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For Better or Worse

Better than we think—and worse.

As in life itself, in all of us— there is something of the best and the worst.

For me, it’s a wake up of a thought—that started in the Garden, and keeps beeping in the background, like an unexplained but familiar-sounding reminder that something about us—and everything— isn’t as good or as bad as we think.

While reminding us that there is always one thing that matters more than anything else, Paul tells us that—even when we think we get it—we are still “looking through a glass darkly”.

When Jesus was with us, he said that he had come to set the world on fire—and wished it had already happened (Luke 12:49). His forerunner, John, had said something similar about One who would baptize not with water— but with fire.

Imagine the associations that could have come to our minds—if we had been there. None of us would have had more than a clue of what either John or Jesus were really saying. None of us could have imagined the kind of fire Jesus would baptize his followers with on a future day of Pentecost– or what would go up in flames. None of us could have imagined the worst thing that would happen to Jesus himself— or the best.

And here we are—looking back with far more understanding of the best and worst of the past—and still barely a clue of the best and worst that is still to come.

Yet what we have is even better than the words “he is risen.” It is that— he is still with us— and that we belong to him.

 

 

 


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214 Responses to “For Better or Worse”

  1. jeff1 says:

    How sweet to hold
    A newborn baby
    And feel the pride
    And the joy that he gives
    But greater still
    The calm assurance
    We can face uncertain days
    Because He lives
    Sing it with us

    And 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
    We’ll all cross the river
    And 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 reigns

    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

    He lives
    He lives

  2. SFDBWV says:

    It is always the same, throughout the ages, we only understand that which we already know. Seeing beyond that takes a special gift from God and not for our understanding, but for a purpose of God’s design.

    Thank you Mart for staying the course, I like the owl picture. Then again the owl’s eyes are designed to see his prey even and especially in the dark.

    Steve

  3. Beloved says:

    Yet what we have is even better than the words “he is risen.” It is that— he is still with us— and that we belong to him.

    Mart I hear your heart in this. I see the owl beautiful as God made it silently sitting as God’s design, ready to do what an owl does. Not so with humans though. Which is why we are told by Jesus to love our enemies, not self protect or fight back or heaven forbid devour our enemies. We are made in the image of God, lovely yet altogether capable of climbing to Caesar status or becoming a follower of a Caesar, blind guides of blind followers.

    I listened to a lecture yesterday on Pragmatism which came out of the Humanistic movement in the 20th century. Raised in a non Christian culture I see how I adopted those values as my own, but when I turn to scripture and spend time alone with God I see a completely different law at work in the universe. The law of love for those who BELONG to Him. This has been profound for me personally as I was always told I belonged to my abusers. Belonging to God has given me the freedom I always wanted but could never quite reach on my own. Jesus death has given me that precious freedom, and more! Eternal life with Him! And with a family of Christ lovers! Hallelujah! What a Savior!

  4. poohpity says:

    I can only imagine what I would have thought when someone told me I would be baptized by fire. It sure would not have been thinking it was the kind of fire that encased the bush that Moses approached but rather the kind that totally disfigures a human being when they have been in a fire, the kind that does damage not the kind that gets rid of the worse in me, the dross.

    As Peter wrote in 1 Peter 1:6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory

    I know for myself there is still so very very much I don’t understand even though I heard and read many things a lot but my whole concept is so limited because my thinking is so limited. I have those aha moments but yet still fail to put them into practice because I am trying to do it myself rather than placing them in His fire and allowing Him to work which shows even my trust and dependence still have a long way to go.

  5. poohpity says:

    I do know one thing for sure without a doubt that the more I learn the more I realize I do not know much at all.

  6. SFDBWV says:

    I have had the wonderful privilege of being the Mayor of my little community for over 45 years and during that time the care of the cemetery and the burying of many of my fellow towns folk and their families.

    Each one has taught me a lesson of one kind or another.

    Moving toward 71 years of age and closer to death myself I look both backwards and forwards in all of my understanding of life and death and what this life has been all about.

    In many ways it is startling to see so clearly the hand of God on my life all the while leaning on that experience while thinking beyond today.

    Sadly experience has taught me to expect disappointment in people. The reason being the error in my comparing others to me. Because when I do I am always going to be disappointed.

    Jesus gave us a testimony of what it meant to be like Him and in some detail from His famous “sermon on the mount” of what it meant to be exactly like Him.

    Jesus knew then and knows now we will never be able to be exactly like Him even with His help, we will be disappointing. However He never condemns us for not living up to His standard, rather He loves us and accepts us “just as we are”.

    The cemetery is filled with headstones and names of people who I am sure wanted maybe even expected better in life then they got. Many went down a little disappointed, but still expecting something better beyond their grave.

    Because they believed what they couldn’t see from knowing Jesus of Nazareth the Christ.

    68 degrees and sunny, snow showers expected Monday.

    Steve

  7. street says:

    thinking of the eyes of the owl in the picture. thinking of surprise!!! the story that will make the ear tingle. even now LORD, remove the darkness that hide thee. the whole earth is filled with His Glory. Moses was right in asking to see His Glory. we have seen it by faith. the death and resurrection of Jesus. the best is yet to come.

    You believe in God; believe also in me. 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? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. …

    i was thinking when do i get to go home??? when your room is finished. i have to admit i did lol on that one. kids will be kids. waiting has incredible power over us and accomplishes God’s will and design for us. find your strength in Him…..he loves you!.

  8. Beloved says:

    For better or for worse…He loves us!

  9. jeff1 says:

    I’m satisfied with just a cottage below
    A little silver and a little gold
    But in that city where the ransomed will shine
    I want a gold one that’s silver lined

    I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop
    In that bright land where we’ll never grow old
    And someday yonder we will never more wander
    But walk on streets that are purest gold

    Don’t think me poor or deserted or lonely
    I’m not discouraged I’m heaven bound
    I’m but a pilgrim in search of the city
    I want a mansion, a harp and a crown

    I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop
    In that bright land where we’ll never grow old
    And some day yonder we will never more wander
    But walk on streets that are purest gold

  10. SFDBWV says:

    Reading over our new thoughts from Mart I am reminded of Ecclesiastes 12:1-14 KJV, but especially Ecclesiastes 12:12, 13, 14 KJV.

    “And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh.”
    “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.”
    “For God shall bring every work into judgement, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil.”

    Interesting that in the Catholic Bible there are 7 Books of Wisdom.
    The Book of Job
    The Book of Psalms
    The Book of Proverbs
    The Book of Ecclesiastes
    The Song of Songs
    The Book of Wisdom
    The Book of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus)

    I wonder why the owl has come to symbolize wisdom. Is it because he keeps his eyes wide open, his ears on alert, but his mouth shut?

    41 degrees with some stars shining through roaming clouds in the dark sky above.

    Steve

  11. poohpity says:

    How can one share the things of God if they keep their mouth shut? Romans 10:14How then can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

    The wisdom or discernment comes from knowing who wants to hear the things of God and those who don’t. In the midst of those who don’t there may be just one who wants to learn about God but Jesus also said if they do not welcome you then shake the dust off your feet and take your message else where.

  12. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve…you are priceless! I think your thoughts on the owl representing Wisdom are right on. Unfortunately, I have the eyes and ears down pretty good but the mouth has been out of control for many years…while it is getting tamer….duct tape is still the only thing that might keep it shut at times. Thank you though for the smile…it will make me try a little harder today.

  13. narrowpathseeker says:

    Oh my….I didn’t know I would be tempted so soon after writing the above…. so let me elaborate.. I know the difference when something SHOULD be said and when the mouth should shut…

    If I am speaking to impress someone with what I think I know and speaking to try to make myself sound superior to all …I SHOULD keep my mouth shut… if I am trying to inspire someone or point them to Christ or just trying to have someone have a good day….I should speak…. Where I have the most trouble is keeping my mouth shut when subjected to the former..

  14. poohpity says:

    The great commission was to “Go Tell”. It helps when people share the best and worst of themselves so that people would not be lead to believe the lie that they have it all together and are not broken in need of a Savior.

    The things we see, hear, taste, feel and touch are filled with many unknowns and sooooo very much to learn about but there is also the Spiritual realm which is a whole other area of the unknown but God made Himself known to those who want to learn through Jesus. John 1:8 NLT Will we ever know it all, no but we can know some. Will we forget what we do know, yes but the most important things about God will be made known to us. Will we understand fully how God works or the things He does, no but we know enough that we can trust in Him.

    Now there is not wanting to know anything which is a whole other ball of wax but what person when they get into a relationship with someone does not want to know about them? 2 Peter 3:18

  15. Beloved says:

    Lol shouting contests never make winners. Be still and know that I am God.

  16. poohpity says:

    Ooops that was John 1:18 NLT not 8

  17. poohpity says:

    Owl’s seem to have a few things in common with people they can see things far away but nothing up close, similar to people it is always easier to see the faults and failures in others but when it comes to looking up close at their selves they can not see. An Owl’s talon’s and beaks are for tearing things apart similar to what people do to other people. They do make noise as they hunt for mates and warn other owls not to hunt or be in their territory which can be also similar to people.

  18. Beloved says:

    For better or worse? Depends on your perspective.

    “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me”. Matt 5:11

  19. street says:

    poohpity you are a serpent and a stumbling block. The LORD rebuke you.

    owls see and live in the dark. men stumble in the dark.

    I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people

  20. Beloved says:

    Thank you street.

