household;
    With him I speak mouth to mouth,
    Even openly, and not in dark sayings,
    And he beholds the form of the Lord.
    Why then were you not afraid
    To speak against My servant, against Moses?”

    i stand corrected…..ignorance is a bad place to be.
    thinking Moses could not enter because you can not enter by keeping the law. He did enter the presents of His God and his Friend.

  133. Beloved says:

    Matt 5 Jesus’s teaching on practical ways to love enemies, I’m wondering what the deeper meaning is when the enemy is a brother or sister in the LORD. I’m just learning this but I think it might have some real pratical application within the Body. I was telling the LORD earlier today it feels like I have to die a thousand deaths to learn what He is teaching me about His ways. Ha ha I think it’s tens of thousands or however many more days I have here on Terra firma. Sigh

  134. street says:

    thinking about the two sides of a relationship
    God is always right, i am wrong.

    God does demand my repentance.

    God does demand my love and affections.

    God can tell the difference.

  135. street says:

    the thing that causes true repentance is the love and faithfulness of God. it keeps me coming back. the emptiness and vanity of sin is another reason.
    godliness with contentment is great gain.
    learning to love

  136. foreverblessed says:

    Good morning everyone!
    God’s mercies are new every morning!

    And here we are again, having praised God first and foremost.

    And then now, here we are. And I read Pooh’s answer to me.

    fact 1: I did say; When they do, so yes, people have asked me for an apology. Shall I tell the stories?

    fact 2 My brothers side: my brother did say: Sorry for who I was, Januari 29, 5.25 am
    In fact he said: “Sorry for having been so egocentric, that must have hurt you a lot. Thank you for your forgiveness.”
    And the mediator was the person my brother himself had chosen, someone he knew very well.

    Fact 3 I did not ask for a sorry this time, I only showed how you have treated me.
    And you did not answer my question: Does God treat you like you treat me?

    Feeling 4 : It hurts even more that you do not believe that I love you. The very fact that I am giving feedback to you is a sign that I do care very much for you.
    When you say you do not believe me at all that I love you, you make me a lier.

    But…. I am happy that you do believe that God loves me.

    Now here is the point: How can we say that we love God, when we do not love our brother.

    Brother, meaning our brother or sister in Christ!
    We have to resolve our relations IN the church first.

    1 John 4:20
    Anyone who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.
    v21 And He has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

  137. foreverblessed says:

    That above comment was only for Pooh, so please skip it if you are not Pooh.
    And otherwise, please PRAY!

    With God everything is possible!

  138. foreverblessed says:

    But this is for everyone:

    He has given us this command:
    Whoever loves God must also love his brother

    1 John 4:21

  139. SFDBWV says:

    We had a marvelous day yesterday as a very dear friend came to visit. We were all blessed for it.

    This morning we have 4 inches of very wet heavy snow and I spent the earlier hours dealing with that. Followed by some much needed rest.

    Looking at the thread of conversation this morning, I am only going to say one thing about it.

    It is the Christian thing to not engage in a senseless argument. The wise Christian will walk away from such a trap. Jesus Himself walked away from such traps and so do I.

    Do not be confused that walking away from an argument is somehow walking away from a Christian brother or sister in need of love.

    Satan uses half-truths to twist into lies in order to deceive us. Don’t be deceived or let him use your good nature and you obedience to Jesus as a means of stirring up strife among us.

    Test every spirit and let your conscience be your guide.

    Let the subject we discuss be about the subject and not centered on any one individual.

    10 degrees.


  140. poohpity says:

    street, if God demanded those things from us it would not be heart felt for us to do them. Read about Jesus when He came in contact with sinners, not once did He demand those things from them. God does not demand our repentance that is something we do when we are aware of our heart condition but He forgave anyway. God does not demand that we love Him because that is not love, we love because He first loved us while we were still sinners and His enemies, those are the facts, not feelings or my thoughts but His words.

    Forever, those are not facts but they are examples as YOU see them from YOUR perspective, from YOUR side. In other words all about you. Love is not all about us because it is not self seeking. There is no way to explain away facts because they just are. You can not write something on a public forum that demands the public not to read it nor can you demand people do anything that you want them to do maybe at home you get by with bossing people around and telling them what they need, should, ought to do but I believe often people have their own minds and can think and do for themselves unless they are weak minded and follow anyone.

    I have shown my love for people on here by not calling them names like; elephant in the room, follower of the devil, arrogant, etc.., by not sharing my opinion of them, by listening carefully to what everyone says so I learn to understand them, by sharing what God actually does teach and not with absolute certainty but with it seems, by pointing people to God not to me. That is how I love everyone on here.

  141. poohpity says:

    Forever, just one last thing knowing how carefully I listen to each of you as your stories are shared maybe it would be wise for example earlier you said it was you who picked the mediator to help mend the relationship then now you said it was the choice of your brother for the mediator. So I am very confused about what actually did happen.

  142. jeff1 says:

    Personally speaking I do not find it easy to love difficult people and the best I can do is leave them with God and do my best, which is to treat them the way I would like them to treat me, and if that doesn’t work for me then I no longer anguish about it but try not to get caught up in endless arguments that I know God doesn’t want me to do, as it is serving no purpose so it’s best walking away if after a while there is no progress as often personalities do get in the way of harmony and it is often best to avoid rather than confront where there is no growth.

    Why did my dad make the right choices in times of conflict in this country because he never got involved in the endless blaming of one side pointing the finger at the other and instead stayed close to God and in doing so was able to agree to a peace settlement with his enemies because he trusted God for the outcome and not on his own understanding.

    God is the one whose love is ‘bigger’ but sadly we are imitators and often not that good of ones either.

    These days I prefer to spend time with people who bring out the better side because it makes sense to do so if I want to be more like Jesus and less of the old me.

    The lesson I learned from my dad was that he examined himself more than he did others and consequently seen there was room for improvement as there always is when it comes to following God and it was that which kept him grounded in Christ and his choices in life showed how grounded he was because when others where making the wrong choices he was making the right ones.

  143. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Morning Friends. Praising God for ALL the beauty of His Creation, ALL his countless Blessings that He bestows upon on us daily—-those we recognize as such…. as well as those we don’t or have come to take for granted–for hearing our prayers and for Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

    Foreverblessed, you are very loved and respected and I think you are a very loving and kind person( and I certainly don’t think I am alone in those thoughts) I hope you take Steve’s advice about walking away from a trap. I would add that if a person has read the bible over and over and knows what they are supposed to do and not supposed to do and repeatedly accuses brothers and sisters of things of which he or she him/herself is far more guilty….AND has been told by just about everyone he/she encounters of his/her offenses….and just continues in the charade of being the victim of the person he/she is actually victimizing….what is gained in arguing with such a person? I feel that TRYING to point out the offense and praying for those that seem to enjoy irritating me and walking away is what is best for me as well as for the other person. Anyway, whatever you choose to do…you are loved.

  144. foreverblessed says:

    Dear dear Pooh, dear dear Pooh,
    I’ve got to go, I’ll come back on this later.
    Do you know how much I love you?

    And dear dear Steve, I love you too, but God speaks to you differently then to me. Sorry sir. But back me up please and pray

  145. poohpity says:

    The whole point of it ALL is realizing that no one is any better or worse than we ourselves are so it would be nice not be the judge, jury or executioner because we only see them through our own lenses which often is not how they really are BUT God sees everything, hears everything and knows everything YET shows each of us so much grace. So the lesson for me is to stop wanting people to live up to my expectations and demanding perfection from them when I have so many flaws within myself which causes me to put my hands over my mouth saying, “Lord I have put my understanding in where yours should be and judged people that you love deeply and held them to my standards not yours which just shows my ignorance and lack of trust in you”.

  146. poohpity says:

    Dear, dear forever why not trust God enough to put it in His hands and let it go because often when we think we can change others it only shows how much trust we have in ourselves not in God.

  147. poohpity says:

    All people are broken in need of a Savior but those with a Savior complex think they can heal the broken. That is like a pot that has all kinds of cracks saying to another pot with all kinds of cracks let me fix you when only the Master Potter knows how.

  148. Beloved says:

    “Savior complex” ???

    Tame heed when you think you stand, lest you fall. Bible

  149. Beloved says:

    That’s “take heed”.

  150. Beloved says:

    The bible says the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty to pull down strongholds.

  151. poohpity says:

    Forever, you asked, “Does God treat you like you treat me?” with grace, yes.

  152. bubbles says:

    Yesterday I was blessed to visit with some very dear friends! ;) It was wonderful to visit and laugh in a beautiful place. What an encouragement! It is what I imagine Heaven will be like.

  153. jeff1 says:

    In a world where it is not hard to find people who will discourage you in trusting God then it is wise to keep company of those who will encourage you as you cannot avoid the first and so you are more in need of the second and I would hope that you would find that from fellow believers in Christ.

  154. street says:

    thinking about the first couple of post mart post to start off this post, on the ground. i was thinking the law was inevitable since adam and eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. people were dying and did not know why. adam and eve knew and they died. generations later people still were disobeying God’s commands to fill the earth. the law was given much much later. finally a standard to live by. only one problem-no one could keep it. breaking one rule gets the same punishment of breaking them all. the law did show us the presents of evil in muah. it also gave a standard of what good is! a straight line to see what was not straight or crooked. still did not help mankind. even up to this point we see, some were righteous and accepted by God. not on the bases of keeping the law. they were declared righteous before God on the bases of trusting His Word. a trust that changed the way they lived, obedience.
    after the law was given God gave the sacrificial system of blood sacrifice and the temple, made from the pattern that moses was shown. we kinda know the rest of the story. thinking yes moses was replaced by Jesus, the Messiah, Who sends the Holy Spirit to those Who turn to Him in Faith. to live by the Spirit as paul mentions over and over again, not by the flesh which reimposes the law.

    as i think of this Spirit and what paul speaks of, is a Spirit of giving, fruit of the Spirit as opposed to the old man, a consumer or destroyer of the earth. a consuming fire comes to mind here. i find it interesting in Revelation that God and the devil are on the same page to destroy the the harlot babylon. Jesus was right a kingdom divided against it’s self can not stand. at the cross the old man was/is put away. we are told to mortify the habits of this world the thoughts and ideas of this world and the tools and schemes of the world. to be replaced by the Word of God-Spirit of God-Jesus. new headship-new life. did i mention Grace and Peace?

  155. street says:

    poo said,”street, if God demanded those things from us it would not be heart felt for us to do them. Read about Jesus when He came in contact with sinners, not once did He demand those things from them. God does not demand our repentance that is something we do when we are aware of our heart condition but He forgave anyway. God does not demand that we love Him because that is not love, we love because He first loved us while we were still sinners and His enemies, those are the facts, not feelings or my thoughts but His words.”

    Matthew 22:36-40
    36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

    my thinking poo is how can we love a God Who is Spirit and invisible? we are physical or tangible? we can not possibly pay Him back? we were completely dead to Him. how can the dead make themselves alive?

    if i remember right john the baptist came preaching repentance for the Kingdom was coming very soon. to get ready or be prepared.

  156. street says:

    3 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
    He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. 3 So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you.

  157. street says:

    1 Corinthians 11:18-20
    18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part I believe it. 19 For there must also be factions among you, so that those who are approved may become evident among you. 20 Therefore when you meet together, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper,

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

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

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

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

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

    Romans 14:17-19
    17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.

  158. street says:

    poo i think this love and devotion comes from the cross not the law. paul spoke of being crucified with Christ yet alive. Jesus says we have to take it up daily….ouch. oswald chambers had some recent devotions on Salvation and Discipleship. Romans 12 speaks of a living sacrifice not a dead one.

    i have heard of a hunger and thirst for righteousness…is a hunger and thirst for a closer relationship with the Spirit the same thing? i think Salvation and Discipleship are in play here. they are not the same thing.

  159. street says:

    Wisdom From Oswald Chambers

    It is an easy thing to argue from precedent because it makes everything simple, but it is a risky thing to do. Give God “elbow room”; let Him come into His universe as He pleases. If we confine God in His working to religious people or to certain ways, we place ourselves on an equality with God. Baffled to Fight Better, 51 L

  160. poohpity says:

    street, this how I understand it. Yes Salvation and Discipleship are different. It seems Salvation is ours when we come to believe and after that we become disciples, in other words students, who learn from the Good Teacher. As Romans 12 seems to teach our minds learned all kinds of things from the world so now we desire to learn new things sort of like replacing the ways of the world with the ways of God but we are not left to do that alone but with the help of the Holy Spirit. Romans 12:2 NLT

    Then about righteousness. Our righteousness is in Christ so it seems to be saying the desire to grow closer in our relationship with Him, to hunger and thirst for more of Him then our ways and what we want seem to join together to form a union. 2 Cor 5:21

    Romans 3: Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. 20 For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.

    But now God has shown us a way to be made right(righteous) with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. 22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

    23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

  161. poohpity says:

    1 Cor 1:10 NLT I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. 11 For some members of Chloe’s household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters. 12 Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,” or “I follow only Christ.”

    13 Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not! 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 for now no one can say they were baptized in my name. 16 (Oh yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas, but I don’t remember baptizing anyone else.) 17 For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News—and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power.

    18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 19 As the Scriptures say,

    “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
    and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”

    20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. 22 It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. 23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.

    24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.

    26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.

    30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. 31 Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”

  162. Beloved says:

    Good morning all, yes, Paul was very zealous for Jesus and so should we all be. It’s truly a battle some days when the truth on the ground kicks dirt in your face, but life in the Spirit is so much more, isn’t it. I was reading Romans7-8 last night and was surprised and delighted to read that Paul actually loved the Law, and why. I was under the mistaken notion that the law was a curse, but it was only to unbelievers it was a curse! Some of my twisted thinking is unwinding. Thanking Jesus for clarity of mind. Praying clarity of mind for the blog also.

  163. Beloved says:

    Forever I’ve been reading news from Amsterdam and sending prayers for your country also. I’m happy for you there has been a reconciliation with you brother I believe? I have a brother who ran from the family and his own many years ago due to death threats from our father, and still lives in unforgiveness and shame even now after our parents are both dead. Hurts run so deep but he does have a Christian wife now so marvel at God’s ways when it comes to seeking His lost children. Oh the great love and patience of God!

  164. Beloved says:

    Street I think Romans 14:17-19 is in a nutshell life on the ground as God intended. Self examination is very important as to whether my words here promote that peace and building up of others. They will know we are Christians by our love, not our bible knowledge or our whatever.

  165. Beloved says:

    God bless the peacemakers here, and thank you. You know who you are.

  166. Beloved says:

    I love this devotional from Biblegateway today. More Truth on the ground!

    A Lesson From a Quiet Monk
    “Since we have been made right with God by our faith, we have peace with God” (Rom. 5:1 NCV).

    Peace with God. What a happy consequence of faith! Not just peace between countries, peace between neighbors, or peace at home; salvation brings peace with God.

    Once a monk and his apprentice traveled from the abbey to a nearby village. The two parted at the city gates, agreeing to meet the next morning after completing their tasks. According to plan, they met and began the long walk back to the abbey. The monk noticed that the younger man was unusually quiet. He asked him if anything was wrong. “What business is it of yours?” came the terse response.

    Now the monk was sure his brother was troubled, but he said nothing. The distance between the two began to increase. The apprentice walked slowly, as if to separate himself from his teacher. When the abbey came in sight, the monk stopped at the gate and waited on the student. “Tell me, my son. What troubles your soul?”

    The boy started to react again, but when he saw the warmth in his master’s eyes, his heart began to melt. “I have sinned greatly,” he sobbed. “Last night I slept with a woman and abandoned my vows. I am not worthy to enter the abbey at your side.”

    The teacher put his arm around the student and said, “We will enter the abbey together. And we will enter the cathedral together. And together we will confess your sin. No one but God will know which of the two of us fell.” (I heard this story at a ministers’ retreat featuring Gordon MacDonald in February 1990.)

    Doesn’t that describe what God has done for us? When we kept our sin silent, we withdrew from him. We saw him as an enemy. We took steps to avoid his presence. But our confession of faults alters our perception. God is no longer a foe but a friend. We are at peace with him. He did more than the monk did, much more. More than share in our sin, Jesus was “crushed for the evil we did. The punishment, which made us well, was given to him” (Isa. 53:5 NCV). “He accepted the shame” (Heb. 12:2 NCV). He leads us into the presence of God.

  167. Beloved says:

    One last thought, I think?! The college I went to believed that all truth is Gods truth. The more I look around here on the ground for Gods truth I am more content with my circumstances and don’t think so much about wanting/wishing to go to heaven. I think its much closer than we realize. The song goes “This is my Fathers world… ” lovely to think about!

  168. Beloved says:

    This is my Father’s world,
    And to my list’ning ears
    All nature sings, and round me rings
    The music of the spheres.
    This is my Father’s world:
    I rest me in the thought
    Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas—
    His hand the wonders wrought.
    This is my Father’s world:
    The birds their carols raise,
    The morning light, the lily white,
    Declare their Maker’s praise.
    This is my Father’s world:
    He shines in all that’s fair;
    In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
    He speaks to me everywhere.
    This is my Father’s world:
    Oh, let me ne’er forget
    That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
    God is the ruler yet.
    This is my Father’s world,
    The battle is not done:
    Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
    And earth and Heav’n be one.

  169. street says:

    Romans 12 seems to teach our minds learned all kinds of things from the world so now we desire to learn new things sort of like replacing the ways of the world with the ways of God but we are not left to do that alone but with the help of the Holy Spirit.

    12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

    it seems to me that a sacrifice has always been connected with sin. the laying on of hand, the act of spilling it’s blood. thinking how Jesus was rejected and sin placed on Him, also slain by same hand. except a roman cross was used to fulfill God’s Word. many prophecies. just as it was written long ago before it happen. being connected to this sacrifice also connects us to new life, resurrected life, never to die again. taking up the cross would be a joy knowing you could not die because you had already died with Christ. now we live for Christ, not ourselves. it gets harder as you go. as we go we build with what we have been entrusted with. we are familiar with gold silver precious gems wood hay and stumble. we know the materials that hold up to the heat. they have already been tested and proven. i am thinking, the thing that holds these materials together is love. the bond of love comes to mind. Spirit and Truth. we know one without the other is disaster. thinking of a greater disaster of Matthew 25:1-3.

    transformed by the renewing of your mind. this transformation is an action of God. the coming to an end of self. the wood hay and stumble of self is rejected. was thinking wood might be our works, hay might be our cultural man made rules and norms, and stumble our very own thoughts. we could be rewritten like a data base, but where would love be? God is the only One Who could command us to love and it happen. it only happens in Christ Jesus. not any place else.

  170. Beloved says:

    I apologise if anyone is offended by my thought on waiting for heaven. I’ve had plenty of days when I said LORD please take me home, now. Surprised for sure when He didn’t but learned I have a lot to learn in preparation for eternal life in heaven with all the lovely people here. Do not become weary in well doing. It’s inspiring to hear how all you saints are continuing to do good in your homes and communities while you wait.

    Street, life gets harder when I let go of my coping mechanisms and trust God. He always surprises me though like the name of CS Lewis book, Surprised by Joy!! It’s a treasure learning and walking with Him day in and day out!

  171. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Street for all your effort, and the scriptures you gave. Romans 12:1-2, so important!

    And thanks Beloved for the songs, and for the story of the monks! I actually thought that you said that heaven is closer right now, ha ha, I meant it to say: in our hearts right now!

    SO good to hear Bubbles that you had an enjoyable get together, (with a meal)

    I have been away, and had several very good get togethers, with meals, eating and enjoying company. And a lot of laughter too. I was thinking about that Proverbs 9:1-12 invitation, a meal together, and Jesus is the Saving Point, the Center.

    And Pooh, God bless you very very much. I was going to come back… and here it comes:

  172. foreverblessed says:

    Matthew 18:15 “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ (NIV)

  173. foreverblessed says:

    This morning I woke up very very early. And I had to think about the Cloud that Mart was talking about (Can you tell about “the Cloud in your life”), and on what he wrote this topic:

    “It is more about God on Whom the Direction depends than on us!”

    And I had to think about the Cloud in my life, of which I have written already, as it had to do with my brother: the day I read a that particular bible passage, the Words came out of the bible, literally, or as in a vision. (hard to explain what happened)

    And not only that, and with the Words, a wole of strenght with it, and power, and joy. And I knew this was not my doing it was all Gods doing.
    It is such a big miracle in my life, a miracle that it all depended on God! It is God Who has given the direction in which I had to go.What action I had to undertake, and God was leading me all along.
    The joy: For you will have won your brother, that was what was before my eyes!
    And I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for praying for my brother, And for sharing your joy with me!

    But do you know that you will share in this joy in a much bigger way? That at that big wedding meal with Jesus, together, you will meet my brother, and celebrate with him.

    thank God for this all!

    How things can get out of hand in a family. Where you referring to that courtcase in Amsterdam, Beloved? About that criminal man, and his two sisters, and ex-sister in law. It has been sooo difficult to get this man convicted, as he was too clever to ever get cought for any murder. He never killed himself, others did the job for him. Oh, how I pray for this family, and for God to work miracles there too! I pray for the soul of this man. God loves him dearly too.

  174. Beloved says:

    Forever I didn’t read about the man you mentioned but some cultural things I find disturbing. Seems like all cultures in the world are getting more and more decadent, save for the Body of Christ and we have a lot to pray about always with blind leaders in high places. Although the Roman empire was far worse than most now are. Its good to remember the difference we make in the world with our lives and faithfulness to share Jesus as our hope and promise of everlasting life. Reminds me of Marts thoughts of how we are guided by unseen forces now as by cloud and fire then. Actually it occurs to me maybe not all were aware at the time of Gods presence. Same thing today I’m thinking, which is why you and pooh are not on the same page so to speak? Just thinking. I could be wrong.

  175. jeff1 says:

    Thinking how I loose sight of God but He is never far away.

    When you walk through a storm
    Hold your head up high
    And don’t be afraid of the dark
    At the end of the storm
    There’s a golden sky
    And the sweet silver song of the lark

    Walk on through the wind
    Walk on through the rain
    Though your dreams be tossed and blown

    Walk on, walk on With hope in your heart
    And you’ll never walk alone
    You’ll never walk alone

    When you walk through a storm
    Hold your head up high
    And don’t be afraid of the dark
    At the end of the storm
    There’s a golden sky
    And the sweet silver song of the lark

    Walk on through the wind
    Walk on through the rain
    Though your dreams be tossed and blown

    Walk on walk on with hope in your heart
    And you’ll never walk alone
    You’ll never walk

    You’ll never walk
    You’ll never walk alone

  176. poohpity says:

    forever, you shared that scripture earlier when my reply was you never came to me one on one but in public to scorn me but never actually told me how I sinned against you but did share I hurt your feelings because something I said was misinterpreted or misunderstood which I did apologize for. So here is my question to you, “What was my SIN against you or done to you, specifically?”. Did I lie to you, commit adultery, be jealous or envious of you or anything you have, did I hate you, did I spread false rumors about you, call you names, steal from you, dishonor God or idolize a human being or something else?

    However disagreeing with someone or having a different view point or correcting false teaching is not a sin.

  177. SFDBWV says:

    I have for several days noticed that in Mart’s picture the birds are of different species, yet all still birds.

    The divine pillar and cloud Mart brings to the table is also found in all of God’s creation. If we would only take the time to watch and learn from nature, we might find we are learning from God.

    We may not have such names as Ruby Throated Grosbeak or Tanager, but like the birds in the picture while being different ourselves from each other we are all still people.

    God lets each bird be different, learn from Him to let each person be different also.

    Snow flurries at 28 degrees f.


  178. poohpity says:

    Yes Steve that is a very valuable lesson “to let each person be different also”. Sadly many want others to be like them, to think like them and if not they are rejected or ridiculed.

  179. poohpity says:

    I see those birds as having one thing in common where their focus is, UP.

    How do we ever learn if we fall into a pattern of only listening to certain people sort of like brainwashing or creating group think? New ideas, new thoughts, differing ways of seeing things are what make us each unique what brings us together is our belief in Jesus what He did and does for us and the leading and sealing of the Holy Spirit that should be what unites us, looking up also. But sadly looking around is more prevalent.

  180. poohpity says:

    To those who attend church today have a blessed day of worshiping by learning, singing and having fellowship with those who also believe in Jesus Christ, the person who brings unity to His church.

  181. poohpity says:

    Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT

  182. Beloved says:

    Good morning bloggers!

    Viv can’t wait for our Sunday morning hymn you usually post. Steve thanks for the inspiring message as always. Having a tough morning here with anxiety so as I cast all my cares on God I found comfort in this devotional from John Piper again:

    Five Ways Affliction Helps
    Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. (Psalm 119:67)

    This verse shows that God sends affliction to help us learn his word. We should ask how affliction helps us understand God’s word and keep it.

    There are innumerable answers, as there are innumerable experiences. But here are five:

    Affliction takes the glibness of life away and makes us more serious so that our mindset is more in tune with the seriousness of God’s word.
    Affliction knocks worldly props from under us and forces us to rely more on God, which brings us more in tune with the aim of the word.
    Affliction makes us search the Scriptures with greater desperation for help, rather than treating it as marginal to life.
    Affliction brings us into the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings so that we fellowship more closely with him and see the world more readily through his eyes.
    Affliction mortifies deceitful and distracting fleshly desires, and so brings us into a more spiritual frame which fits God’s word more.
    May the Holy Spirit give us grace to not begrudge the pedagogy of God.

    May all your day be blessed with all spiritual blessings.
    Love in Christ,

  183. foreverblessed says:

    poohm I have told you that you have judged my sorry to me a lie.

    I have told you that your judgments about my testimony were hurtful to me.

    I repeat, the way you evalutated my testimony was hurtful to me.

    I have given a testimony and you have given on three points your insight:
    In fact, I see them as a judgment,

    This is what you have said about my testimony:

    1-that it is all wrong to get a mediatior and confront someone else.
    2-that it is not done to have a one -sided information, that you should hear two-sides.
    3-And the first one was this one, (which I haven’t mentioned yet: we as christians do not confront anybody what their sin is, see your comment on January 29 8.27 am)

    So what I have against you is this:
    You have given to me an evaluation about my testimony, which I feel has gone far beyond to what you are entitled to.

    I would suggest that you talk yourself personally to God, and tell Him that it is not done to confront somebody else what they have done wrong.
    That Jesus never did that Himself, that He is all loving and forgiving.

    And that you have many years experience of counselling, so you know it very well.

    Tell God that it is neither done to have only one side tell how things went, that two-sides shoylc be heard.

    Tell God Himself, that it is not done either to get a mediator that the person who is confronted does not know.
    So actually tell Him that
    Matthew 18:15-17 should be rewritten.

    And tell Him that He had it all wrong to convey this message to me as He did,
    He said to me, (about communicating with my brother): You have done step one, now do step 2.

  184. foreverblessed says:

    Pooohm I do not call you the elephan in the room.

    But your three judgments about my testimony felt like three big steps of an elephant walking right over me.

    So I had to go back, and see how God had talked to me, and the only thing I can do is praise God for the guidance He has given me.

    For that all the guidance was about Him and Him alone.

    And if you do not like it, you talk to God Himself, and please do not bother me about this anymore.