  21. poohpity says:

    street, thank you for name calling it always has such a great impact on the person being called names and shows the kind of love and understanding the world offers. There is not one person on here who is a serpent and only those who falsely teach God’s word are stumbling blocks and are being used by the serpent. In your opinion what did I say for you to call me a serpent or a stumbling block?

    Some Owl’s hunt in the dark but some hunt in the light as well but they live in both the light and the dark. Their eyes are in fixed positions and only by turning their head can they see around them. The information I shared about Owl’s I found on the internet but the comparison to people was just by observation.

  22. poohpity says:

    street often when I read the things you write I have no idea where you are coming from however when you make the choice to belittle someone or call them names that comes across clear as a water and is also a reflection of the heart. James 1:23-24 NLT

  23. phpatato says:

    Don’t fall for her snare Street. She always has traps set to snag anyone who will fall for her “innocent” what did I say questions. She isn’t “that” stupid that she doesn’t know what she said. She has her twisted rebuttal already written and as always has already commented about name calling and poor me I am always so innocent. Too bad she doesn’t practice what she so haughtily preaches. She name calls, hurls put-downs out and trashes people and yet she is always so quick to point out to us what she so desperately tries to hide behind…that we are the ones who name call.

    Wise is the owl who sees through her guile.

  24. street says:

    I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people

    Matthew 3:12
    His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

    1 Peter 2:5
    you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

  25. jeff1 says:

    Pooh makes a lot of assumptions about others but she forgets that her sight is limited by her preconceived beliefs and God changes those who seek to be changed and not those who just talk the talk.

    I spent my young life doing likewise while my dad was walking the walk I was making assumptions about others but God has since enlightened me to the truth and that is that we all stumble and I would do well to remember that rather believing I know better.

    My dad had the wisdom to know that the only person he should be examining was himself and since he always found there was room for improvement it kept him humble towards others and God’s reward was to align him with His truths so that he was enlightened when others were still in the dark which says that it is I who wander from God due to lack of obedience to the Spirit and nothing to do with my knowledge of the Bible as my dad had a very limited knowledge as he read for hope and encouragement only.

    We are hear to support and encourage each other when we stumble and if I cannot do that for another then I should remain silent and not hurt the Body of Christ and Steve is a good example of one who does what is right and is to be commended for doing so.

  26. bubbles says:

    Early this morning I had coffee on the porch and listened to the morning bird songs. Love is in the air with birds! The grass has greened up and the morning sun made it the dew sparkle. There is something delightful about that. I thought of how God knew it would be beautiful. He is amazing. Along that train of thought, I had a blessing of seeing two large owls on a bike ride a couple of years ago. It was interesting to watch them fly through the forest. These very large birds were silent as they flew.

  27. Beloved says:

    The Bible says in the last days people will be lovers of darkness rather than the light. Nothing new here or in my apt building. Abhor what is evil, hold fast to what is good. Abhor/ignore? To ignore is to condone. God is Holy. Be Holy as I am Holy says God. Set apart, different from evil- the world. Evil has been called out here many many times. Typical of the last days I’m thinking.
    Be glorified oh LORD.

    Without darkness the Light would not be as bright I’m thinking. Seeing through a glass darkly, indeed.

  28. Beloved says:

    This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength.

  29. jeff1 says:

    Be still, my soul; the Lord is on you side;
    Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
    Leave to your God to order and provide;
    In every change he faithful will remain.
    Be still, my soul; your best, your heavenly friend
    Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

    Be still, my soul; your God will undertake
    To guide the future as he has the past.
    Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake;
    All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
    Be still, my soul; the waves and wind still know
    His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.

    Be still, my soul; though dearest friends depart
    And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
    Then you will better know his love, his heart,
    Who comes to soothe your sorrows and your fears.
    Be still, my soul; your Jesus can repay
    From his own fullness all he takes away.

    Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on
    When we shall be forever with the Lord,
    When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
    Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
    Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
    All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

  30. poohpity says:

    Pat when did I call anyone here names? When have I ever thought that I know it all? And no I do not understand when someone gets upset with the things I say. I do know however that people get upset when someone disagrees with them. Just look around in our society today if anyone thinks differently or sees things differently the normal response rather than considering the differing thoughts they take it as a personal insult which results in name calling, belittling, anger then retaliation. Most people today do not even base their thinking on any facts but just get upset because everyone does not think a like.

    I asked street what I said that led to be called names, I did not assume I know how he thinks. I do not assume what Mart thinks when he does not write, I do not assume what any of you are like because I just do not know isn’t that what this topic is about? Saying things when we should remain silent when we do not know something rather than jumping to conclusions, falsely accusing and assuming? There would be less arguments if people discussed things and clarified the things they say or transposing our own thoughts on to others or thinking they think like we do???

    Let’s get off of me again and try talking about the topic, this always happens when folks do not have a clue about the topic then the conversations turns to the one who is the outcast or change the conversation to the picture or anything else besides the topic because that is something you all know about. Let’s all agree that I am a serpent, stumbling block, worthless, dumb, insignificant person who never writes anything with reading or thinking about because most often it either points to God or His word or His character or the topic and that just does not fit in with the norm on here.

  31. phpatato says:

    Beloved ” To ignore is to condone”. I have heard it just a bit differently…. “What you ignore, you permit. What you permit, you condone.”

    Sad isn’t it that on a Christian blog, evil has been called out many many times. One would think that inside a Christian blog, one would be relatively safe from evil. Goes to show that satan is not happy with this Christian blog and he is making it a point to come inside to attack it. In-house fighting is what it can be called.

    Matthew 18:20
    For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

    Ubi tres, ibi Ecclesia (“Where three are there is a church”)

    Every time I come to this blog, I know I am gathering with more than two or three Believers who has testimony of knowing Christ as their Saviour. Jesus said He would be in our midst here. Can it not be said then that this blog is a type of church? There are prayers offered for those of us who might be sick, or has a particular problem. There are hymns and choruses being posted for us to sing. Through Mart’s posts and subsequent comments, there is a lot of Bible teaching and food for thought for us to discern, digest and learn from. There are some who are great encouragers. Can it not be said that this blog is a church?

    If Jesus drove out the moneychangers from the Temple courts, are we not to do the same by not permitting questionable behaviour to take hold of this room (church)? Are we not to identify it and call it out?

    Abhor – (synonyms) = detest, hate, loathe, despise, execrate, regard with disgust, shrink from, recoil from, shudder at …that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

    Living in the last days, we as Christians must stand up to evil. As fellow heirs with Jesus, it is our duty to stand with Him. For what you ignore, you permit. What you permit, you condone.

    Being a Christian is not for the faint of heart, especially in the last days. But praise be to God our Father, He will give us the strength.

  32. narrowpathseeker says:

    I agree with you wholeheartedly Pat.

  33. Beloved says:

    Pat i guess I’m not sure we can go so far as to call this a church because no sacraments are done here. A Christian blog yes, and we have Christian fellowship and Bible study here which i love. But thats a small point. Blog rules are pretty vague now, not like they once were. Ignoring certain posts is the only leverage any of us have. The deceiver will always deceive, sadly. Until Jesus returns anyway. I’m surprised but not surprised about Streets rebuke. Weve all been there and done that throughout these many years. I know many gave up but still read ignoring some here. Not that its an issue it just is. Thanks for elaborating on my thoughts Pat. Im tired, sad, fed up and burned out today. The battle in my building is fierce and I just need a break, like a trip to Bubbles quiet place i so enjoyed reading today. B!essings all. Get good sleep tonite. I will lay down in peace and sleep, for Thou art with me.

  34. Beloved says:

    One last thought about owls. To the native American culture owls are a sign of evil and eagles are a sign of Gods favor. Interesting i think.

  35. Beloved says:

    Max Lucado is a gifted writer/pastor.

    A Healthy Regret
    There is an old story about the time Emperor Frederick the Great visited Potsdam Prison. He spoke with the prisoners, and each man claimed to be innocent, a victim of the system. One man, however, sat silently in the corner.

    The ruler asked him, “And you, sir, who do you blame for your sentence?”

    His response was, “Your majesty, I am guilty and richly deserve my punishment.” Surprised, the emperor shouted for the prison warden: “Come and get this man out of here before he corrupts all these innocent people.”

    The ruler can set us free once we admit we are wrong.

    We do ourselves no favors in justifying our deeds or glossing over our sins. When my daughter Andrea was five or six, she got a splinter in her finger. I took her to the restroom and set out some tweezers, ointment, and a Band-Aid.

    She didn’t like what she saw. “I just want the Band-Aid, Daddy”

    Sometimes we are just like Andrea. We come to Christ with our sin, but all we want is a covering. We want to skip the treatment. We want to hide our sin. And one wonders if God, even in his great mercy, will heal what we conceal. “If we say we have no sin, we are fooling ourselves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins, because we can trust God to do what is right” (1 John 1:8–9).

    Going to God is not going to Santa Claus. A child sits on the chubby lap of Ol’ Saint Nick, and Santa pinches the youngster’s cheek and asks, “Have you been a good little girl?”

    “Yes,” she giggles. Then she tells him what she wants and down she bounds. It’s a game. It’s childish. No one takes Santa’s question seriously. That may work in a department store, but it won’t work with God.

    How can God heal what we deny? How can God touch what we cover up? How can we have communion while we keep secrets? How can God grant us pardon when we won’t admit our guilt?

    Ahh, there’s that word: guilt. Isn’t that what we avoid? Guilt. Isn’t that what we detest? But is guilt so bad? What does guilt imply if not that we know right from wrong, that we aspire to be better than we are, that we know there is a high country and we are in the low country. That’s what guilt is: a healthy regret for telling God one thing and doing another.

    Guilt is the nerve ending of the heart. It yanks us back when we are too near the fire. Godly sorrow “makes people change their hearts and lives. This leads to salvation, and you cannot be sorry for that” (2 Cor. 7:10).

    To feel guilt is no tragedy; to feel no guilt is.

  36. SFDBWV says:

    Friday and Saturday’s weather here has been very nice, even summer like with the highs both day 82 degrees f.

    At the end of the day Friday Matt ask if he and I could go Saturday afternoon to “Saffetickers” a soft ice cream vendor over in Maryland on rte. 219

    So in the course of the day after Matt’s shower and the reading of his daily devotional (a gift from Pearl) he and I went to get him some ice cream.

    I have told you all of his “hugs” which are similar to a seizure. Well just as he was finishing his ice cream cone his mood and demeanor completely changed to the way he is after such an incident. He just wanted to lay back and get home to his big chair.

    He took a deep nap and after waking had no memory of going for ice cream at all, no memory of his enjoyment of his day out at all.

    It was robbed of him by his condition. Something that goes on here a great deal of the time.

    I looked in on BTA and was shocked to see where the conversation had sunk into just such a trap.

    It is written that the devil is like a roaring lion going about devouring whom he can.

    Sin is a condition of the world and sin robs us of our joy and of the pleasures of this life.

    The problem of pooh is that she will never change, never. What you have seen from her behavior all these past years is who she is and she will never change.

    She uses her “Christianity” as a right to behave just as she does and will defend her right to right up unto her death.

    Nothing any of you nor I could say to her will change her behavior, only enforce and enable it.

    Here once again instead of discussing a topic or any of our various thoughts around them we are discussing the problem with pooh once again.

    This is what a spoiled child wants, attention.

    Everything that could be said to her by us has been said and nothing works.

    Strife is a cancer that destroys all around it. Since we here have not the ability to excommunicate it from our midst, we are left to suffer its consequences.

    So I personally am left to either allow her to dominate the conversation with her ugly behavior or just ignore her and try to have fellowship with the remainder of the people here.

    Joyce you need to make up your mind and recognize sin for what it is and quit trying to apologize for it.

    If it were not for humor in my household we would be in dire straits, but it is humor that takes the edge off of the sharp knife of the pain of life.

    The owl is wise enough to know when not to open its mouth, but in the real world when it does it devours its prey without mercy.

    Pat, Pearl and Street I commend you for having the wisdom to see and understand from a heart of God and child of Christ.

    Showing you have discernment a gift and evidence of the Holy Spirits indwelling in you.

    Steve

  37. jeff1 says:

    I won’t feel guilt if I truly believe I am a victim and someone who isn’t seeking God’s truth believes they are a victim.

    What happened in Northern Ireland both sides believe they are victims of each other’s history and there is truth in both claims.

    I have to see that I am as much the perpetrator as the victim because of wrong beliefs and I won’t see my beliefs are wrong until I am seeking God’s truth’s and not what this world’s version of what the truth is.

    We are all indoctrinated and so God has to rid us of all prejudice in order for us to see His truths.

    God’s ways take me much higher than man’s ways so that I never see myself as a victim or a perpetrator but His new creation called to His purpose and it is not for me to know whether that will be for better or worse in this life but that it is for the purpose of establishing His Kingdom here on earth.

  38. SFDBWV says:

    My most profound apologies to you Viv, in my hurried haste to wrap up my first post this morning I forgot to include you in my short list of people commenting in this thread who show good common sense and the Christian indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

    A simple oversight in my haste, please forgive me, I mean you no injustice whatsoever.

    Steve

  39. jeff1 says:

    I watch the sunrise lighting the sky,
    Casting its shadows near.
    And on this morning bright though it be,
    I feel those shadows near me.

    But you are always close to me
    Following all my ways.
    May I be always close to you
    Following all your ways, Lord.

    I watch the sunlight shine through the clouds,
    Warming the earth below.
    And at the mid-day, life seems to say:
    I feel your brightness near me.

    For you are always close to me
    Following all my ways.
    May I be always close to you
    Following all your ways, Lord.

    I watch the sunset fading away,
    Lighting the clouds with sleep.
    And as the evening closes its eyes,
    I feel your presence near me.

    For you are always close to me
    Following all my ways.
    May I be always close to you
    Following all your ways, Lord.

    I watch the moonlight guarding the night,
    Waiting till morning comes.
    The air is silent, earth is at rest
    Only your peace is near me.

    Yes, you are always close to me
    Following all my ways.
    May I be always close to you
    Following all your ways, Lord.

  40. jeff1 says:

    Thank you for you post, Steve, I was sorry to hear how Matthew did not remember his day out and how difficult that must be for you all.

    I also find humour is a real tonic and though I am of Ulster/Scots descent I very much enjoy Irish humour.

    As someone who has mood swings I know how some days I just want to lock the world out and so like Matthew I want to be at home in my favourite chair knowing the peace that it brings.

    I can remember my mum stopping her aunt visiting but that was years after listening to her bad mouthing people and then mum realised that she wasn’t going to change as she thrived on finding faults in others.

    We are human to and that means being honest with ourselves and if someone is bringing us down rather than giving us hope and encouragement then I agree that ignoring them is the only alternative left and we should make that choice rather than allowing it to affect our walk with God and a disruptive person can as my mum said create strife in heaven.

    I don’t know Pooh personally but I have suffered mental illness which has been both a curse and a blessing. A blessing in that it has drawn me closer to God but a curse in that it makes me impatient with others.

    It seems to me that part of Pooh’s problem is that she thinks she’s right and everybody else is wrong and I know that when I was unwell mentally my family said I was exactly like that.

    Impossible to live with and it was the chemicals in my brain that was causing my imbalance.

    I am on medication but I still struggle with symptoms and why God plays such a big part in my life and these days I believe He is teaching me to have tolerance of others and rather than playing God to start trusting Him instead.

  41. Beloved says:

    Good common sense? I see nothing common regarding spiritual laws, particularly when it comes to grace and mercy. God is just and He will sort the wheat from the tares eventually. For better and for worse. Steve you my dear brother are not my mayor.

  42. Beloved says:

    I pray all could understand the depths of God’s mercy. Mayor, counselor, housewife whatever none is better than the other and all are in need of Gods mercy and Grace. Getting to know Him is key. He is my beloved and I am His. Going against the grain is hard but the rewards of following Jesus are eternal. Not here not now but then. We all look forward to a “better country” as did our ancestors in the faith. There will be no more sexism, social status, or racial divide. Love wins!

  43. poohpity says:

    The problem with Pooh is that she is an easy target, so that everyone can look at her faults, failures and shortcomings rather than looking at your own faults, faults and shortcomings. Then blame her for the ugliness that generates from your own hearts in the process of trying to get her to see her’s. If you would spend that much time looking into your own lives you might find you have NO to room to talk about anyone else which is the very reason she does not call names or point fingers at anyone else because she still has many areas that the Lord still needs to work on in her.

    Jesus who was without sin calls me forgiven, loved and His friend. He died for my sins which are many and opened my eyes to His amazing grace which is hard to understand when I know myself so well but thought of me when He hung upon the Cross. If y’all knew Him better you could see that it was not His goal for us to evaluate others by our own standards but by what He did for ALL of mankind and covered us with His righteousness, mercy and grace then one would stop trying to find fault with others and look at our own.

  44. Beloved says:

    Pooh it’s your mouth that gets you into trouble. Your negativity and blindness to the goodness, grace and mercy of God show up here time and time again, no matter how Mart tries to point us in that direction.

  45. Beloved says:

    As in life itself, in all of us— there is something of the best and the worst.

    Viv you are spot on as usual.

  46. poohpity says:

    No Joyce it is the hearts of those who read what I write that gets me in trouble because it is how they read it depending on their perceptions not necessarily what is said because there is not one person on here who knows me personally or how I live my everyday life just what they assume or are led to believe from false accusations. No facts at all. When I ask for facts to back up the accusations or assumptions no one ever answers me or gives me examples.

    The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    so why should I be afraid?
    The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
    so why should I tremble?
    2
    When evil people come to devour me,
    when my enemies and foes attack me,
    they will stumble and fall.
    3
    Though a mighty army surrounds me,
    my heart will not be afraid.
    Even if I am attacked,
    I will remain confident.

    4
    The one thing I ask of the Lord—
    the thing I seek most—
    is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
    delighting in the Lord’s perfections
    and meditating in his Temple.
    5
    For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
    he will hide me in his sanctuary.
    He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
    6
    Then I will hold my head high
    above my enemies who surround me.
    At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
    singing and praising the Lord with music.

    7
    Hear me as I pray, O Lord.
    Be merciful and answer me!
    8
    My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
    And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
    9
    Do not turn your back on me.
    Do not reject your servant in anger.
    You have always been my helper.
    Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me,
    O God of my salvation!
    10
    Even if my father and mother abandon me,
    the Lord will hold me close.

    11
    Teach me how to live, O Lord.
    Lead me along the right path,
    for my enemies are waiting for me.
    12
    Do not let me fall into their hands.
    For they accuse me of things I’ve never done;
    with every breath they threaten me with violence.
    13
    Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
    while I am here in the land of the living.