    Please leave me alone with God, let God talk to me, Pooh.

    Youu are interfering way too much in Him talking to me.
    I am sorry to say this, and I am sorry if I hurt your feelings, but your judgments have gone way over the line of what is appropriate.

    AND I REPEAT: You talk this over with God yourself.

    I do not want to hear your arguments any longer. I am very very sorry to have to say this.

    And I love you very very much, not anything that you say to me, will make me love you any less.
    But I cannot let you say things to me that are not the truth about me, so I will now treat you differently then the others here. I am very sorry that I have to do this.

  185. foreverblessed says:

    To all other bloggers, thank you very very much for bearing with me.
    But I have now decided: I will not read any comments of Pooh anymore.

    Can I ask one of you, that if she says something encouraging, and positive about me, will you then tell me?

  186. poohpity says:

    Forever, do I not have the right as you do to have my opinions or my own thinking on any matters, I do not have to agree with you and that is not a sin. I have to get to church I will finish a reply to your accusations when I come back. Most of those accusation are how you read something not necessarily how it was meant or what was in my heart when I answered you but from how YOU saw it, from your perspective and that is not sin either. I asked for the Sin I did that does not include how I think, feel or read something that is again not a sin.

  187. Beloved says:

    Forever please do not torture yourself with false hope. Only listen to the Spirit of God here and not anything personal that is said about you- good or bad. Words are about as useful as a flower in bloom. They quickly fade away and die. But the Word of the LORD remains FOREVER!!!

    I know how good it feels to be well spoken of and we all need that encouragement from time to time. “A word fitly spoken is as apples of gold”. Remember emotions are fleeting also. God loves us despite ours and even God’s emotions. That’s enough, it has to be. I love you Forever and bless you in the LORD. I love you because of what you write, your personality and your love of God, it shines on here, even though I’ve never met or spoken to you personally. Hope this encourages you.
    Love, Joyce

  188. Beloved says:

    Viv you asked the other day about how can a counselor be hurtful or something like that? In school I was taught they are “wounded healers”. Those who go into counseling but are still so wounded they hurt more often than encourage. They acquire the skills but don’t have the ability to apply them toward healing, causing more injury at times. Lack of application to their own lives alienates them from their own clients. They become more like a cop or robot in their work, with little empathy, then turn the blame on to others. They are VERY skilled that way. Sounds familiar doesn’t it? Took me a while to understand the full implications on the blog but I finally figured out for myself what Steve has been telling us all along. Forever will figure it out also. It’s gut wrenching though. That’s exactly how it’s meant to be. Only Jesus can heal that sort of abuse.

  189. jeff1 says:

    Beloved, it was our Holy Communion service today and this is one of the hymns we sang which I really enjoyed.

    I love to hear the story which angels voices tell,
    How once the King of Glory came down on earth to dwell.
    I am both weak and sinful; but this I surely know,
    The Lord came down to save me, because He loved me so.

    I’m glad my blessed Saviour was once a child like me,
    To show how pure and holy His little ones might be;
    And if I try to follow His footsteps here below,
    He never will forget me, because He loves me so.

    To sing His love and mercy my sweetest songs I ‘ll raise;
    And, though I cannot see Him, I know He hears my praise;
    For He has kindly promised that even I may go
    To sing among His angels, because He loves me so.

    Thank you for the devotional, Beloved, as it helps me understand why God does what He does and that it is for all the right reasons.

    This was the Collect for today and I found it very comforting and hope it may do likewise for you in your anxiety today.

    I am glad to share this with all for encouragement today.

    O God, you know us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright: Grant to us such strength and protection as may support us in all dangers and carry us through all temptations; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

  190. Beloved says:

    Thank you Viv for the lovely song and prayer. They were very comforting as I needed today.

  191. Beloved says:

    Forever I hope you are not upset with me, I know you trust God for guidance and each of our journey’s are different and unique. Sometimes I post personal opinions which I need to be careful with. What I said about Steve having wisdom about the ongoing situation here I just had to learn on my own, with much prayer and soul-searching to cleanse any unjust motives I was holding on to. God doesn’t expect us to follow anyone but Him and our local pastor/leader. But wisdom is from God and I appreciate it eventually, lol. However slowly it sinks in.

  192. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Beloved! It’s OK.
    All is well!
    With my soul

    I will always have hope, God help me with His hope.

    And we do not fight against people.
    People are not evil.

    I love everybody here, God help me with His love.
    And with His patience.
    But take heart, with God everything is possible.

  193. poohpity says:

    Oh my gosh Forever I have always respected you and have watched your growth over the years from legalism to grace but your accusation against me are totally false.

    “1-that it is all wrong to get a mediator and confront someone else.” I never said that or even hinted to such a thing. I believe in having someone who witnesses when someone sins against another as I do about going to someone one one one when another sins against us. As for confronting someone when they have sinned is way different than if one gets their feelings hurt then the two people should talk in private because hopefully they are friends to begin with and each should share their side to find a resolution and restore the relationship. SO I do not know where you got that from.

    “2-that it is not done to have a one -sided information, that you should hear two-sides.” I do not even know what that means so I know I did not say that either. When a mediator helps in a broken relationship they usually will listen to both sides apart from each other, not from only one side because every relationship problem has 2 sides.

    “3-And the first one was this one, (which I haven’t mentioned yet: we as christians do not confront anybody what their sin is, see your comment on January 29 8.27 am)” I also never said not to confront someone who is close to us about a sin but to do it in a gentle loving manner for the purpose of restoration and healing . When someone cares deeply for another they will go to them mostly because a sin will not only separate them from God but from each other as well.

    As for judgement yes I do judge what people say, the reason is if I don’t that means I will believe everything that anyone says. I do research and continue to listen because the truth evidently comes out. My trust has to be earned but someone who tells me something different each time they tell the same story means something is not right. Does it really matter to me what they actually have done, no, because that kind of judgement should be left to God but I know they are not being honest in what they say.

    I do not hold anything against anyone who openly even admits to murder or any other sin, I think that is wonderful honesty and being real and open. I like those kind of people very, very much but I do not like people who constantly point out the sins in others, that makes me sick and repulsed.

    So as for all the things you accused me of none of them were true in anyway except maybe how your feeling were hurt. It must be a problem with reading comprehension or a language barrier most of them were assuming what I thought or what was in my heart and all those you are totally wrong about me and none of those did I actually say or write.

  194. poohpity says:

    It is no wonder you got into personal problems with the relationship with your brother, I am surprised it has only been with him. Not listening very well to what another is saying or assuming they think or feel one way or another will be some of the biggest problems in any relationship. The remedy to most relationship problems is good communication skills and especially with those who are the closet to us.

  195. poohpity says:

    Most but not all of those left on this blog care nothing or knows nothing about the topics Mart writes about and if someone does they are shunned. My peace does not find rest here and as Jesus said, If the home (or blog) is worthy, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14And if anyone will not welcome you or heed your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town(or blog).

    So it is with a glad heart that I wish y’all well and that the love of God takes hold in your hearts and you grow closer to Him during the reminder of your lives. I bid you a loving farewell to all the hate, bitterness and failure to try to understand anyone who is not like you guys are here with the group think, stunted growth and lives that are not lived with an abundant joy but with such misery and depression which most of you seem to have in common. Finally I shared my heartfelt opinion of what I think about you folks.

    Aloha! Shalom!

  196. jeff1 says:

    I was talking to my Rector and explaining to him that I never feel nearer to God than in my depression and not when I am on the mountain which says you should never judge another’s depression because you do not know how God is working in it.

    As an outsider here I have to say, Pooh, that your words have been saying what your heart was feeling all along hence you cannot fool your brothers and sisters in Christ anymore than you can God.

    Perhaps your honesty with God will also enhance your growth and allow those you have failed to love to be loved by the one who can love us all unconditionally which is what as broken vessels we all need rather than being judged by those who claim they support us when truthfully I have had more support from some who do not even profess to know Christ and that actually gives me hope that there are many who are much closer to Christ than they realise as kindness towards others shows the heart of a person who is imitating Jesus and I believe that pleases God because God is love and that is love in action which speaks louder than words that are meaningless without a heart for God to match them.

  197. SFDBWV says:

    “In the unheard yet unmistakable whisper of Jesus, He lets us know…when it’s time to stop, stay, and go.”

    Mart’s last sentence gave me rise to think it may be he is trying to say it is time to close up BTA and for him move on.

    I hope not, but this is his domain and we are just his guests.

    Earlier I had said I wish it were so that I had a cloud and pillar so clearly seen to say go here, go there, or stop, stay, go. But it just isn’t that easy.

    Paul talked about kicking against the thorns (pricks) as a way of describing going the wrong direction. It seemed that for him and I can say for me too often that was the clear message from God as to where and when to go.

    Stepping ahead of God always produces failure. That is not to say that some good can’t always come from good intentions, as it is written, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28 KJV)

    Key is knowing His purpose and listening to His voice, not our own.

    We have had a wonderful gathering of people here and even though the numbers dwindled, they can grow again if we keep a keen eye and ear to the direction of serving God’s will.

    The Bible has many sad stories of God having to use “tough love” in order to straighten out the path of some as well as give a witness to what happens when we walk off in our own direction.

    It is always a sad story to see someone fail to follow the well-lit path God provides (Psalms 119:105)

    18 degrees with flurries


  198. jeff1 says:

    I know in my own walk that I slip and fall more times than I walk upright and I am more like the wandering sheep who is needing guidance than the shepherd giving the guidance.

    I believe obedience is the key to not just listening to His voice but to following His direction.

    It seems to me that Jesus has followers who are much better at leading and others who are much better at following and I say this because I have seen the difference and I don’t believe that I grow to be a mature follower but that rather obedience is what creates maturity and I either have it or I don’t.

    I must recognise my own weakness or I can blame other brothers’ and sisters’ in Christ because I will not except that disobedience is my weakness.


    When I’m confused Lord, show me the way. Baffled and bruised Lord, show me the way, still my heart and clear my mind, prepare my soul to hear, Your still small voice, your word of truth. Peace be still your Lord is near. Always so close to show you the way. When I’m afraid Lord, show me the way, weak and dismayed Lord, show me the way. Lift my spirit with Your love, bring courage, calm and peace, You who bore all for my sake, so I could walk with fear released, with you beside me showing the way, showing, showing the way.

  199. Beloved says:

    On the ground…

    Ecclesiastes3 came to mind this morning as I though of changes here and how the climate, much like where I live, changes from season to season. Looking forward to a climate change on here as I patiently wait out winter on the ground. Blessings all!

  200. Beloved says:

    From Pastor Collin Smith…

    Step Out in Obedience
    Monday, February 5, 2018

    The obedience of faith… Romans 1:5 (NIV)

    It takes faith to step out in obedience, especially when you cannot see how the thing that Christ is calling you to do relates to what you are praying about.

    These servants were told: “Fill these large pots with water!” The pots held 20 to 30 gallons of water (John 2:6), so filling them meant getting about 150 gallons of water from the well! That was no small task and these servants had guests to attend to. No one was asking for water, so this hardly seemed like a priority. But it is what Jesus told them to do.

    Then Christ says, “Draw some out and take it to the master of the feast” (John 2:8). We are not told when the miracle happened. Did the water become wine in the pots or as it was drawn out?

    There will be times when you wonder what good can come from the basic things that Christ is calling you to do, when what you are worried about, for example, is a relationship: Get yourself saturated in the Word of God and in prayer. Get yourself into
    relationship with other Christians. Look for ways to reach outside of yourself to serve others.

    How is the extraordinary blessing of Jesus going to come into the lives of people today? Learn from this story: Ask Jesus and submit to his purpose. Trust in Jesus and obey his commands. Christ will work through your prayers and through your obedience to bring joy and blessing into your own life and into the lives of others.

    What is Christ asking you to do? What are you waiting

  201. jeff1 says:

    What God has always been asking me to do is to trust Him and not on my own understanding because I do not understand how God works in the grand scheme of the world.

    I have seen Him work in my life and it is that which gives me hope for a better world to come and it is having fellowship with other followers that encourages me in my walk as it is getting more difficult in a secular world where science and technology and religions are taking the glory of God.

    I think the question I have to ask is whether God is bothered that He gets the glory as it doesn’t seem that God is as bothered about taking the glory as His followers are about Him having it.

    God seems to be more interested in us loving and caring for each other and drawing on His power through His Holy Spirit to do that than He is about getting the glory and so I need to ask myself do I know God as well as I think I do or am I just beginning to know Him as He wants me to and not as I think I should because of what I have been taught by religion or culture.

    Is the thought of getting to know the God of the universe become quite daunting to me since I seem to have spent more time wandering and doubting His power than I have trusting in it!

  202. street says:

    Isaiah 42:7-9
    7 You will open the eyes of the blind.
    You will free the captives from prison,
    releasing those who sit in dark dungeons.

    8 “I am the Lord; that is my name!
    I will not give my glory to anyone else,
    nor share my praise with carved idols.
    9 Everything I prophesied has come true,
    and now I will prophesy again.
    I will tell you the future before it happens.”

    thinking of the sin that so easily entangles us and tarnishes the Glory we are to reflect like mirrors. consider the great privilege to see God and reflect His Glory since we are made i His image.
    sin is removed in Christ Jesus and we are promised the Holy Spirit in the ground. unless the seed falls to the ground and dies it can not produce fruit. we are told of different grounds the seed falls on with different results. the harvest is indeed joyful work. yet the hard work of preparing the ground was done long ago. patiently waiting on the Lord is not wasted time, it is a time of growth in the Lord of the harvest, a time to stop, stay, and go. the Seed that fell to the ground,Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—
    yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.
    2 And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and might,
    the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
    3 He will delight in obeying the Lord.
    He will not judge by appearance
    nor make a decision based on hearsay.