    14
    Wait patiently for the Lord.
    Be brave and courageous.
    Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

  47. Beloved says:

    Making up my mind…

    Hard to do when my mind gets overwhelmed by frustration and anger even. Darkness does that to me sometimes. Finding the mind of Christ often means for me giving in to my own selfish, manipulative ways first before I humbly admit I’m wrong and there is a much Better Way to follow. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil Jesus taught us to pray. Spot on.

  48. Beloved says:

    Pooh you believe your mind and words are ok and everyone’s else’s perceptions are wrong??? Really?

  49. poohpity says:

    If one is truly following Jesus even when those bad times come and we see the nature of our own wrongs we can sing praises to our God. No one, at least I can say for me, will ever be sinless and run into things that test my faith or I am a hypocrite, I often do not do the things I know to do but do do the wrong things but even in the best of times there seems to always be the worse somewhere but God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness does not depend on my behavior but on God alone.

  50. poohpity says:

    Joyce that is a very good example(10:17 am) of saying I say things that I have never said and putting your thoughts and words as those of mine. lol

  51. Beloved says:

    Pooh do have dementia? Reread your 10:01 post to me.

  52. Beloved says:

    I don’t care what you do at home. It’s about the writing. Period.

  53. Beloved says:

    I’ll be offline for a while.

  54. street says:

    For Better or Worse
    thinking about the story of Ruth and the Prodigal Son and how they are related. seems like the Prodigal is a revisit. God’s grace and mercy even in the worst of times. just amazing. seems to me God condones freedom but not for self. thinking of Naomi’s pledge to Ruth and her God against any hope and bearing the burden of a bitter old woman on a fifty miles journey to a little back water town of Bethlehem.

  55. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, your 9.11 am post tells me that you are the one making assumptions about others and how they don’t know God.

    That isn’t your call to make and I don’t believe you’re that stupid that you don’t know that.

    Jesus says all who have put their trust in Him are forgiven, Pooh, and I don’t see any conditions added except you have decided no one knows God as well as you.

    Whatever sin I am trying to overcome today I look to Jesus and know I am forgiven and God isn’t beating me over the head with the Bible telling me otherwise.

    God loves us because of who He is and that is good enough for me who has been seeking to know this all of my life.

    I am a new creation in Christ which is difficult enough to get my head around but its the truth and so I will praise God for He is worthy of my praise.

    Praising God shows others that I trust Him.

    Christ has been faithful to me and now it is for me to remain faithful to Him in a world that is not.

  56. street says:

    Whatever we might feel in moments of frustration, we can be certain that God will make our work fruitful by His power.

  57. Beloved says:

    Imperfect vessels everyone.

  58. street says:

    yep

  59. street says:

    Romans 5:13

    13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

    How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

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

    O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

    How blessed is the man who has made the Lord his trust, And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.

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

    The Way, The Truth, The Life, Jesus.

  60. jeff1 says:

    From Sunday morning reflections.

    Light of the world
    You stepped down into darkness
    Opened my eyes
    Let me see
    Beauty that made this heart adore You
    Hope of a life spent with You

    And here I am to worship
    Here I am to bow down
    Here I am to say that You’re my God
    You’re altogether lovely
    Altogether worthy
    Altogether wonderful to me

    King of all days
    Oh, so highly exalted
    Glorious in heaven above
    Humbly You came
    To the earth You created
    All for love’s sake became poor

    And here I am to worship
    Here I am to bow down
    Here I am to say that You’re my God
    You’re altogether lovely
    Altogether worthy
    Altogether wonderful to me

    I’ll never know how much it cost
    To see my sin upon that cross
    I’ll never know how much it cost
    To see my sin upon that cross
    And I’ll never know how much it cost
    To see my sin upon that cross
    To see my sin upon that cross
    No, I’ll never know how much it cost

    Here I am to worship
    Here I am to bow down
    Here I am to say that You’re my God
    You’re altogether lovely
    Altogether worthy
    Altogether wonderful to me

    Here I am to worship
    Here I am to bow down
    Here I am to say that You’re my God
    You’re altogether lovely
    Altogether worthy
    Altogether wonderful to me
    Wonderful wonderful
    Yes, You are God

    I’ll never know how much it cost
    To see my sin upon that cross
    I’ll never know how much it cost
    To see my sin upon that cross

  61. street says:

    1 Peter 4:8
    Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

  62. narrowpathseeker says:

    Lately, I am convicted daily of my sinful nature …while praying and working on one area…I am soon convicted in another…and the spiritual battle goes on. I read Psalm 51 daily…memorized it twice…forgot it again. But I can relate to David..and I see Me in much scripture…and ask for mercy…. When I read Psalm 52 1-8 I wonder…Pooh..do you see anyone there?

  63. street says:

    For Better or Worse

    thinking of Spiritual warfare. light and darkness. the children of adam lost in the darkness of the fall, but given a promise of hope. to her seed. light did come into the world per the promise. the light said all those who came before me were liers and thieves. i wonder if all that come after Him are the same. mendicants. seems to me when it gets dark we need to get into the light and get our map out. the compass of self should exchanged for a Spirit of Truth. i have to admit the truth points in the strangest directions to the mind and heart, but i am reminded of those who followed it’s coarse. truth proven faithful over and over and over……

    For Better or Worse,
    for richer or poorer,
    in sickness and health,
    in good times and bad times,
    now and forever.

    His mercy is everlasting.

  64. foreverblessed says:

    I am trying to say what Mart is trying to say….

    What ever happens it is better than we think,

    That the worst that happened to Jesus, the crucifiction, would bring the BEST.

    And so, the worst that would happen to us, will bring out the best!

    I was thinking, Jesus told us to let go of our life, and than we then would find the real life!

    But that letting go of our old life is a disciplinary thing. Something we learn step by step.

  65. foreverblessed says:

    Whatever happens, train your eyes to be fixed on Jesus!!!

    That is what the owl is teaching me today, Big Eyes.

    Ohhh, that I would learn that quickly, “It is well with my soul” everything is OK,

    because we have given our worries to Jesus,

    because we have given our frustrationto Jesus

    because we have left it at the foot of the Cross

    because we have expected from Him the “gifts from above” Peace, Love, Joy. Gal 5:22-23

  66. foreverblessed says:

    At Easter I was at my mothers place. She was having trouble with her back muscles again, for 2 or 3 weeks she has great pain, and then it disappears. This time I was thinking, why should I not ask to pray for her?

    We have never done that at home, we always would ask a minister to do so. So I prayed about it, and asked God to help me. I didn’t dare to ask her, but at the very last, when we were about to leave her place, I asked her:

    Mom, shall we pray for your back problem?

    And her face light up, and a smile appeared: Yes, lets do that!

    So we went into the house again, my hubby with us, and we stood together, and my mother put her arms on our shoulders, and so did we. The three of us, even standing there like that was a great experience. and I started to pray. And I knew all three of us were very much open to God.. And I started to Pray, and God was with me, I knew, He gave me words.

    And then something amazing happened: The Peace of God flowed from above, the Love, the Grace, the Mercy, and flowed through us. An awesome thing!! All the good gifts from above.

    God’s character is sooo much more better than whatever we can imagine!

    I am still quite in awe Who God is, and How He can fill us.

  67. SFDBWV says:

    One of the difficult things about calling for Dell computer or Microsoft technical support is that we always get someone in India. Though English is the official language of India and the people are very polite and eager to help still there is a language barrier.

    Whereas I speak no Hindi we speak to each other as best we can in English, but I have found that even though they can speak English there is a translation problem that goes deeper than just the translation of a word.

    People of a common language and I may even say a common culture instinctively understand the different meanings associated with a word. Sometimes the simple tone in which a word is used can explain its usage in the conversation.

    Personally and I do mean personally I don’t think most of the people who listened to John the Baptist and or Jesus took the literal meaning of fire to heart in their teachings. Some probably did, but most understood its use as meaning cleansing, changing, altering, and rising from the ashes anew, etcetera etcetera.

    However I do believe that even His Disciples were confused about a great deal of what Jesus taught, or they would have understood Him when He said He would be killed, but rise. They only understood that after it had actually happened.

    If you study Prophesy, what you find is that no matter how detailed the prophesy, it doesn’t become clear until after it has occurred and can be seen in retrospect.

    Which in my mind is why the future events we are to see are left to our faith in God that whatever happens is both what we may expect and what we could never have imagined.

    I suppose it always comes down to that, trust, blind trust that is reliant on only being allowed to see through a glass darkly.

    40 degrees and rain.

    Steve

  68. poohpity says:

    “For me, it’s a wake up of a thought—that started in the Garden, and keeps beeping in the background, like an unexplained but familiar-sounding reminder that something about us—and everything— isn’t as good or as bad as we think.” Sometimes I can play something down that it is not that important or I can take a situation and make it sound as if it is the end of the world depending on how I am feeling that day but either way it may be out of proportion to reality. I can see things from a myopic limited view because my mind has not been expanded enough to look at things any other way, the more I learn the more information I have to go on but I will never see things as clearly as God sees them.

    My perspective is always limited by how much I know. Expanding my knowledge base will transform the way I think and view things. I think God intends our ideas about Him to grow as we get closer to Him, does that mean we will know everything, no but it is a process of learning and we don’t know until we try new things and step out in faith.