    ,has raised and is indeed fruitful.

    thinking Jesus has been raised and now sitting and waiting. we too! 23 Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.

    Matthew 6:10 May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.

    Because He lives I can face tomorrow

  203. Beloved says:

    Yes such wonderful Good News! The Kingdom of God came when Jesus did. What did Jesus do for us? He removed God’s wrath for sin. Better to believe and be born again like the seed in the ground that dies and springs up a new shoot! Thinking of when dear old Nicodemus asked Jesus how a man could re-enter a mother’s womb and be reborn which is absurd of course but Jesus showed him the Kingdom way! It just occurs to me we are like new green shoots in the Kingdom also, though our shells are still hanging on until the day of our departure. I’m going to focus on the Truth of Jesus and this wonderful Kingdom I’ve been born into.

  204. jeff1 says:

    God sent His Son, they called Him, Jesus;
    He came to love, heal and forgive;
    He lived and died to buy my pardon,
    An empty grave is there to prove my Saviour lives!

    Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
    Because He lives, all fear is gone;
    Because I know He holds the future,
    And life is worth the living,
    Just because He lives!

    How sweet to hold a new born baby,
    And feel the pride and joy He gives;
    But greater still the calm assurance:
    This child can face uncertain days because He lives!

    Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
    Because He lives, all fear is gone;
    Because I know He holds the future,
    And life is worth the living,
    Just because He lives!

    And then one day, I’ll cross the river,
    I’ll fight life’s final war with pain;
    And then, as death gives way to victory,
    I’ll see the lights of glory and I’ll know He lives!

    Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
    Because He lives, all fear is gone;
    Because I know He holds the future,
    And life is worth the living,
    Just because He lives!

  205. street says:

    steve said,”Earlier I had said I wish it were so that I had a cloud and pillar so clearly seen to say go here, go there, or stop, stay, go. But it just isn’t that easy.”

    i think you answered your hope with, well-lit path God provides (Psalms 119:105) even better, He provides the Holy Spirit too! i think the hard part is grasping God’s complete control over all circumstances. learning to live by the Faith, the Word, the Spirit that we have been entrusted with goes against the flesh and our thinking. abrahams faith had been developed over many years. what God began in Him, He brought to completion, happy are those who finish well. hang in there steve. i am so glad to hear the encouragement that you speak of from time to time. meek personal and powerful. God was at work when Jesus was walking on the earth, He is still working today through His Holy Spirit.

    John 5:17
    In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.”

    John 14:2
    My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?

    John 14:23
    Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

  206. Beloved says:

    Joy! John 15:11

  207. foreverblessed says:

    Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.
    Proverbs 21:21

    Is our deepest motive love?

    I also liked what Steve wrote: even if our attempts were walking ahead of what the Spirit told us, God can turn everything for the good. So I pray that God will do just that to what I have written here.

    For what I saw, is that Pooh said: Shalom.
    I say Shalom to her too, may God be with her, and comfort her.

    And Steve, I had been thinking the same thing too:
    Mart is preparing us to see that it is time for him that he moves on.
    I hope and pray, that everyone has christian people around them, in the real world, as this is called the cyber world. You are all real people, but I cannot see your physical eyes.
    I also want to tell you that I am doing fine! God is with hme, and I am trying to see where God is leading me. Where the Spirit says He wants me to be.

    But I have enjoyed this blog. I love all of you guys! (well, mostly girls). And the great learning experience I have had here. Thank you Mart, for giving this opportunity. If it is time for you to move on, do so. You have my blessing! And I am praying for your daughter. She is still in my heart. God bless her and keep her, and comfort her.

    On Sunday the verse of the day was: Psalm 18.
    And I do find that a very encouraging Psalm: God has the last say!
    He is powerful to save anyone who calls on Him, out of the depths of their hearts.

  208. SFDBWV says:

    Most people are still superstitious even though they won’t admit it.

    Always looking for an omen or a sign from above as a hint or clue as what to expect or what to do.

    I assume that because the true knowledge of God was lost through the ages after the flood, and more specifically the Tower of Babel, people looked instinctively beyond the natural world around them for that connection to the “supernatural” or that driving power that controls everything outside of our own ability to do so.

    The miracles of the Exodus are so profound that the generation that witnessed them could not deny their existence…yet they still had not learned to trust and believe in their hearts.

    A younger fellow who was also my manager, or boss, at my last job liked and respected me. He was very intelligent and thought I was too and because he did, he ask me how I could believe all that “stuff” in the Bible.

    My simple answer was that I could believe it because it was true.

    I had not seen the Red Sea part and the Hebrew people walk across it *on dry ground*, I did not witness the Nile turn to *blood* nor did I see the fiery pillar of smoke and the cloud that lead the way and protected Israel. But in my heart I know all of this to be true.

    As I read the whole of Bible history in my heart I have accepted every word of it to be true and when I read the Book of Revelation of events yet to come, I believe them to be true.

    It is said that the Holy Spirit bears witness of Himself and it that same Holy Spirit in me that allows me to believe and *know* these things to be true.

    It has been my experience that the Holy Spirit always confirms outside of our own knowledge by others when it is time to “stop, stay, and go” or answers to questions that need confirmed. The Holy Spirt confirms and gives us peace.

    Peace is only withheld when we don’t want or like the answer or direction we are to go. And so we look for some “sign” as proof as to what to do.

    24 degrees and cloudy


  209. jeff1 says:

    Faith, hope and love and the greatest is love, yet without Christ dwelling in me is impossible to do.

    Love often seems the hardest thing to do and why I may find myself so distant from God.

    I must make room in my heart for Christ but I must also ensure that He has the more room and I have the lesser otherwise I will be more like the wandering sheep than the Shepherd.

    Why do I feel nearer to God in my depression because it is where I am nearer to God as it is when He has the bigger space in my heart as it is when I finally see my need for His presence and when I find peace that surpasses my understanding as it is where I know God is everything He says He is and better and that lifts my despair as He sustains me to meet another day more assured of His presence.

    I come to the garden alone
    While the dew is still on the roses
    And the voice I hear falling on my ear
    The Son of God discloses.

    And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
    And He tells me I am His own;
    And the joy we share as we tarry there,
    None other has ever known.

    He speaks, and the sound of His voice,
    Is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
    And the melody that He gave to me
    Within my heart is ringing.

    And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
    And He tells me I am His own;
    And the joy we share as we tarry there,
    None other has ever known.

    I’d stay in the garden with Him
    Though the night around me be falling,
    But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
    His voice to me is calling.

    And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
    And He tell me I am His own;
    And the joy we share as we tarry there,
    None other has ever known.

  210. narrowpathseeker says:

    Dear Mart, I owe you a major apology for the disrespect I have shown you inadvertently. I allowed myself to get caught up in far too many moments and lost my focus on all the wonderful Wisdom, Love, and inspiration that was offered here. Many years ago, long before I found this blog, I waited anxiously for the Daily Bread to come and to read your BTA!! Your Love, Wisdom, Patience, Joy, Peace, Kindness,Self Control was so blatantly evident that I would read and re-read what you had to say several times. Unfortunately these days, I can’t seem to retain that much of what I learn anymore. However, I STILL recognize your beautiful Spirit and am genuinely sorry IF it is time for you to move on. I just want you to know that I will continue to pray for you and that I am genuinely remorseful of any grief I may have caused you here. God Bless you.

  211. Beloved says:

    Good morning all, thinking about life on the ground here. Though it may not be always easy we have great and precious promises from Jesus our LORD TO hold on to and testify to in our very lives. No superstition but real life for those who know it to be true whether through direct experience or blind belief! John:15″If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper,6 to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

    18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me swill be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.

  212. Beloved says:

    We’re back into the deep freeze with -18F this morning and as usual the skies are beautiful blue with sunshine with the extreme cold. God always gives a little Son shine when we need it most. Not a lot but enough to give us hope to carry us through another day. Blessings to all!

  213. Beloved says:

    Viv I think also God uses our depression or whatever handicaps we have to draw us to Himself. The blessings of being imperfect, and allowing it to become a conduit of grace in our lives. Oh how He loves you and me…

  214. jeff1 says:

    You have prompted me also, Narrow, to say sorry for I have too often become distracted and caught up in a spirit of unease and as you say Mart’s patience as surely been tested when sadly I should know better but allowed ‘self’ to get in the way of consideration for others.

    I am very blessed to have been on this blog as sharing my fears, hurts and disappointments has not been something I was could at doing with those I know so I have opened up here and found release in sharing and you have all helped me to know God better because that is what I have found here the presence of God in others who are closer to Him in ways I have yet to know and for that I am truly thankful.

  215. Beloved says:

    I’ve just been thinking about this verse then I read your post Viv. John 3:21NLT

  216. street says:

    steve said,”It has been my experience that the Holy Spirit always confirms outside of our own knowledge by others when it is time to “stop, stay, and go” or answers to questions that need confirmed. The Holy Spirt confirms and gives us peace.”

    Put your outdoor work in order
    and get your fields ready;
    after that, build your house.

    this proverb came to mind as i read what you posted. i was also reminded of the parable of the sower and the different soils. thinking of an honest accurate assessment of the world is needed. in the other parable of the sower it was asked was the seed any good? the Master said it was. an enemy came along an sowed bad seed.

    been thinking of the tongue in me from James 3, Romans 7 and Genesis in the story of cain. God told him he must Master it. to be Master in Christ. no darkness in Him.
    On the Ground

  217. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Beloved, I believe that God needs leaders in the world whose example is a light for those of us who have become distant or feel distant from God because of being more of a wandering sheep than like our Shepherd as I was a very confused person when I first came on here and I have become much more calm in myself which is making me feel closer to God.

  218. Beloved says:

    That’s so good to hear Viv. God is faithful. The site helps me to focus my thoughts more toward what God is doing in the world and gets me out of my head. The peace of Christ is very real, isn’t it? His presence is stronger than my worst anxiety and my darkest depression and what keeps me going! He’s magnificent.

  219. foreverblessed says:

    The our daily bread is also very good for Christian encouragement!
    And listening to Discover the Word, where Mart talked with a few others about Bible scriptures. Very very uplifting!

    But… on this blog we can talk with each other, personally! And since only a few are left, it is easier. Because when there are many responding, it takes a lot of time to read everything, and to remember who wrote what.

    But… Our Lord sees over our lives! If Mart moves on, Jesus is still there. We are shielded in His Rock
    Psalm 91:1-2

  220. foreverblessed says:

    Because he loves Me, says the Lord,
    I will rescue him.
    I will protect him,
    for he acknowledges My Name.
    He will call upon Me,
    and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honour him.
    With long life will I satisfy him
    and show him My salvation.

    Psalm 91:14-16

  221. foreverblessed says:

    Jeff, I am so happy that you could open up here on this blog! I feel your heart, it is warm.
    You say that there are others here who are closer to God. I do not sense that Jeff. You write things here that seem to come right out of God’s heart.
    So read that Psalm I just wrote above, Psalm 91:14-16
    And you might try to repeat that, saying it out loud
    Often during the day! See what the Words do in your head!
    I send a big hug to you

    ( And so I send a big hug to Pooh too, these verses I pray over Pooh as well. It feels like a failure that it ended like it has….. but… Jesus is still working, and I praise Him for His Work!

  222. SFDBWV says:

    I am not quite going to sing the swan song on BTA just yet. There have been many people leave here over the years for a lot of personal reasons. However every once in a while we still hear from some who say they read, they just don’t have anything to say.

    I personally left once myself, but just not with a big ado about it. I told Mart why and thanked him for the opportunity to participate, but came back after only a couple months.

    It has been a battle at times, but then life is a battle at times as well.

    This subject takes us into the Exodus when the nation of Israel wandered in the wilderness. Interesting the term “wandering” when we know that God took them straight to the Promised Land and when they did not trust God enough to go in He led them for a generation in the wilderness but not aimlessly. God still had plans or had plans all along as how the Hebrew people would begin their assault on the people already living there in that land promised to Israel.

    Without Joshua sending in his spies ahead of the downfall of Jericho, Rahab would not have entered the story. Spies weren’t needed, God empowered Israel to take the city, but spies were needed to save Rahab.

    If Israel would have entered the Promised Land when God first led them there, would Rahab still have been in the linage to produce Jesus? If so the entire story would have been very different than what actually did happen.

    I guess my point remains that God is in control especially when we think we are. The direction we take will be in concert with His will even if we think it our will doing so.

    Do we have a choice? Yes, but not if it goes against His will. For His will, will be done.

    The verse Mart gave us earlier and one that hangs on my kitchen wall says it all, (Proverbs 3:5,:6) “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” “In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”

    32 degrees some ice, fog and drizzle.


  223. Beloved says:

    Good morning all! I don’t think we are so few as we think here. On Marts face book page for the Beenthinking blog it shows over 6,000 followers! As in heaven, so on earth comes to mind. I’ve always felt encouraged by knowing there is a great cloud of witnesses surrounding me in my walk of faith. All can take courage here and wherever we go.

    Forever you can leave her in God’s hands. He always deals justly and with mercy. His ways are far beyond knowing even. Mystery is good for the soul, He cares for you and so do I dear heart. His love is enough I think, as we grow in grace and Holiness day in and day out through our faltering but determined obedience. I feel so blessed by the tiny group of posters here that are left, happy even which I haven’t felt for a long time! Happy and blessed, my flesh is singing!

  224. foreverblessed says:

    Beloved, thank you so much! Your words were medicine to my heart!

    I take it, that your heart also sings!
    Doesn’t that sometimes happen, that joy fills our hearts?! Joy, that we know is not ours, but God’s!

    It has happened before to me, that I knew that you guys on this blog had prayed for me, and that I was blessed because of your prayers! Thank you all.
    And may God bless you too

    God has the last word!

  225. jeff1 says:

    Thank you for the Psalm and the hug, Forever, and I shall repeat it as you say.

    Beloved, I believe God carries me because there are times when I feel I cannot go on and yet He comforts and strengthens me til I do.

    I am overwhelmed by this as I don’t believe I have trusted God enough in my life and even doubted His love at times when life was difficult.

    There is no problem too big
    God cannot solve it
    There is no mountain too tall
    God cannot move it

    There is no storm too dark
    God cannot calm it
    There is no sorrow too deep
    He cannot soothe it

    Oh, if He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders
    I know my brother that He will carry you
    Oh, if He carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders
    I know my sister that He will carry you

    He said, “Come to me all who are weary
    And I will give you rest, rest, rest, rest”

    Rest, rest, rest

    There is no problem too big
    God cannot solve it
    There is no mountain too tall
    He cannot move it

    There is no storm too dark
    God cannot calm it
    There is no sorrow too deep
    He cannot soothe it

    Oh, if He carried the weight of the world on His shoulders
    Oh, I know my brother that He will carry you
    Oh, if He carried the weight of the world on His shoulders
    Oh, I know my brother that He will carry you
    I know my brother and I know my sister that Jesus will carry you

  226. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Jeff, the words of that song are also good for me to memorise!
    Whatever the problem we face, God will carry us through!

    God, who carries the world on His shoulder, can He not carry our problems?

    The trouble we in our family had with our brother, it seemed hopeless, and it also seemed that he would get more bitter and bitter.

    The nights I have talked to His over it. Everytime laying my burden at His feet. But it would always jump back on my shoulder. ( Ha ha, that is more exactly me taking it up again on my own shoulder) The putting it back to the Cross over and over again.
    That to me is like a disciplinary thing.

    How long does it take me to leave it at the foot of the Cross, and walk away like a happy child, who is full of confidence that her mom (or dad) will take care of the problem.

    But looking up to God we do, again and again

  227. foreverblessed says:

    This morning I was reading my Bible, and it was John 12:1-7
    Mary, who was anointing Jesus, and the whole house was filled with the smell of the perfume!

    Mary, who was so much into sitting at Jesus’ feet, who sensed probably in her spirit, what was going to happen soon: Jesus Passion! Bible commentary say, it was just a week after her brother was raised to life!

    Mary knew that Jesus could handle any problem she would have!
    And she worshipped Jesus.

    How does this coincide with the topic?

    Hearing God’s whisper in your life…
    In my life…. whatever the criticism you get from others who do not understand what you are doing, you just worship Christ.
    And the smell of the perfume fills the house!

  228. foreverblessed says:

    If you do a search for: McLaren’s expositions and Alabaster box.
    You will find a beautiful sermon on the seemingly senseless waste on precious perfume, anointing Christ:

    What is the deep inner motive of what we do?
    Jesus asked Peter: do you love me?
    And Peter was looking inside..yes
    He asked it another time.
    And Peter had to look again…Yes
    And Jesus asked again
    Peter had to look again deep inside his heart, the motives, deeper and deeper, and he even there he saw: Yes, he loved Jesus.

    So Jeff, the same counts for you, when your mind seems to fail you, do you lovd Jesus?
    Because the other way round, Jesus loving you is as sure as that He can carry the world on HIS shoulder.

    But do we love Jesus? The more we look inside the more we see, YES, we do love Jesus!

  229. SFDBWV says:

    Because I think the best testimonies are our life experiences, I try and share my experiences as a testimony to Christ in my life.

    Viv talks about the battle in her mind between listening to God and listening to her own thoughts.

    I think we all have that same battle.

    In repeating myself I will remind you all of what Billy Graham once said about having the Holy Spirit in you. You know He is there when we have that battle within our hearts as what voice to listen to.

    And once again if you are looking for direction the Holy Spirit will confirm through someone else that which you have already decided and that same Spirit in you will recognize from whence the conformation came.

    Then you will know and have peace about the matter. Strangely you will know because you know.

    Just remember this, Jesus said He will never leave us nor abandon us. Hold tightly to that promise and remember whatever life throws at you the God of our creation is with you. He will not abandon us to face the matter alone.

    Like so many of the characters of Scripture I can identify with many in my walk in this life. As such I can have sympathy for some of them because I know how they felt and failed.

    Because of Jesus of Nazareth I am sure the same men who failed in life shown in Scripture will share heaven with me.

    I am often reminded of Psalms 51:11 KJV whereby even after David had sinned so badly the Holy Spirit was still with him. Yet whose voice whispered into David’s heart that led him to stray? Not God’s.

    The circumstances of sin remain, but we are forgiven and not left alone. Sometimes the only way we can learn is by making those mistakes that cause us harm. Something God wants us to avoid if we just put Him first in our thoughts.

    Snow flurries at 14 degrees f.


  230. jeff1 says:

    I agree, Steve, because I know that is what my dad did when it came to the troubles here and I seen how He trusted God by voting ‘Yes’ for a peace agreement with his enemies that would allow terrorists an amnesty while I sided with the ‘No’ voters and I know today that my dad was right in everything he said and it was because he seen the bigger picture and trusted God rather than on his own understanding.

    Pooh mentioned wanting more and more of God and I believe she thinks knowledge will get that but I know differently because I seen God work in my dad’s life and he had little knowledge but discipline was second nature to him and while my mum filled my head with superstition, it was my dad who reassured me that was not how God worked and I know today that it was my dad who knew God better and he knew him better because of obedience and not knowledge.

    I seen it myself here that knowledge pumped people up and made them unbearable to listen to rather than look like followers of ‘Jesus’.

    When I challenged my dad to why he give money to an alcoholic on the street he said he needs a drink now more than he needs anything because my dad knew where his duty ended and would say he is in God’s hands.

    He did his bit and God would do the rest and we know that no one should withhold drink from an alcoholic until he has been on a programme of recovery which takes that of a trained professional.

    The more I trust God through obedience the more God reveals to me.

    Trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey.

    Its where God wants me and its where he will keep me because when I run of on my own I am in danger that I cannot see as this world has danger’s that God alone knows and why God wants me to trust Him alone.

    When we walk with the Lord
    In the light of His word
    What a glory He sheds on our way
    While we do His good will
    He abides with us still
    And with all who will trust and obey

    Trust and obey
    For there’s no other way
    To be happy in Jesus
    But to trust and obey

    But we never can prove
    The delights of His love
    Until all on the altar we lay
    For the favour He shows
    For the joy He bestows
    And for them who will trust and obey

    Trust and obey
    For there’s no other way
    To be happy in Jesus
    But to trust and obey

    Lord, I love You
    Please help me to trust and obey
    Lord, I love You
    Please help me to trust and obey

    Then in fellowship sweet
    We will sit at His feet
    Or we’ll walk by His side in the way
    What He says we will do
    Where He sends we will go
    Never fear only trust and obey

    Trust and obey
    For there’s no other way
    To be happy in Jesus
    But to trust and obey

    Lord, I love You
    Please help me to trust and obey
    Lord, I love You
    Please help me to trust and obey

    Lord, I love You
    Please help me to trust and obey

  231. saled says:

    Steve says, “Because of Jesus of Nazareth, I am sure the same men who failed in life shown in scripture will share heaven with me.” What hope! This is what Jesus is all about.

  232. Beloved says:

    2 Corinthians 2:15-16

    Our Daily Bread March 18 2014 has a devotion on the aroma we give off to those around us.

    I’ve been thinking about the aroma I give off where I live, and how I hate being in large groups with eyes on me. Yet I forget how others do look to me for guidance even in my altered state due to my anxiety/ depression. It’s Christ they see and smell yet I have to remember to put myself under His leadership alone. It’s challenging and exciting at the same time.

  233. Beloved says:

    I just heard from a theologian recently that the perfume the woman poured out on Jesus feet was worth around $20,000 in today’s money! (Sorry I don’t know how much that is in other countries Forever and Vivien.) She knew and understood the value of the message and the Messenger/God she gave her all to.

  234. Beloved says:

    Saled I like that also. Jesus said he would not lose one sheep His Father gave to Him. Wandering, meandering, falling, stumbling maybe, but never lost!!

  235. jeff1 says:

    God is a much more generous God than I ever thought possible because in my head I restrict God but in the world God is not restricted.

  236. jeff1 says:

    This is an extract from the Parish News Feb 2018 which our Rector wrote and wanted to share it as I especially enjoyed reading it.

    Question: “What is Heaven like?”

    Answer: Heaven is a real place described in the Bible. The word “heaven” is found 276 times in the New Testament alone. Scripture refers to three heavens. The apostle Paul was “caught up to the third heaven,” but he was prohibited from revealing what he experienced there (2 Corinthians 12:1-9). If a third heaven exists, there must also be two other heavens. The first is most frequently referred to in the Old Testament as the “sky” or the “firmament.” This is the heaven that contains clouds, the area that birds fly through. The second heaven is interstellar/outer space, which is the abode of the stars, planets, and other celestial objects (Genesis 1:14-18). The third heaven, the location of which is not revealed, is the dwelling place of God. Jesus promised to prepare a place for true Christians in heaven (John 14:2). Heaven is also the destination of Old Testament saints who died trusting God’s promise of the Redeemer (Ephesians 4:8). Whoever believes in Christ shall never perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). The apostle John was privileged to see and report on the heavenly city (Revelation 21:10-27). John witnessed that heaven (the new earth) possesses the “glory of God” (Revelation 21:11), the very presence of God.
    Because heaven has no night and the Lord Himself is the light, the sun and moon are no longer needed (Revelation 22:5).
    The city is filled with the brilliance of costly stones and crystal clear jasper. Heaven has twelve gates (Revelation 21:12) and twelve foundations (Revelation 21:14). The paradise of the Garden of Eden is restored: the river of the water of life flows freely and the tree of life is available once again, yielding fruit monthly with leaves that “heal the nations” (Revelation 22:1-2). However eloquent John was in his description of heaven, the reality of heaven is beyond the ability of finite man to describe (1 Corinthians 2:9).
    Heaven is a place of “no mores.” There will be no more tears, no more pain, and no more sorrow (Revelation 21:4). There will be no more separation, because death will be conquered (Revelation 20:6). The best thing about heaven is the presence of our Lord and Saviour (1 John 3:2). We will be face to face with the Lamb of God who loved us and sacrificed Himself so that we can enjoy His presence in heaven for eternity.

  237. Beloved says:

    Thank you Viv I really enjoyed reading that!

  238. street says:

    On the Ground
    thinking about the perfume mentioned above.
    was reading about the perfume that was used in the temple.
    i can not recall any place where perfume was used in the temple other than it’s presents. thinking of the pattern of the temple that was made, so the perfume is made after a pattern too. we use perfume to cover less pleasant smells or just really bad odors. a covering, if you will. the perfume the woman poured out is a pattern too. broken and poured out to Christ. a physical manifestation of what is transpiring in the woman. as James said let us not look into the mirror and walk away and forget what we are. instead of looking into the law looking to Christ makes all the difference on the ground.

  239. Beloved says:

    More life on the ground.. Talk about James-
    Today I was slandered by someone which caused me great distress so of course I asked God immediately what to do. I struggled because my intentions were misunderstood and nothing I could think to say would change their perception. They are not Christian. God reminded me of mercy, which saved me and saves all who call on Jesus. Broken bread and poured out wine He was for me, the unkind, the unlovely, the ungrateful. I felt His pain for others because of my own. Excruciating. Oil of joy mixed with the perfume of forgiveness, a sweet smell. Blood and water all over the ground below the cross. Heaven will be amazing!

  240. foreverblessed says:

    If you want to see what heaven is like,
    see on BBC:
    Winning photos from the international garden photographer 2018.

  241. foreverblessed says:

    Belovend, last night I had a something simular happening tot me, accept, that after I explained what my intentions were, the person involved ( a christian) said:
    “I believe you”


    That gave such an amount of space in my heart!

  242. SFDBWV says:

    Just a quick reminder that once the cloud has lifted we can move on into undiscovered territory and new “ground”.

    Bringing with us all we have discovered in the old territory and brought it with us.

    Where He leads I will follow.


  243. Beloved says:

    Proverbs 3:7 Be not wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

    I don’t know about the rest of your but i have a hard time sometimes with what

  244. Beloved says:

    Sorry posted too soon, scratch that last sentence.

    I don’t know about the rest of you but sometimes what I see as wisdom turns out to be wrong. Trusting seeking listening seem to be the only way to know God and His wisdom, pure, peaceable, full of good fruits etc.

  245. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Evening Friends….I’m still thinking about the Power of prayer….the overall power we have access to as Christians…I remember when my niece that was like a daughter to me had died, standing in church sobbing and asking, “Why are we such powerless Christians?!!”

    Well that was about 10 years ago!!!! I am ready to move on with His POWER…let us glorify His Name in His power…doing as much good as we can in His power..getting filled with His Love and Compassion in His Power.. I think that there is a lot of Power in Love…that is why the enemy works so hard to provoke hate….I’m feeling His Love right now and praying that you all are being filled to capacity with His Love to move on with Power.

    As I proofread the above…I smiled as it sounds as though I have been drinking…lol…but I haven’t friends…I haven’t even had as much as a glass of wine in months! I am just right now so filled with Love, Joy, Peace and Hope!!! It is just a typical evening…there is nothing materialistic nor physical out of the ordinary that has happened…just spiritual…may you all be Blessed!

  246. foreverblessed says:

    Dear Narrow, thank you very much for your inspired words!
    I so do agree with you! The great importance of prayer!
    It is God working what we ask for, according to His Will!

    And praying in one accord, dubbels the effect greatly!