  69. jeff1 says:

    Thinking of how it is a thin line between love and hate. My son is having relationship problems and his girlfriend is being hurtful to him and his reaction is to lash back at her.

    He told me of how complicated the relationship is as she has a child to an ex partner who is also an alcoholic and is now bringing the child up on her own and also has a business to run.

    I said to him if you feel you have to finish because you are not coping with her blowing hot and cold then do so but do it so that you do not hurt her and then you will have no regrets or hard feelings between you.

    I can only hope he takes my advice but youth as I remember it is impulsive and self willed while age has matured me and like the owl I see so much clearer now.

    Forever, I am thinking of what you said about us leaving all the difficulties at the foot of the cross with Jesus.

    Some do that much better than others depending on their temperament.

    The struggle is that I pick them up again when other difficulties arise and allow them to weigh me down.

    I have noticed from the woman in our church who lost her husband in a terrorist attack that she has very much found peace and joy and I believe that she is very much of the temperament that when she says she leaves it with God and gets on with her life then that is what she does.

    Her happiness shines through as she is trusting God rather than fretting over what she has no control over.

    Over thinking during difficulties has caused me more pain and anguish but since I have been on my medication I am able to let go more.

    I believe I can think I am trusting God when the reality is I am trying to fix it myself and when I look at the difficulties of others I see they do the same.

    Letting go is not an easy thing to do and I agree Forever, it requires discipline as I seen how good my dad was at it and his secret was to focus on Christ and His suffering.

    When I focus on Christ’s suffering then my own pales in comparison and I see a world in need which is what Jesus wants me to see as He died for this world.

    “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

  70. poohpity says:

    Discover The Word today is about “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along” they used the passage in Romans 12 that talks about letting God transform the way we think because there are always different ways to look at any circumstance, happening, person and even God.

  71. jeff1 says:

    “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along”

    We are too human to do that and besides we are “United In Christ” because of what “He Has Done For Us” and not what we can do for Him.

    Some believers are more transformed than others but God saved us irrespective of our weaknesses but rather out of “Love for All.”

    The more I know of the Gospel the more I see how “Little My Part” and how “BIG GOD’S PART.”

  72. poohpity says:

    At my worse God gave me His best.

    Grace Wins Matthew West

    In my weakest moment I see You
    Shaking Your head in disgrace
    I can read the disappointment
    Written all over Your face

    Here come those whispers in my ear
    Saying, “who do you think you are?”
    Looks like you’re on your own from here
    ‘Cause grace could never reach that far

    But in the shadow of that shame
    Beat down by all the blame
    I hear You call my name saying it’s not over
    And my heart starts to beat so loud now
    Drowning out the doubt
    I’m down, but I’m not out

    There’s a war between guilt and grace
    And they’re fighting for a sacred space
    But I’m living proof
    Grace wins every time
    No more lying down in death’s defeat
    Now I’m rising up in victory
    Singing, hallelujah
    Grace wins every time

    Words can’t describe the way it feels
    When mercy floods a thirsty soul
    The broke inside begins to heal
    And grace returns what guilty stole

    And in the shadow of that shame
    Beat down by all the blame
    I hear You call my name saying it’s not over
    And my heart starts to beat so loud now
    Drowning out the doubt
    I’m down, but I’m not out

    There’s a war between guilt and grace
    And they’re fighting for a sacred space
    But I’m living proof
    Grace wins every time
    No more lying down in death’s defeat
    Now I’m rising up in victory
    Singing, hallelujah
    Grace wins every time

    For the prodigal son
    Grace wins
    For the woman at the well
    Grace wins
    For the blind man and the beggar
    Grace wins
    For always and forever
    Grace wins
    For the lost out on the streets
    Grace wins
    For the worst part of you and me
    Grace wins
    For the thief on the cross
    Grace wins
    For a world that is lost

    There’s a war between guilt and grace
    And they’re fighting for a sacred space
    But I’m living proof
    Grace wins every time
    No more lying down in death’s defeat
    Now I’m rising up in victory
    Singing, hallelujah
    Grace wins every time, every time
    Yeah, I’m living proof
    Grace wins every time

  73. SFDBWV says:

    Luke Brian, a country music singer, has a song out, I believe, called “Most People are good”.

    Matt and I disagree.

    However with the concept Mart has put forward here that there is some good and some bad in us all, I would have to say I agree.

    Though during one of many such riots we have the famous saying “Can’t we all just get along” said by Rodney King. I don’t recall any comments from the white truck driver pulled from the cab of his truck and hit in the head with a brick rendering him unconscious by the rioting mob.

    In the movie “Men in Black” Tommy Lee Jones explains to Will Smith that though a “person” is smart, “people” are panicky.
    Jesus goes so far as to say no one is good, not even Him, except the Father.

    The examination and study of human behavior can and will expose some startling results, but it could easily be said that at one time or another we all can do good things and bad.

    All dependent on a myriad of circumstances at that point in time.

    People it seems were created with a flaw. Either that or we were created with a balance of behavior that makes us all human.

    Why can’t we all get along? Because someone among us all won’t let us. And sadly will always bring out the “worst” in us as a result.

    26 degrees with light snow, 1 inch on the ground.

    Steve

  74. poohpity says:

    It would seem we can blame another for bringing out what is already there behind the mask but when it all comes down to it they are not bringing anything out that does not already exist. No one controls the thoughts, emotions and temperament of another but rather than taking personal responsibility we can blame them, then one never has to admit to anything. The only one who can bring or let out the worst in us, is us.

    Jesus said, “You call me good but only God is good”. Jesus is God so He is good. How could Jesus have been the sacrifice for our sin if He had a blemish or was not good, pure and without defect? He could not! How could we know that we needed that sacrifice unless we admit to our worse and not blame it on someone else? We could not!

    Romans 3:22 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.

  75. poohpity says:

    It seems strange to blame others for the worst in us but never give God in us the credit for the good, now for that we want to take responsibility for something we are not responsible for.

  76. jeff1 says:

    My mum would say of my dad that he only seen the best in others but I believe my mum was wrong and what my dad did was bring out the best in others.

    It was in him, it wasn’t learned behaviour, it was his nature to put others before himself and it made him happy to do so.

    Yes, we are all flawed but there are people who are more Christlike because it is in their nature to be so and I believe that is their heritage.

    Most think like my mum and Job’s friends in that when bad stuff happens they see God’s hand in punishing that person for they must have done something to deserve it.

    They make assumptions on the facts they have on that person’s life but my dad knew it wasn’t how God worked and I believe my dad knew God better than anyone I know.

    I could tell you that it was my his Christian upbringing but I knew many with that kind of upbringing and they shared my mum’s perspective rather than his.

    It was my dad’s inheritance to know and that means it was God’s will for him.

    God works mysteriously to those of us who don’t understand Him but for those who do it is God’s providence for them.

    A person does not have to be perfect to know God but he has to trust God with all his heart and I know my dad did that.

    I am more like my mum who let her head rule her heart and it wasn’t good for my mum and it hasn’t been good for me.

    My mind is a minefield when it comes to thoughts and why song and music is so soothing.

    Why can’t we all get along? I think because one is as broken as the other and so looking forward to being resurrected into God’s new creation where there will be no more brokenness and we will be one with our Creator.

    God Is Good (all the time)
    And all the time (God is good)

    God is good (all the time)
    And all the time (God is good)

    God is good all the time
    He put a song of praise in this heart of min
    God is good, yes He is, all the time
    Through the darkest night, His light will shine
    God is good, yes he is, God is good
    All the time, here we go!

    God is good all the time
    He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
    God is good all the time
    Through the darkest night, His light will shine
    God is good, yes, God is good all the time

    That’s right, listen
    If you’re walking through the valley
    And there are shadows all around
    Do not fear, He will guide you

    He will keep you safe and sound
    He has promised to never leave you
    Or forsake you, and His word is true

    God is good, all the time
    He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
    God is good all the time
    Through the darkest night, His light will shine
    God is good, all the time, yes He is

    Listen
    We are sinners and so unworthy
    Still for us He chose to die
    Filled us with His Holy Spirit

    Now we can stand and testify
    That His love is everlasting
    And His mercies, they will never end

    God is good all the time
    He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
    God is good all the time
    Through the darkest night, His light will shine
    God is good, God is good all the time, yes He is

    Though I may not understand
    All the plans you have for me
    My life is in your hands
    And through the eyes of faith I can clearly see

    That God is good all the time
    He put a song of praise in this heart of mine
    God is good all the time
    Through the darkest night, His light will shine
    God is good. God is good all the time

    God is good all the time
    He has put a song of praise in this heart of mine
    God is good all the time
    Through the darkest night, His light will shine
    God is good, God is good
    God is good, He’s so good, He’s so good
    God is good
    He’s so good, help me out!
    All the time

    Yes He is!

    God is good (all the time)
    And all the time (God is good)

    God is good (all the time)
    And all the time (God is good)

  77. poohpity says:

    The best thing we could ever learn is that we do not need to compare ourselves with others because God made us uniquely to be His, just as we are.

  78. jeff1 says:

    I think the best thing I have learned is that God has a purpose for everything.

    It is in knowing that I find peace of mind as I am not trying so hard to understand God but to trust Him.

    I truly believe that is all God asks of us is to trust Him and it is I who complicates the relationship with my assumptions, doubts and wanderings.

    The truth is that God knows His children much better than they Him irrespective of what they claim.