    The only thing I need to do is getting more and more in line with Jesus.
    I believe that God is firstly disciplining me, training me, so that I am a well- tuned instrument.

  247. foreverblessed says:

    Narrow, you mentioned love.
    When I had this path with my brother, at some time, last year, there was this very still small voice, asking:
    Do you love your brother?

    Do you love your brother?

  248. foreverblessed says:

    God can only work in us where there is love…

    I had prayed before: I have forgiven my brother, but please, help me, I want to love him too!


  249. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed do you not love your brother? If you feel you don’t, then ask yourself why.

    If he were hungry would you feed him? If he needed clothes would you clothe him?

    If he was hurt would you try to help him?

    If he needed prayer would you pray for him?

    I think Foreverblessed if you look a little deeper you might find that you love him after all.

    Praying for all of us here as well as thanking God for each of you.

    26 degrees f and cloudy.


  250. SFDBWV says:

    Whereas there is great similarity in the cloud Mart mentions that led Israel as a group or nation of people and that “unheard yet unmistakable whisper of Jesus.” One speaks to a nation the other to the individual.

    God speaks to each of us in such a personal way that unless it is meant as some larger event meant to move the full body of Christ, it is only meant for one person.

    We must not confuse the whisper or the cloud meant for us to be meant for all, as most often it is only meant for you.

    There are times when God speaks through us for others, but most often we don’t even realize it and is different that the whisper Mart has mentioned.


  251. foreverblessed says:

    I am sorry Steve, I had shared this story with my brother already more than once.

    And that it was a sweet small voice, and that when God asked me I could say : Yes I do!
    I had shared that already twice, so when I worte it again, I took for grantd that you all would remember that.
    I wrote it again this morning, as was the thing Narrow said: It is all about love!
    ASO that question about love came into my mind.

    So yes, I coudl answer to that in a YES/

    And I had already talked about God asking me that question before He went on to say, what I had to do, namely, these verses in Matthew 18;15-16

    And that I have won my borther. And that in all this I have seen the cloud moving. But do you meant o say, that this was a private thihg, that I should not have shard it here?

    I thought that this was a wonderful testimony, in mysterious ways God leads His people.

    So I say sorry to God: Sorry! If I did not listen to You good enough, that I should not to have written about it here.
    I shall try and listen harder wshat You want me to say.

  252. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed please understand me when I say that when God whispers into your ear it is for you to hear and to obey.

    Once prayer is answered indeed it is our joyous responsibility to share answered prayer with any and all.

    We should indeed give God the glory for answered prayer.

    When I say the whisper is a private matter, I mean He is speaking to you individually. He is not speaking to the entire body of Christ, unless you need the entire body to agree with you in prayer.

    Then it is a matter for the whole body of Christ to pray together for the good of even one person.

    I am happy for your reconciliation with your brother and equally happy that you shared your story with me and all of us.

    I hope I am clear on this.


  253. street says:

    was reading Proverbs 3 today. the text sighted for this chapter of BTA. the very first two words caught my attention. “My son,”

  254. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Steve, I was thinking in the line of Narrow, that our prayers are so important.
    I had asked you guys for prayer for my brother, and many did pray for him. So I felt that it was a victory shared by all, A victory that is done by Jesus Christ. But He acts on our prayers.

    If we agree together that we in unity should pray for a certain person, our prayers are so much more powerful than me alone.

    That praying thing is so powerful. So I do agree with Narrow, and that we should be courteous as to our motives, that we really do love the other person, no matter how imprisoned they are in the evil world. I had to see with God’s eyes, see through the harsh treatment, see through the many accusations that he made towards me and all the family.
    See as God sees: A person who is blinded by the evil thoughts that are bombarded into his mind, and he cannot see the truth of God anymore about another person.

    And I will share some more on my brother. years ago, when the reconciliation was still far away, God gave me a bibleverse, concerning my brother:

    “How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!””
    Isa 52:7

    Meaning that the feet of my brother would be blessed and bring peace. The realisation of this going to happen is getting closer.
    As my family, who was in a fundamental christian church, and after a big crisis and the church split up, my other siblings became atheists. (Accept for my brother, who remained a christian, but very unforgiving)

    That when God is having the Great Say in what is going to happen, it will be a blessing to many. And I do pray for all my unbelieving brother and sisters, and their children. And I do rejoice of the Godly peace that will be spread in the family.

  255. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you Foreverblessed, your testimony of God in your life is uplifting and brings a smile to many faces I am sure.

    It is our duty to obey God and our duty to share our life victories with all. Through our testimonies others can have hope and it is in that hope that miracles come.

    When we speak of God operating in our life struggles it isn’t about us, but rather about Him and how He never leaves us nor abandons us to our pain. Sooner or later our prayers bear fruit and when the time is right our prayers are answered.

    Thank you for your patience with me and your love for us all.


  256. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Afternoon All. Yesterday, I asked the Lord to help me to recognize someone in need and to empower me to do something kind for them.. Well, off we went into town and we didn’t even come across any of the homeless souls we usually see to give them handwarmers and some change. However, I kept running into people being very kind to ME!!! I even had an older lady stop me to compliment me on my hair style!! I had to come home and look in the mirror from several angles to see if she was being facetious!…lol…I am thinking that the Lord chose to have others recognize MY NEED to see that He has a lot of His people out there doing good and that evil hasn’t taken over, like it appears to have done when listening to the news. Then at home I was overcome with wonderful feelings and that is when I posted…

    Foreverblessed, just as Steve discerned, you DO make me smile and Bless me with your testimony as well …thank YOU…

    I hope all is well with Vivian….she hasn’t posted in awhile….prayers going out for her.

  257. jeff1 says:

    Jesus is where I find rest and strength and the will to endure because of God’s promise that I have Salvation through Christ and so when I struggle or am weary I focus on God’s promise that He will complete His good work in me.

    May His peace be with you till we meet again
    May His peace be with you till we meet again
    Till we reach that distant shore
    And we’ll shed a tear no more
    May He give you strength to endure
    Till we meet again
    Till we meet again

    May His peace be with you till we meet again
    May His peace be with you till we meet again
    Till we reach that promised land
    And we’re walking hand in hand
    May He give you strength to stand
    Till we meet again, we meet again

    May His love be with you till we meet again
    May His love be with you till we meet again
    Till we walk the streets of gold
    Where we’ll never, never never never grow old
    Cause I found rest for my soul
    Till we meet again
    Till we meet again

    May His peace be with you till we meet again
    May His peace be with you till we meet again
    Till we reach that distant shore
    And we’ll shed a tear no more
    May He give you strength to endure
    May He give you strength to endure
    Till we meet again
    Till we meet again
    Till we meet again
    Till we meet again

  258. jeff1 says:

    Thank you, Narrow, I am fine and thinking of what you said about seeing others who are not doing evil and I agree that it is imperative to focus on the goodness of people because the media are much more focused on the evil in the world and that is why I am not keen to watch it as it can get into your head and God wants us to focus on what keeps us strengthened and united and the world loves to divide.

    I have stopped looking back as there is no changing the past but there is a younger generation who deserve to have a better future because we should be always looking onwards and upwards as God is always with us and that should give us a heart to endure. I sent a card to my son’s girlfriend who has Crohn’s disease and is in hospital and on it was ‘behind the cloud the sun is still shining’ and it make me feel very sure that God is never far away.

  259. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Steve and Narrow, for your encouragement.

    I was also thinking, when I ask for prayer, I always ask: If God gives you a prayer, pray it.

    Because I do not want to make anyone feel guilty for not praying.

    But your reactions show me that you do not feel guilty, thanks for that though!

    Narrow, and also thank you for sharing what God has showed you: there are many good people around you.

    That is right, it reminds me of : If there is anything good to think about, think about that! Philipians4:8

    My mother got very depressed, and sceptical about our country, then we advised her to take another daily newspaper. She had a daily telegraph, that was biased, talking too much about what evil could happen to older people, and stressing the bad things. Now she has another newspaper, a christian one, and it is like Mart’s blog, talking about the nuance. She is actually doing much better now.

    You could choose to read the christian news sites, so as to get some news, and have the christian nuance,

    ( not the nuance of: This earth will be burned up anyway, lets forget about taking good care of it. )

    But, as long as there is antorher day, “I will pland an apple tree in my garden” Maarten Luther, said something like this:

    “Even if I knew that Jesus would come tomorrow,

    I still would plant an apple tree today.”

  260. foreverblessed says:

    Jeff, thank you for that song, I sang that when I was a little girl, when we would go to England for big christian conferences! That would always make me cry.

    I will pray for your sons girlfriend too!

    I saw an interview with the SinFein leader last Sunday. The interviewer asked him: One time you will meet your Maker, what will you say to Him.
    He answered: “I know that Jesus will not condemn anybody”

    Today it was in the news that he is retiring. Some said, whatever he did that we have questions about, at least he convinced the IRA to stop the killing and start talking instead. He was crucial in the peace process.

    Anyway, we are not his judge, but hard it is, when things of the past are not in the open.
    Everything that is done in the hidden parts, will be in the open one day. Better to face the hidden secrets one by one,(God is merciful) and get rid of them. In Jesus everything is taken up, and gone. And no-one will find them anymore.
    Covered by the blood of Christ.

  261. foreverblessed says:

    Proverbs 3:21-26

    My son, do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight,
    preserve sound judgment and discretion;
    they will be life for you,
    an ornament to grace your neck.
    Then you will go on your way in safety,
    and your foot will not stumble.
    When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
    when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
    Have no fear of sudden disaster
    or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
    for the Lord will be at your side
    and will keep your foot from being snared.

  262. foreverblessed says:

    Steve, You told me not to get into uselss arguments. So here I am telling you what I did in talking with Pooh, maybe I became too adament, in trying to show her the way she treated me was not very well. Maybe I did not hear God good enough, as He did not speak so loud as He did with my brother.

    When I read Matthew 18:15-17
    Consider it from the point of view of the person who has sinned against you: It must seem to him as being salked. Again and again they would confront him with the selfsame thing, which he denies vehemently. And they do not leave him alone!

    But when I read it now again, it is followed by:
    Matthew 18:18-19
    and that is a very very positive scripture:

    18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be[a] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

    19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. “—

    If two christians agree on a certain point, like praying for somebody, then God will do what we ask for, anything that we ask in His name.

    In Jesus’ Name

  263. foreverblessed says:

    As being stalked, (not salked) again and again he would feel they are harassing him with the same %$@

    And yet, it says that Jesus told us to do so.
    So as to win your brother!

  264. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed Matthew has just finished his dinner and I got him settled into his big easy chair with some TV and I came to the computer to check on things and catch up on BTA.

    When I read your last comment to me I see a long and perhaps labored discussion on the horizon concerning several things.

    I am not sure I have the time this evening to get into much of what you have opened up.

    However just to get things started I will ask you in all of your life has *everything* that you and another Christian agreed to in prayer and ask of God together in the name of Jesus, been granted just as you ask?

    If your answer is yes, you are the first and only Christian I know of who gets everything they ask for simply by following the formula laid out in the Scriptures you have provided.

    This is a huge and complex subject as are some of the subject matter you are alluding to regarding staying away from senseless arguments.

    Sometimes it is best to shake the dust from our feet and walk away, just as Jesus said regarding people who reject the Gospel. Mark 6:11 KJV and Luke 9:5 KJV

    In fact God Himself made a pretty powerful statement regarding evildoers in Romans 1:28-32 KJV in that He gave them over to a reprobate mind.

    Rather than argue with them He let them do as they wished and went ahead and died for them anyway.

    We are instruments of God’s will. If He wants something done through us He will empower us to get it done. But everything we want to get done isn’t always what He wants done, or at least by and through our imaginings.

    I imagine if you are like me, sometimes you get an overpowering urge to pray and have no idea why nor even what to pray. Perhaps you awake in the middle of the night with such an unction on you and all you can do is perhaps moan and groan or even speak in tongues as the Holy Spirit uses you to accomplish His will somewhere apart from your knowledge.

    Believe me Foreverblessed if it were so easy as to just get two Christians to agree together with me concerning getting answered prayer, my son would not have suffered one hour in these past 18 years and 9 months, for hundreds of us have prayed for as many years for his healing as the time is *not yet* as only in God’s time and only in God’s way will it become accomplished.

    What God lays on your heart He may not lay on another’s. Obey God’s unction’s and His will, will be accomplished in you. That is something you cannot lay on another, only God anoints and only God empowers.

    Sorry I went way farther than I intended. I hope I have given you some subject matter to think about, I have thought about them for most of my life.


  265. Beloved says:

    In the unheard yet unmistakeable whisper of Jesus, he lets us know…when its time to stop, stay, and go.

    Thinking of a time in my life when God said “its time to let go”. I became a Christian 10 years into my marriage. After divorce 3 years later he started to attend church with me and went to a Billy Graham counselor training session with me. Other men in the community were sharing the gospel with him. Yet thru out all these opportunities he refused Jesus. God had to tell me to let go. It seemed unreal He would say that, but when I did I felt free finally to move on with the life God wanted for me. Easy? No! My flesh was so attached and stubborn. But I found peace that was promised.

    I Corinthians 7:15 (unbeliever)

    Matt. 18:17 (believers)

    Romans 14:19 peace is a big deal to God. I like it also.

  266. Beloved says:

    Matt. 18:17 reminds me that Jesus loved tax collectors and gentiles. He didn’t judge them only invited them to follow Him, I believe. And to receive mercy for their sins through Gods grace.

  267. foreverblessed says:

    Steve, the matter about which I think when praying, is praying for the soul of people we come in contact with.

    So if you ask me: have I seen prayer answered?
    Then I have to say: Yes, with eyes of faith, I see the souls of those I have prayed for, being saved and in paradise.