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

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

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

  79. poohpity says:

    Viv, who spent more time with your parents individually? Would one come to the conclusion that those who spent more time with them knew them better than those who did not? Out of my three children my daughter knew my likes and dislikes better than her brothers and it was evident more at birthdays and Christmas than any other time because she always knew what pleased me. That is not saying that she loved me more than her brothers but just knew me better. It is not a put down as much as it is she spent more time listening to me and watching my actions than they did. That is true with almost all relationships and marriages people seem to want to be known rather than spending time to get to know others.

  80. poohpity says:

    Paul taught in 1 Cor 2: 7 No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. 8 But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. 9 That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,

    “No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
    and no mind has imagined
    what God has prepared
    for those who love him.”

    10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 11 No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. 12 And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

    13 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. 14 But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. 15 Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. 16 For,

    “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts?
    Who knows enough to teach him?”

    But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

  81. poohpity says:

    Do we understand everything about God, I can only speak for myself and that would be a big NO but the longer I walk with Him the more I learn to trust that He sure does know better than I do and that is why He has given us guidelines to live our lives by so that our lives will be more full of joy and peace.

  82. jeff1 says:

    As I see it God wants us to know He is still in control though the world may not reflect it and that is what His Spirit enlightens me to that I can trust Him for better or for worse.

    His word is truth and so all else will pass away but the will of God will prevail as is His providence.

    I would say that the longer I know God the less fretful I get and I enjoy gatherings with others who share my faith but my greatest joy is in know that God doesn’t forsake me.

    I am glad that I belong to a church that takes Holy Communion monthly as I feel so much closer to God afterwards.

    Something my dad and I disagreed on as he felt twice a year services which the Presbyterian church practised was sufficient.

    I think it is humbling to partake in this sacrament and reminds me to be so.

  83. street says:

    When Jesus was with us, he said that he had come to set the world on fire—and wished it had already happened (Luke 12:49). His forerunner, John, had said something similar about One who would baptize not with water— but with fire.

    6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God,

    thinking about this verse…..2 Timothy 1:6

    thinking of the the accelerant of choice.

  84. poohpity says:

    Paul explains that as often as we meet together to worship, to partake in the Lord’s supper so that we are remembering what Jesus did for us and that we are waiting for Him to come again. That is in 1 Cor 11. I keep the elements so that neighbors who are unable to go to church can still partake to remember and hope for the future.

    “On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this in remembrance of me as often as you drink it.”

  85. poohpity says:

    We could celebrate communion everyday in remembrance as we go to God every morning in worship.:)

  86. poohpity says:

    “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

  87. poohpity says:

    When we realize that the Lord “is still with us— and that we belong to him”. Then we have the choice to love the best and the worst in others and in ourselves.

    Romans 12:9 Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

    14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

    17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

    19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

    “I will take revenge;
    I will pay them back,”
    says the Lord.

    20 Instead,

    “If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
    If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
    In doing this, you will heap
    burning coals of shame on their heads.”

    21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.”

  88. jeff1 says:

    I can see then that many here are doing that because those I know who have been effected by evil do not seek revenge but leave it in the Lord’s hands.

    It is ordinary people who do what is right, pay their taxes, their bills, work hard, live next door to their neighbour without prejudice, worship God and allow others of different religions to do the same.

    It is those who believe their religion or beliefs are right and all others are wrong that cause strife because they have no tolerance or patience for those who do not share their beliefs.

    I find it is those with extreme points of view that will not allow others their’s while the majority of ordinary people do respect and irrespective whether they share your faith are happy for you to practise it.

  89. foreverblessed says:

    May God bless us all! May we experience what is meant by: blessing:
    The fact that we belong to Him.
    ” I am His and My beloved is mine”

    And that is true whatever the circumstances.

  90. jeff1 says:

    Tempted and tired we’re oft made to wonder
    Why it should be thus all the day long
    While there are others living around us
    Never molested though in the wrong

    (Chorus)
    Farther along we’ll know all about it
    Farther along we’ll understand why
    Cheer up my brother live in the sunshine
    We’ll understand it all by and by

    When death has come and taken our loved ones
    It leaves our home so lonely and drear
    And then do we wonder why others prosper
    Living so wicked year after year

    (Chorus)
    Farther along we’ll know all about it
    Farther along we’ll understand why
    Cheer up my brother live in the sunshine
    We’ll understand it all by and by

    When we see Jesus coming in glory
    When he comes down from his home in the sky
    Then we shall meet him in that bright mansion
    We’ll understand it all by and by

    (Chorus)
    Farther along we’ll know all about it
    Farther along we’ll understand why
    Cheer up my brother live in the sunhine
    We’ll understand it all by and by

    Yeah we’ll understand it all by and by

  91. jeff1 says:

    No matter what they tell us
    No matter what they do
    No matter what they teach us
    What we believe is true

    No matter what they call us
    However they attack
    No matter where they take us
    We’ll find our own way back

    I can’t deny what I believe
    I can’t be what I’m not
    I know I’ll love forever
    I know, no matter what

    If only tears where laughter
    If only night was day
    If only prayers where answered
    Then we would hear God say

    No matter what they tell you
    No matter what they do
    No matter what they teach you
    What you believe is true

    And I will keep you safe and strong
    And sheltered from the storm
    No matter where it’s barren
    A dream is being born

    No matter who they follow
    No matter where they lead
    No matter how they judge us
    I’ll be everyone you need

    No matter if the sun don’t shine
    Or if the skies are blue
    No matter what the end is
    My life began with you

    I can’t deny what I believe
    I can’t be what I’m not
    I know, I know
    I know this love’s forever
    That’s all that matters now
    No matter what

  92. SFDBWV says:

    The tides of life for most of us are always changing. Whereas for me I have for all of my adult life fed the various animals that came into my back yard and did enjoy watching them there came that moment when watching the deer became less enjoyable as well as more expensive.

    The bigger deer would actually stand overtop the feed so no other deer could eat, they would fight each other and not share one single kernel of corn. They became too many and soon became more of a pest than a pleasure.

    Their greedy bullying nature became seen by me to be more like people than the gentle animals of nature we would like to think of them as.

    So I quit feeding the deer corn, but continued to feed the squirrels and birds, bird seed.

    I found that from that point forward I spent a lot of time and energy running off the deer who when they came in to my neighbors corn would come on over to my yard for desert.

    A few years ago the red winged black birds showed up. They very much like the corn and can be seen in corn fields in flocks of a hundred or more. Along with the black birds came the cow birds. Neither bird has a song, just a squawk or a noise like drops of water. Both come in flocks of huge numbers and run off any other birds that try to feed.

    Worse they stay until every single seed is gone and then come back looking for more.

    What happened over time was that instead of enjoying watching the feeding song birds who came in pairs, I was constantly finding myself trying to run off the pesky black birds instead.

    What used to be a peaceful stress free experience became a very stressful ordeal.

    I have placed one small feeder in under my porch away from anything the squirrels can climb up in order to jump to the feeder and placed it away from my view.

    In this way I can set in the house and have some peace.

    What you ask has this to do with our subject?

    Mart reminds us that from the beginning in the Garden there is something drumming in the background that something about us and everything isn’t as good or as bad as we think.

    But I have found that there is always something that spoils every good thing that comes along.

    From the beginning in the Garden to my back yard.

    41 degrees and wet from overnight rain, snow showers forecast for today.

    Steve

  93. poohpity says:

    Wow sort of sounds like what happened on here too. Mart put feed out but others would come and lead the conversation into a whole different direction and those who enjoyed Mart’s feeding program started being chased away and pretty much spoiled all that “beenthinking” was about at one time. Rather than enjoying the differences in thought about the subjects, the subjects were just changed by the controlling factor.

    Since change is the only thing we can depend on then we learn to adjust or adapt and find the beauty even in the most difficult of personalities or circumstances because everything and everyone matters to God. It is hard when one tries to control then often there is a failure to see what is best even in the worst.

    Col 1:19
    For God in all his fullness
    was pleased to live in Christ,
    20
    and through him God reconciled
    everything to himself.
    He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
    by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

    21 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. 22 Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.

    23 But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News……..

    26 This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. 27 For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.

    28 So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ.

  94. poohpity says:

    The one thing I find so amazing about Mart no matter the differences in anyone or their beliefs they seem to be welcome into his room. He asks questions to clarify but since I have been on here which is 10 years this month he has never put anyone down maybe here and there the mediators blocked them or deleted comments when they broke the guidelines but continues in offering a table with spiritual food for thought.

  95. jeff1 says:

    In describing Mart you have described a genuine man of God with patience and long suffering being his greatest gifts.

  96. SFDBWV says:

    “For Better or Worse”

    This is a term used in most marriage vows. Which reminded me that there is no marriage ceremony or sacrament given in Scripture.

    Viv talks about her mother being illegitimate and as a result feeling chastised her entire life for it. My own great grandmother Phoebe was saddled with the same “shame” and the misuse of the word bastard in Scripture worried and bothered her for most all of her life as well.

    Yet the word actually is applied to a false religion, a false worship and an illegitimate way to come before God.

    In this concept that in our own lives or in the nature of mankind that we possess the worst and the best, that there is something about us and everything that is not as good nor as bad as we think. I am left to wonder, good and bad what?

    Smiling I remember way back when I first came to the blog and Mart involved himself with the thread of conversation he stated that he had to admit he did not like people who tried to appear as if they were spiritually superior.

    I did then and do now fully agree.

    Such people think they have it all figured out, see quite clearly and emit the presence of knowing more than the rest of us.

    They quote Scripture as a weapon and point their finger at all who disagree.

    “For Better or Worse” as a wedding vow implies that we abide with our spouses no matter how good or how bad it may get. Looked at as a way God perceives His relationship with us implies the same.

    Yet in this world under the conditions we are left to endure, some marriages are best left for divorce when “worse” may mean bullying, beatings and unrepentant abuse.

    Yes there is some good and some bad in us all, but then somewhere in the definition someone has to define good and bad. As people tend to see things quite differently and some quite good at defending or rationalizing their beliefs.

    Some wear rose colored glasses, all wear dark where Scripture is concerned.

    25 degrees and clear.

    Steve

  97. poohpity says:

    The bible gives us examples in defining what good and bad are so there is really no question about that at all because He taught that ALL sin. God gave us the definitions of what that looks like so people do not have to define it by their own understanding. Jesus even went deeper into the definition in the beatitudes found in His Sermon on the Mount in Matt 5-7.

    Steve, when did Mart ever say he did not like a person because of something they said or did? That seems more like assuming based on what you do, not on who Mart is that is better known as projection which leads to false consensus effect.

  98. poohpity says:

    Romans 13:8 Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. 9 For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.

    11 This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. 13 Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in QUARRELING and JEALOUSY. 14 Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.

  99. poohpity says:

    Psalm 130

    From the depths of despair, O Lord,
    I call for your help.
    2
    Hear my cry, O Lord.
    Pay attention to my prayer.

    3
    Lord, if you kept a record of our sins,
    who, O Lord, could ever survive?
    4
    But you offer forgiveness,
    that we might learn to fear you.

    5
    I am counting on the Lord;
    yes, I am counting on him.
    I have put my hope in his word.
    6
    I long for the Lord
    more than sentries long for the dawn,
    yes, more than sentries long for the dawn.

    7
    O Israel(all peoples), hope in the Lord;
    for with the Lord there is unfailing love.
    His redemption overflows.
    8
    He himself will redeem Israel(all peoples)
    from every kind of sin.

  100. saled says:

    I share Steve’s frustration about feeding the animals. I only feed birds, but haven’t been able to outwit the squirrels, so my grandchildren enjoy watching the squirrels. The migratory birds have just reappeared here though, and must be finding food on their own. At one point yesterday morning I heard robins, sparrows, chickadees, blue jays, and then the sound of the pileated woodpecker ( a huge bird) hammering out a home in a tree nearby. And as I walked the dogs after dark last night, I heard loons calling on a pond about a mile from here. I love their calls, but if you were unfamiliar with them you would find them frightening.

    Steve says there is always something that spoils every good thing that comes along. Maybe another way to think of it is that things never last. They always change.

    Recently I have felt that God is teaching me that things don’t need to be perfect to get my approval and love. The Bible says “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
    He came to us and loved us as we were.

    I’ve told the story before of how I grew up raking blueberries for my grandparents and how Grammie would always encourage us, saying that the berries were better up ahead. I always believed her, and in though out my life always felt that things would be better in the future. Well, now I am in my 60″s and am not in the best berries of my life. But God says to be saying, “It’s not in a great crop, it’s not in perfection. These scattered little berries in front of you are miracles. Appreciate and love them.” And I am learning that lesson and there is peace in it.

    Grandson is arriving in a few minutes and we will go look for the squirrels.

  101. poohpity says:

    In my understanding which is not saying so much “Spiritual Superiority” are those who think they are more godly, righteous and boast in how spirit filled they are compared to others. Those who have spent time getting to know God through scripture but yet can still admit their sinfulness, brokenness and need for the Lord, comparing themselves to Christ not others is not “Spiritual Superiority”. I admire those who have spent their time since they have become a believer who’s desire is for God and love Him so much they desire to learn all they can about Him.

  102. poohpity says:

    Wow saled what a beautiful lesson. I have a three pound bag of Maine blueberries that are frozen but make a great addition of flavor to my plain Icelandic yogurt.

  103. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve, I can definitely relate to your “critter feeding” let down… We too have discontinued feeding the deer for the very same reasons…although we now HAND FEED the squirrels as they come to the glass slider peeking in while hanging from the door handle…we put up a slinky and they can no longer get to the bird seed…the crows, squirrels, and various birds still fight but they don’t eat as much as the deer thus not as expensive…BUT as least the critters at least SEEM remorseful when we scold them from time to time…

    So, the overall disappointment is not anywhere near as antagonizing and infuriating as the one that comes here to rob anything good we find to feed on BTA. As I read/pray Psalm 51 every morning, I can’t help but glance at Psalm 52 and think of that one and feel a little bit of pity for one so defiant and ignorant.

    Psalm 52 King James Version (KJV)

    52 Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endureth continually.

    2 The tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.

    3 Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah.

    4 Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue.

    5 God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah.

    6 The righteous also shall see, and fear, and shall laugh at him:

    7 Lo, this is the man that made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.

    I went further to the study bible to check out verse 1.. This Psalm was written about Doeg, the Edomite that had betrayed Ahimelech and David and then killed God’s priests. Doeg thought he was a great hero..–even boasting of his deed.. In reality his deed was evil..an offense to God. It is easy to mistake “accomplishment” with goodness. Just because something is done well or thoroughly doesn’t make it good.. (for example, someone maybe a great gambler or skillful liar)Measure all that you do by the rule of God’s word not by how proficiently you do it…

    And THIS is why I spend so much time asking for mercy ..BUT can not begin to understand how one so proud of knowing scripture can possibly see their evil deeds as worthy of hero worship of themselves… Lord have mercy!!

  104. Beloved says:

    Good news! A glimpse of light looking through a dark glass.

    A Future for Failures
    “Fear not; you have done all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart; and do not turn aside after vain things which cannot profit or save, for they are vain.” (1 Samuel 12:20–21).

    When the Israelites have been brought to fear and repent of their sin of demanding Samuel to give them a king, then comes the good news: “Fear not; you have done all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart; and do not turn aside after vain things which cannot profit or save, for they are vain” (12:20–21).

    This is the gospel — even though you have sinned greatly, and terribly dishonored the Lord, even though you now have a king which it was a sin to get, even though there is no undoing that sin or its painful consequences that are yet to come, nevertheless there is a future and a hope.

    Fear not! Fear not!

    Then comes the great ground of the gospel in verse 22. “For the Lord will not cast away his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself.” John Piper

  105. Beloved says:

    Narrow it occurs to me that when I ask God to reveal the darkness in my heart psalm51, He reveals it. Not other people’s sins but my own. Stop looking at Pooh’s sins it’s only a snare. God will take care of others’ sins. You will find peace if you do this.

  106. Beloved says:

    When street named Pooh as a serpent he was right, but he also said, The LORD rebuke you. Peace comes in leaving the rebuking to the One who is ONLY able to convict and atone for sin. Get out of the devil’s snare and stop wrestling, all of you, Steve Pat Pearl with the devil. It hurt my heart Steve when you called Pooh a bad penny because we are all bad unless we accept Christ’s atonement. There is much grace to be received, even one who wears a serpents costume. Even a snake sheds it’s own skin eventually. Be patient, be kind, beloved of God.

  107. Beloved says:

    The story of Samson is a great read.

  108. street says:

    For Better or Worse
    thinking about job daniel noah, true great men and note by God as great.
    thinking of king saul, uzziah, joab.

    For Better or Worse?

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

    a sinner in great need of a Savior

  109. Beloved says:

    Yes street, yet God gets His will and purposes completed using whoever He wants, some bound for greatness and some for disgrace, like Samson. Above all things God is still sovereign. His ways are beyond us. We are chosen vessels.

  110. narrowpathseeker says:

    Joyce, thank you for your concern for me, Pat, and Steve. However, I do find it somewhat amusing that both you and Pooh recognize the “one” with out ever mentioning a name. I would also add that I am painfully aware of MY sins and that is why I ask for mercy daily…I HATE everything I do that I believe is offensive to the Lord. This is the reason that I READ/PRAY Psalm 51 every day. I acknowledge my sinful nature and focus on the TRUTH shall set you free….I ask for forgiveness and mercy for the contempt I hold for the “one” that seeks to devour everyone here. I will not pretend I have love for those for which I have none which would be a lie, but I DO ask to be filled with His love for such people. Every now and then a twinge of pity/compassion comes over me for liars and pretenders when I read verse 5 of Psalm 52.. so your concern for those of us pointing out blatant and continuous sins of the “one” may be better directed to the ONE and verse 5 if there is genuine concern for the “one” . I am sorry but it appears to me that you may need to find some solid ground to stand on. Lord have mercy on us ALL.

  111. mtman says:

    Just came by for a rare visit. I note that there is much speculation and opinion about Mart and his blogs on this site. Mart seems to try to get people to learn by using the Socratic method but what it actually is is a variation of that method.

    Socratic method stems from Socrates questioning his students and by carefully asking questions to get his students to analyze and evaluate and promote discussion ultimately coming to the right answer. This system only works as long as the master presents carefully crafted questions that give the student the opportunity to find the truth in the matter on their own.

    Mart interacted in the beginning with the blog participants but over time slacked off. Now it has evolved to he presents a question/s and is gone until the next topic. The participants in the blog are left to fend for themselves and come up with all kinds of solutions with no direction from the originator of the blog to keep things on track. The old rules which governed the site and maintained order have long disappeared. The blog is now pretty much rudderless where the participants snipe at each other, go constantly off track and tend to disrespect each other.