    So I do not mean to say, miracles happening now.
    Physical blessings, and healings of the body.

    (However, I prayed with a fellow christian two days ago, who had been involved with my brother too, and we prayed, and the next day she said, a miracle had happened: She was freed from severe bleeding she had for a couple of months. But I must say, we did not specifically pray for her physical healing, but for God to give her the Light of His Truth about what was happening with her)

    This change of heart in my brother, I see as a miracle where we have prayed for. It is happening now!

    (And I keep praying for him, as the enemy will try to get into his thinking, back into the evil patterns, the paranoia he was getting into.I pray that he will stick to his determination not the think evil of other people anymore)

    So my prayers are more of the heart-thing.

    I just happened to have look on the blog. But now I have to go to bed, as tomorrow I will be in church playing the piano, and the guitar man is quite new, and not very well …eh what is the word: untrained. So it means a lot of concentration for me. (But God looks at us, and enjoys our efforts, I know for sure, I play for Him)

    Have a very good night, and give my best regards to Matt and Glenna, have a blessed night, with the nearness of God with you all, and the peace of God in your hearts (Isn’t that a good prayer, and if you pray that with me, we have prayed both together!!!)

  268. jeff1 says:

    Thinking Forever that politics is mucky and politicians rarely say what they mean or mean what they say as they are playing to the media and their supporters.

    I agree that he was crucial in the peace process though I suspect his motives are less honourable but God can turn it around to accomplish His will and the future will be brighter for all and that is what matters as there has been enough fighting for territory when God is the keeper of all and when we start seeing it like that then wars will be a thing of the past and I believe a younger generation has the vision to see that sharing this world is a better option than destroying it.

  269. jeff1 says:

    From Sunday morning reflections by Karen Peck this beautiful song says it all.

    Some days you may lead me through green pastures
    My heart drinks in deep the waters sweet
    And some days you may lead me through the desert
    Even then you’re still the reason
    I can say

    I am blessed beyond measure
    So far beyond what’s gained from earthly treasurers

    Whatever comes my way
    still my soul will say
    I am blessed
    I am blessed

    Through the troubled pain and disappointments
    When it seems that I have nothing left
    You will never leave me or forsake me
    I will testify until my dying breath

    I am blessed beyond measure
    So far beyond what’s gained through earthly treasures

    Whatever comes my way
    Still my soul will say
    I am blessed
    I am blessed

    You alone are my reward
    With you I want for nothing more
    And because your goodness follow me all my days

    I am blessed beyond measure
    So far beyond what’s gained through earthly treasures
    O whatever comes my way

    Still my soul will say
    I am blessed
    I am blessed
    I am blessed
    I am blessed
    I am blessed Thank you Jesus

  270. Beloved says:

    On the ground:
    Isaiah 9:7

  271. Beloved says:

    A whisper from Jesus

    “The first love says: ‘You are loved long before other people can love you or you can love others. You are accepted long before you can accept others or receive their acceptance. You are safe long before you can offer or receive safety.’ Home is the place where that first love dwells and speaks gently to us. It requires discipline to come home and listen, especially when our fears are so noisy that they keep driving us outside of ourselves. But when we grasp the truth that we already have a home, we may at last have the strength to unmask the illusions created by our fears and continue to return again and again and again.”
    (LIFESIGNS) Henri Nouwen

  272. jeff1 says:

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

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

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

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

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

  273. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Afternoon Friends.. I hope this finds all Blessed and well. I have been at a loss for what I hope to present as the right words. If I should choose the wrong words…please forgive me.

    My spirit has been somewhat uneasy as I fear that my beliefs of the power of united prayer has been unsettling at best to some that I love and highly respect. I don’t mean to imply that the prayers of one or a few, or even a large group of people are not being heard, answered, or are not of tremendous worth. And I fully understand that God answers prayers in His timing in His way. I know first hand that after praying for many years for a matter still unanswered, it can be discouraging and induce doubt… increasing prayer warriors with renewed hope just seems the way to go for me.

    I am also reminded of a time when children, teachers, and school staff across the country started the day with prayer…all that is PROHIBITED now and I think that is when our nation started decaying.. I wrote a poem about twenty years ago that expresses my thoughts on that and maybe it will help to explain my belief in the power of united prayer…ANYWAY I hope these were the right words.

    Land of the Blind

    A darkness has fallen upon the land
    once under God and prodigiously grand
    now undergoing chaotic decline
    more aptly discerned as the land of the blind

    Prayer was banned for the little ones
    Power and comfort are now drugs and guns
    Yet those liable can’t see what they’ve done
    Deceiving themselves that some victory was won

    Disdaining power from God to mere man
    Believing their fate is in their own hands
    His word and power they think they have blocked
    Paying no heed that God won’t be mocked

    False prophets have risen as He forewarned
    Violence and tragic deaths we have mourned
    Searching for answers from Godless men’s minds
    when it’s in His word the answers, we’ll find

    The rains have come and the crops have grown
    Now we are reaping all that we’ve sown
    We must open our eyes, our hearts, and our minds
    and return to God in the Land of the Blind

  274. street says:

    narrow said,”My spirit has been somewhat uneasy as I fear that my beliefs of the power of united prayer has been unsettling at best to some that I love and highly respect.”

    this is normal for narrow path seekers. as you grow things will be added and taken away according to the Father’s will. the daily goal of renew, available to the children of God, is a return to the Rock daily. as we come to rest on the Rock we become less shaken or unsettled. brokenness and being poured out is part of it too. the more we are settled in Christ the less it happens. when we are settled in ourselves the more difficult it will become. we do collect or accumulate dirt as we travel making the renewal more necessary. i thinking the whole whole point of this is to prepare a dwelling place for God. not by power or by might, but by My Spirit says the Lord. the remolding while occupied is difficult. it’s even more fun in a wild foreign land. hang in there there’s a lot more to come.

  275. jeff1 says:

    I am thinking about the words of your poem, Narrow, and while it is all true I must remember that it is not news to God as He knows all this.

    I need to focus on Jesus if I am to know God’s way in a wayward world otherwise I can be as blind as the rest of the world.

    I absorb the worlds ways whether I realize it or not and so God requires obedience to Him so that I am led by His Spirit and then the worlds ways will not distract or trouble me as I will be truly grounded in Christ and not on my own beliefs.

    Salvation was God’s plan and so to is Redemption and getting ahead of God is not a good place to be and I am speaking from experience here.

    God must be doing the leading as it is a fine line between following God and playing God and He will soon let you know when you are doing the latter.

  276. SFDBWV says:

    Pearl you and I have reached that age where we look at some of the news stories in stunned amazement at just how could have such information taken 50 years for some to see, what you and I seen 50 years ago.

    Not only in America, but worldwide the beginning of the end began about 1914 and the fruit of the worlds actions brazenly blossomed in the 1960’s.

    Only a couple weeks ago I read from some obscure college professor stating that the culture of America began to decay in the 60’s. This “revelation” coming after studying the cultural facts along a time line.


    It wasn’t that the dark powers of the anti-christ began his attack in the 60’s it was already germinating since the beginning of time, but the time was right for it to step into the light.

    Every good and decent thing came under attack and our world got turned upside down. It has only gotten worse in every corner of society since.

    The question is, is this God’s will or simply His prediction of the world when ripe for Christ’s return?

    Nineveh’s destruction was postponed because of their repentance, but destruction did finally come when the time for it came.

    Indeed we as professing Christians not only should, but need desperately to bind and bond ourselves together as one entity, one voice, and one spirit.

    However we too are fractured.

    We need first to pray for the unity of the *Church* in alignment with God’s will for her. Giving up all personal desires for the unified power and person of Christ’s Church.

    At Pentecost the 12 Apostles prayed for days and days for Pentecost to come after being told He would come. He came.

    In the early months of Matthew returning home from the hospital, he told me on more than one occasion, he could “hear” people praying for him. I still am amazed at that. He also told me he could “hear” me as I prayed for him in silence in another room of the house and quoted me word for word.

    Yes my dear friend Pearl there is great power in prayer and pleasing to God when we come together in prayer. And is what we as a unified body should do, that is to pray for each other.

    I need to go, perhaps God will lead me into more of this subject later, but please Pearl don’t be discouraged or disheartened, your heart is in the right place. I liked your poem.

    30 degrees and cloudy


  277. jeff1 says:

    I believe God’s motives for dividing are very different to ours as He divides to conquer while we divide because we cannot agree.

    God tares down but He also builds again bigger and better as He is a God of progress.

    It is focusing on this that gives me hope for a better world to come as with God there is always hope while focusing on the world always brings disappointment.

  278. Beloved says:

    Good day all, since the thread is focusing on national issues I thought this devotional from John Piper today encouraging.

  279. Beloved says:

    Lincoln’s Providence
    Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! (Romans 11:33)

    Abraham Lincoln, who was born on this day in 1809, remained skeptical, and at times even cynical, about religion into his forties. So it is a most striking thing how personal and national suffering drew Lincoln into the reality of God, rather than pushing him away.

    In 1862, when Lincoln was 53 years old, his 11-year-old son Willie died. Lincoln’s wife “tried to deal with her grief by searching out New Age mediums.” Lincoln turned to Phineas Gurley, pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington.

    Several long talks led to what Gurley described as “a conversion to Christ.” Lincoln confided that he was “driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I have nowhere else to go.”

    Similarly, the horrors of the dead and wounded soldiers assaulted him daily. There were fifty hospitals for the wounded in Washington. The rotunda of the Capitol held 2,000 cots for wounded soldiers.

    Typically, fifty soldiers a day died in these temporary hospitals. All of this drove Lincoln deeper into the providence of God. “We cannot but believe, that He who made the world still governs it.”

    His most famous statement about the providence of God in relation to the Civil War was his Second Inaugural Address, given a month before he was assassinated. It is remarkable for not making God a simple supporter for the Union or Confederate cause. He has his own purposes and does not excuse sin on either side.

    Fondly do we hope — fervently do we pray — that this mighty scourge of war might speedily pass away . . . .

    Yet if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s two hundred years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid with another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago so still it must be said, “the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.

    I pray for all of you who suffer loss and injury and great sorrow that it will awaken for you, as it did for Lincoln, not an empty nihilism, but a deeper reliance on the infinite wisdom and love of God’s inscrutable providence.

  280. jeff1 says:

    I am thinking, Beloved, of my dad who both served in the world war and lived through our country’s war and you could not have met a more peace loving man and I expect it is those who actually see a battlefield that are more peace seeking than those who have not.

    Like my dad the destructiveness of war was to draw me more to God but I have a son who after serving in Afghanistan has turned away from God.

    I think that war has that effect in that I either cling to God the more or I loose hope in mankind.

    I believe it is God who awakens us in time as I spent quite a long time blaming God before I realised my need of Him.

    It was God who awakened me to the fact that without Him I can become harsh towards my enemies and that is what causes wars or it is what caused the troubles in my country.

    I need to recognise this before I can reconcile with God and my dad always knew it whereas I struggled with it but I am getting there as I see now that it matters to God.

  281. Beloved says:

    Alive in Christ

    6 Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just las you were taught, abounding min thanksgiving

  282. street says:

    EXODUS 5:22—6:12

  283. Beloved says:

    Posted too soon to finish proof reading but Viv you must trust/follow God in this world, as your father was a good example for you. To be reconciled you already have been, Jesus Christ reconciled us with God on the cross! Ours is just to obediently follow, seeking forgiveness when we screw up, which I do daily.

  284. Beloved says:

    Viv isn’t freedom from slavery to the past and all the evil that continues still what we are looking for? In our minds we can follow God into the promised Land of peace with God by His Spirit. The mind is a battle field we still struggle through, but Jesus has the final victory! 6 “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.

    Exodus 5:22-6:12

  285. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Beloved, I get that I am reconciled through Christ but it doesn’t feel like I have until I work it out in my life and my enemies have been a stumbling block, as I learned from my dad, but I am not like him, his humility and willingness to forgive came naturally to him.

    While I no longer feel harsh towards my enemies I feel stuck at forgiveness. Trying to forget is the best I can do as there has been so much pain caused by them that it can come flooding back very easily and I need to move on for my own sanity and leave it with God because my dad was so much stronger and calmer than I am and therefor he coped better at life than I do.

  286. Beloved says:

    Viv you said it doesn’t FEEL like you’ve been reconciled with Christ UNTIL you do thus and such. Think of Christ as the foundation we stand on while we are learning how to do what He wants us to do. If you are wanting something high up on a shelf you first need something to stand on to get it, right? When you were a child your father reached up for you, but now you are an adult and all those things you reach for whether loving, forgiving, being loved and forgiven you stand on Christ, the author or all those good things we seek for ourselves and others. Remember “On Christ the solid Rock I stand”? Freely given we freely receive, nothing to thy cross I bring. Standing on the promises of Christ, alone. I love you Viv.

  287. Beloved says:

    I think the best and biggest and most significant promise of God is that He would send a Redeemer, His one and only Son, Jesus, to pay for our sins, once for all time. Jesus retrieved from the Father what we could not reach for ourselves.

  288. street says:

    beloved this rock we stand on is an interesting concept. we are told to dig down to it. get past the sand. digging down to the rock is very difficult. resting on and waiting is difficult too, because sometimes we try to reach for things on our own and it causes problems. remembering the verse those who wait on the Lord will rise up on eagles wings. icarus comes to mind from greek mythology. pride and consuming fire come to mind. we have to stay alert for our adversary is so cunning. the rock is the only reason we will have success in all things. with God all things are possible.
    when we get to the rock we are told we can build on it! what ever we build. we must build with proven materials. even with this, the materials must be bonded together in love. love only comes from God not man. this love is poured out into our hearts. not to be kept but grown/multiplied in righteousness joy peace patients kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness self control. praying to the Lord of the harvest to bring the late rains.

  289. Beloved says:

    Yes street, praying for latter rains here also. The Rock, reminds me of Mt Sinai where Moses communed with God. Was it that very same rock the Israelites marched 40 years around? If they had only trusted…

  290. Beloved says:

    Street your posts exude the patience of God. Learning :-)

  291. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Evening Friends…I haven’t much time…only I don’t know WHY? Unlike Steve, I really don’t have all that much to do, yet I seem to have less and less time. Anyway, I want y’al to know that I am not ignoring any of you…I just haven’t had time to respond…again I don’t know why….it seems to me that I move just as fast as I ever did but apparently I don’t..

    Steve, you made me smile!! thanks… when I hear things like you mentioned that have been deduced from a long and costly study and it seems so obvious to me that everybody should have known that years ago…I just say pretty much as you do….”Really!!! You think!!!?” anyway..thank you for the encouragement and the smile.

    Street, you are so right….we become more at ease when things don’t go right…while I may get more unsettled and uneasy than I should, if you knew me 40 years ago when I was raising 5 kids, working in a factory, and dealing with the absent but abusive father, believe me, you would recognize God’s great work in me!! I was a nervous crying wreck most of the time. Thank you for the encouragement though…it is so easy to slip backwards.

    Joyce, thank you for sharing those words on Lincoln..I love some of his quotes….he was such a brave and honest man….oh yes…that is why they called him Honest Abe…just remembered that when I wrote “honest” ..

    Vivian, I have found that praying, praying, and praying some more when I get upset about things is the way to go…but to avoid getting upset..it may be best to avoid what upsets us as much as possible..Unfortunately if I forget to avoid…and then forget to pray ..I am off and running far off the path….you are so right that we have to focus on Jesus…again unfortunately satan has a lot of distractions out there…

    Forever,I hope all is well with you …haven’t seen you here…hope you are enjoying your time away. :-) I remember you have something you do when not here but I forgot what it was….only that it was something you liked to do…sorry for my horrid memory.

    May all have a Blessed evening and a Blessed tomorrow..

  292. jeff1 says:

    I don’t know why but when I am desperate for a result then I find it difficult to pray and why I rely on another’s prayer i.e. that of a friend and it has never failed to work.

    When I am upset I turn to gospel music to soothe me and it works for me and I always feel more at ease for having listened to it.

    I agree Narrow Satan has a lot of distractions and I am much more like my first parents than I want to admit when it comes to giving into temptation and why now when I look at my dad’s life I realise how disciplined he was and that doesn’t come easy to me as I am much more of a wanderer.

    Just heard the news this morning and the two main parties here are hopeful that an agreement can be reached and so it may have been worth the waiting and why we should never give up hope and thank you all for your prayers.

    I too, Narrow, find memory difficult though my sons tell me I have a selective one and while I prefer to remember the good times there is no escaping the bad ones either.

    I am very much of the mindset that the only way forward is to leave the past in the past but that is so much easier to say than to do as our past often effects our present and even our future.

    It is why I have to find peace with God as that is what gives me rest in an uncertain world and I am worn out with all my wandering and long for a peace that surpasses my understanding as God’s ways are so much higher than mine.

  293. Beloved says:

    Viv, I found this to be very encouraging today.

    The Perfect City
    He has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:16)

    No pollution, no graffiti, no trash, no peeling paint or rotting garages, no dead grass or broken bottles, no harsh street talk, no in-your-face confrontations, no domestic strife or violence, no dangers in the night, no arson or lying or stealing or killing, no vandalism and no ugliness.

    The city of God will be perfect because God will be in it. He will walk in it and talk in it and manifest himself in every part of it. All that is good and beautiful and holy and peaceful and true and happy will be there, because God will be there.

    Perfect justice will be there, and recompense a thousandfold for every pain suffered in obedience to Christ. And it will never deteriorate. In fact, it will shine brighter and brighter as eternity stretches out into unending ages of increasing joy.

    When you desire this city above everything else on the earth, then you honor God, who, according to Hebrews 11:10, is the architect and builder of the city. And when God is honored, he is pleased and not ashamed to be called your God. John Piper

  294. street says:

    On the Ground
    God makes all things new
    there is fullness of joy/peace in His presents
    the earth is filled with His Glory
    heaven in/on earth
    He is coming back because His Spirit is in us
    troubles and struggles
    conformed to the image of Christ
    Glory to follow in being a witness to His Majesty
    He rules over all things in amazing faithfulness!

    Lord let me be found blameless and spotless in your sight because of the blood of the Lamb. lead/rule over the works of Your Hand with the grace and mercy You have revealed in Christ Jesus. to Him be glory riches honor and love forever.

  295. Beloved says:

    Could it be that we spirit filled believers, who carry the glory of God in our bodies, remain here day in and day out on the ground to give non believers a taste of what Gods Kingdom looks like, but not only that but to fill out and grow heaven on earth? I got the idea from NT Wright. Not the part about unbelievers,that was my own addition.

  296. Beloved says:

    Thank you for the prayer street.

  297. jeff1 says:

    Thank you Beloved and Street for your lovely posts.

    Yes, Beloved, we are a little bit of heaven on earth to those who have given up on God or I like to think that is so as when I think of all those who encouraged me all through my life it is not a walk you do alone and we all slip and fall and need a lift up at times.

    God perseveres with us and why we should be patient with others as time gives me clarity on matters I at first do not understand and God is always revealing His presence when I seek it but it just not always in the way that I expect it as it has to be His will and in His time and when I remember
    that I find God is closer than I can ever imagine.

  298. Beloved says:

    His ways are far above anything we can do or even imagine. That’s why I think that Love On the Ground is so hard to get right in the present circumstances. But He is for and not against me so when I fail to love His love still remains. Whew.

  299. jeff1 says:

    Thinking of how the hymns I can remember singing as a child have stood the test of time.

    What a friend we have in Jesus,
    All our sins and griefs to bear,
    What a privilege to carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
    O what peace we often forfeit,
    O what needless pain we bear,
    All because we do not carry
    Everything to God in prayer!

    Have we trials and temptations?
    Is there trouble anywhere?
    We should never be discouraged;
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Can we find a friend so faithful
    Who will all our sorrows share?
    Jesus knows our every weakness;
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.

    Are we weak and heavy laden,
    Cumbered with a load of care?
    Precious Saviour still our refuge;
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Do thy friends despise forsake thee?
    Take it to the Lord in prayer!
    In His arms He’ll take and shield thee;
    Thou wilt find a solace there

  300. foreverblessed says:

    That again, is a beautiful sobg, Jeff!

    I was busy with the church music group.
    Preparing a piece of music by Schubert, that goes with Psalm 42:8

    In the night the songs of God come to the Psalmist.

    I was studying Psalm 42, and found:
    Barnes notes on the bible- Psalm 42:5

    Maybe you could have a look at that Steve, it might help you with Matt.

    Thanks for asking Narrow, where I was, I am doing fine, but had no time to write!

  301. Beloved says:

    Glimpses of heaven on the ground, that’s what those special songs give us. Viv the song from my childhood that won my heart was When He Cometh. The song says we are jewels in God’s crown. To think I was precious to God when most all around me treated me like garbage was what has carried me throughout my life. At the same time it breaks my heart that I cannot or will not (not sure) love others as I have been loved by God. There is really not much substance left here, hoping the mysterious love of God is what shines through this shell. After all, love is what matters. It out shines all thought, education, dreams, superstition and counsel. Health wealth status opinion all become moot at the cross. But God is gathering His own for glorious days ahead! His loved ones his jewels for His crown. Blessings to you and all readers today in Christ Jesus.

  302. Beloved says:

    Forever Psalm 42:5 I memorized many years ago when a therapist warned of the difficulties I would have if I decided to pursue a special therapy to reveal hidden traumas in my life. 3.5 years later I was still holding on to God trusting Him to get me through, which He did and still does to this day some 30 years later. God is faithful and good.

  303. foreverblessed says:

    Yesterday there were a lot of jokes going around in my country, as a reporter from NBC had said that we all could ice-skate very well, because we would go on skates to our jobs, on the grachts (=canals) in Amsterdam!
    And then lots of pictures going round of the canals in Amsterdam: just water.

    50 years ago we would have ice every winter. But nowadays, these days are few. We had frost in the night the past week, but hardly any ice on the water that remains during the day

    50 years a

  304. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Beloved, my last post got stuck somewhere. So I missed your remark!
    Isn’t it a lovely thing, that certain Psalms, or other scriptures for that matter, can get us through. If the Living Word makes these Words alive in us.
    But mostly not at once, but slowly!

    So Psalm 42:5 got you through? Have you read the Barnes notes?
    Our natural mind will dwell on the negative very easy. It is our default setting.
    For me it was an active decision not to think of the negative anymore. I said that to God and asked Him to give me the strength and the Joy. Real joy is from God.

  305. foreverblessed says:

    Beloved, living our neighbour as Christ has loved me–

    That is the new command Jesus has given us. And when I sought to live my life in faith in Jesus Christ, instead of following the commandments, the Law of Moses,
    That is what I decided: if Jesus gives us the command He will also give us His Life flowing through us to accomplish this.

    But you all know this too.

    I will tell you of my ordeal with my brother a bit more:
    Forgiving him was the first step.
    Keeping to that forgiveness, while he did not show any remorse, was hard. He kept to his decision that he had done nothing wrong. It became worse that after 20 years he started to accuse me of the things he had done to me. Then the forgiveness was even harder to hold on to.

    I just tell you my story now. You have a very very hard history of abusive men. Mine is just a little drama, and given the difficulty I had, it must be a miracle from God for you, making you whole.

    You gave me hope,
    You made me whole ……
    at the Cross
    Where You died for me.

    That is the miracle!

  306. foreverblessed says:

    Loving our neighbour, as Jesus has loved us–

    Then I asked God: I want to love my brother, please HELP!

    And He gave me His love, only after I had more faith in Jesus,
    More faith!

    Everything that we need we already have in Christ!
    I just do need to dig it, stretch out, ask, seek, knock!

    And stop the negative thoughts about my brother.

    It is easier now, because he is no more blind to his self-centered way of life!


    Give us more of Your live

  307. foreverblessed says:



    Help us in our un-love

    Especially about loving our enemies!

    I hit the wrong button, and my comment was gone, but it ended up here!

  308. Beloved says:

    Forever I think that was a very brave and loving thing to confront your brother. I’m glad there is some peace between you.
    As for thinking negative thoughts I agree that turning my thoughts to whatever is true honest lovely just pure blameless etc (James) is definitely the cure for downward thinking. Minute by minute sometimes. I had severe disappointment though when after years of intense therapy I found myself still suffering with PTSD anxiety and depression. I’ve decided it’s definitely God’s will though as I have a very independent nature that needs to be tamed in order to follow Christ faithfully. So now I can say thank you LORD for the challenges and trials. They are what keeps me humble. Humble to bow at His feet. I think Paul said he’d rather enter eternity crippled than not at all? I feel the same way. Yes I too hope the verse helps Matt and Steve as there is soooo much to it.

  309. Beloved says:

    I said hooray when I heard the Dutch skaters won because I know you, Forever. Today is St Valentine’s day in the US. I should read the story I’ve forgotten it. But the day makes me sad as I have no lover or young children and more. I’m sure though the story goes deeper than phileo or Eros love. Probably change my perspective a lot. Yes I will search it out now.

  310. SFDBWV says:

    Thinking along the lines of the difference between the story found in numbers that Mart has provided and an individual Christian today.

    There is an experience I call an unction. It is found only once in Scripture (1 John 2:20) and if you look it up in the concordance it says “an anointing”.

    Unless you have ever actually experienced an unction you are not going to understand its power over you and your actions.

    When an unction comes on you, you *must* obey. Every fiber of your being knows exactly what to do and there is no question you need to work out. You just go forward doing exactly as urged.

    Along with knowing you are doing the right thing almost miraculously everything falls into place to accomplish the task.

    There is simply no doubt in you, you just know and every atom of your being knows and there is confidence and an assurance that accompanies the “unction”. You will not rest nor stop until you have made the move and accomplished or in the throngs of accomplishing the goal.

    I don’t imagine the Hebrew people were given this empowerment as during those days of the Bible the Holy Spirit came upon an individual, not indwelled in them.

    Mart spoke truth when he said the whisper of Jesus is unmistakable, because if He whispers into you what to do He also empowers you to do it and off you go in unison with Jesus driving your being and you more than know it you experience it.

    It is one of those tastes of what is to come when we reign with Him in that future time we all long for.

    Just remember when you hear the voice of God and are under an unction, you know it, any other time you are trying to figure something out it may not be His voice you hear, but yours or someone else’s.


  311. Beloved says:

    I’ve been Thinking about waiting for the voice of God to tell us to stop or start. My sheep hear my voice Jesus said, and that’s true! He also said if we seek Him we will find Him. More truth. Waiting gets hard, as the Israelites found out more than once. So thankful for our
    faithful Savior and His ever-loving patience. Jesus said we must enter through the narrow gate. His blood has provided the Way through. When I’m not sure about timing I watch and wait for God to open the door to move ahead. That takes discernment and seeking Gods will. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV

  312. Beloved says:

    Steve have you seen this- I John 2:26-27. I think the annointing he talks about is on all, right? Not trying to argue with you here. Just interested in your post about unction. I’ve never heard that before. Thanks, Joyce

  313. Beloved says:

    Steve I found this in an article in Christianity Today about unction. I understand the purpose of it better now.

    “When unction occurs, then, it occurs both in the preacher and in the listeners, convicting listeners of sin and leading them to the mercy of God.”

    Sounds like an amazing experience!

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