    The Socratic method only works when you have questions that bring the participant to finding answers on their own using their own intellect and reasoning. I have also noted that Mart’s comments in ODB are also mostly unanswered questions that if carried out can be taken to several conclusions.

    When asking a question the questioner should ask because they honestly are seeking an answer for themselves; or they already possess the answer and want to help the other person to find the answer themselve through careful and thoughtful analysis.

    To simply ask a question or two leaving the hearer to struggle toward the answer without guidance or direction does not do justice to the questioner or those questioned. This blog started out with rules and direction coupled with guidance of the blog master and was effective.

    The blog has sadly fallen to petty squabbles, name calling and derision between the die hard followers. Many symptoms are discussed between participants but it seems to me what is needed is someone to enforce rules and serve as a guide towards answers. Some try to stay on focus but then back biting takes over and ……derision ensues.

    I do not say this in a critical spirit but as I see what has evolved over the years. I visit from time to time just to see if there is any change only to find out that it is still in the same rut. I do not blame Mart as to maintain this blog would take a lot of time and effort. I also am not saying this because I am interested because I have more than enough to do with my writing. I only say this because I visit occasionally and not as a regular participant can maybe see things a little differently.

    Participants in this or any other blog like this should be centered on the topic and not floundering or constantly going off topic to make personal affronts. Just my opinion…. be back later.

  112. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, for your information I spent my my life living with a man who knew God and it wasn’t from his knowledge of scripture but his desire to do what was right in God’s sight.

    He focused on keeping himself right with God rather than second guessing what others were doing and he only spoke or fought against those doing evil as he believed that was his place as a follower.

    Stop finding fault with your brothers and sisters in Christ and start taking a stand against God’s real enemies of the world.

  113. Beloved says:

    Pearl I said “One” talking about Jesus.

    My footing is sure, built on the sure foundation of Christ crucified once for all who believe and receive. I am no longer overwhelmed by the majority rule here as Christ had granted me grace to follow Him more closely. Much more grace needed though as my tendency is to scare easily. God knows how fragile I am but pushes me onward anyway. Why? Because it’s His will I follow Him and not man. It’s a good place to be, I like the freedom to do His will, and even when frustration sets in I really like knowing His will will be done no matter if I am up down or under the ground!

    Sit down, shut up and listen I would say if I were God, but He’s not that crass. He leads me beside still waters and restores my soul. He’s a good God/Dad!

    I agree with mtmn’s assessment though we are all a bunch of cracked-pots here given a graceful place to rattle. Doesn’t make for good common sense, does it. Oh Glory!

  114. poohpity says:

    Viv, how did your dad know what was right in God’s sight without any awareness or teaching from God in/by scripture? Was your dad a pacifist by nature?

  115. jeff1 says:

    He had the teaching and Christian upbringing and he prayed for God’s guidance and trusted God to guide him while others trusted in themselves.

    That meant he was ahead of his time and made the right choices while others were making the wrong ones.

    He was a peace maker from the troubles began and he was steadfast in his pursuit of it. He didn’t turn a blind eye to wrong doing which ever side it came from and that was a difficult stand to take during a time of conflict.

    It wasn’t obvious to me then but it is obvious to me now that he put God first, others second and himself last and that was his expectation in life that his own needs were last and that speaks to me of someone who knows God better than anyone.

  116. narrowpathseeker says:

    Joyce, I was not referring to your reference to “one” but rather my reference to “one” and I wasn’t speaking of Jesus I just wanted to clear that up.. I know that I am not on the same page as you, but sometimes I think we may even be in a different book altogether, so I am not going to engage in an endless debate nor take any more bait.. I am very foolish sometimes…and again…Lord have mercy.

  117. Beloved says:

    Narrow I’m not trying to bait you into anything. I’m sorry I misunderstood your post, reading/interpretation is difficult sometimes. Please forgive me.

  118. Beloved says:

    I just reread your post pearl. I guess I deserved that. Yes, I’m praying with you to know Gods redemptive merciful love. I’ll not speak to you again as you wish. Thanks.

  119. street says:

    For Better or Worse

    live by the law die by the law.

    17 “But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesn’t that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker.

    19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.

    thinking about the prodigal. he came home and was never punished!!! did i read that right? why are we punishing ourselves?

  120. Beloved says:

    Because we think we deserve it. Something is very wrong with our thinking.

  121. Beloved says:

    Think its the older brother syndrome. The one that doesn’t want the younger to ‘get away with anything’ so to speak.

  122. foreverblessed says:

    Yesterday I had some trouble posting.
    I wanted to say a warm welcome back to Beloved.

    May God bless you with His peace.

    Years ago, when I came out of a fundamentel church, someone gave me a book of Rick Joyner, of 3 visions he had had.
    In one of the visions het saw a building made of living people, christians who had died to the old man, and who lived in Christ. He saw a person walking in the building, someone not yet totally surrendered to Jesus. And he said to God: That person does not belong here, do something about him.
    God answered: leave that person alone, my Love must grow in him before I cast out all the evil spirits, that are still in him. ( I think there was a spirit of worship, ( that is, an evil spirit of worship) ( like in my old fundamental church there was a spirit of religiosity, ( keeping to rules that seemed religious, instead of a spirit yielded to Christ).

  123. foreverblessed says:

    Being yielded to Christ,
    Is saying: I need Him.
    I need His love to flow through me.

    I had a discussion with a family member about Jesus, and she was saying: I do not need a Savior, Buddah also has many wise sayings.
    I answered: Yes, he has, but he does not give you the power to keep them, like Jesus does.

    Admitting that we in ourselves do not have that real love, is being of a poor spirit
    Matt 5:3

    I am praying for her:
    Oh God, be merciful!
    Kyrie Eleison
    Erbarme dich

  124. jeff1 says:

    I agree, Forever, I cannot say I love my enemies when I don’t and that is what I am telling God that while I can leave my enemies in His hands and trust Him with them I lack love for them myself.

    I see the walking wounded and the walking dead and my heart bleeds for them as their enemies do not see a need to say sorry or tell them where there loved ones are buried and that is because history has repeated itself and no one takes responsibility for wrong doing.

    There are wrongs that only God can right because everyone has gone their own way and it is only God who can save us from the past that so often haunts us.

    Whose hands do I trust the future with? I only need to take a look at this world to know that putting my trust in God has always been and will always be the right choice.

    My dad never said God knew best and then went his own way but was guided by Him and his decisions in life reflected in whom he put his trust.

    Walk with me, Lord! Walk with me!
    Walk with me, Lord! Walk with me!
    While I’m on my pilgrim journey,
    I need You, Jesus, to walk with me.

    Be my friend, Lord! Be my friend!
    Be my friend, Lord! Be my friend!
    While I’m on this tedious journey
    I need You, Jesus, to be my friend.

    Don’t leave me alone, Lord!
    Don’t leave me alone!
    Don’t leave me alone, Lord!
    Don’t leave me alone!
    While I’m on my pilgrim journey,
    Well I need you Jesus, to walk with me.
    Hmmm-Hmmm(7x)
    Pilgrim journey
    Well I need Jesus to walk with me

  125. poohpity says:

    Ar one time the church of England denied the common people the bible. “Because of the huge size of complete Bibles, they were divided into several volumes, and each was very costly. Only the rich and the universities could afford them. Into this situation came a great revolutionary named John Wycliffe, whose central doctrine was, “Every Christian ought to study this book because it is the whole truth!” Wycliffe inspired the first complete translation of the Scriptures into English. He also lashed out against the power and riches of the church establishment, and became a very popular leader at Oxford. Inevitably, he was condemned by the archbishop and was fired from Oxford. However, his conviction of the authority of the Bible rather than the Pope stirred great controversy. Despite the church’s efforts to suppress the Bibles, the common people were at last able to receive and read God’s Word.

    Today we are pretty casual about this great treasure, so readily available to us. We do well to stop for a moment to realize that we can actually hold in our hands the precious revelation of God Himself. It costs us less than an hour’s wage, rather than a year’s salary, as it once did. The temptation now is to treat the ancient word casually as well. But from this ink and paper springs the ageless gospel of hope for this life and the life to come. It is our priceless heritage.”(Taken from the “International Bible Society”)

    To be so adamant against reading the bible as some are when there are people around the world that have lost their lives just to get one page of it seems almost sacrilegious. That seems to happen when people take anything for granted because it is plentiful. How does one know anything about God and the Gospel without it, how does one teach if they have not read it, how does anyone recognize false teaching without it or how can one know the truth unless they have read it and finally what guidelines do we follow if not God’s shared in His word? It is available for ALL so no one can boast about reading it but those who don’t sure do find ways to persecute those who do and that also seems rather sad and sacrilegious.

  126. Beloved says:

    Beware of legalism Pooh. The law leads to death, but grace took away the sting of death. For better or worse? It’s a choice we make when when we choose what we serve. Did you know the Jews and also Muslims make the Torah and the Koran to be mandatory reading? Some can also make the Bible a text book of “required” reading. Sending shame on the hearer. We are free from the law of sin and death and religiosity as Forever pointed out! Good news, it’s all about Jesus and Him crucified! Jesus plus? NO! In Christ alone our hope is found says the modern day hymn I love.

    Thank you Forever it was a good few days of spending time away in God’s presence. Trying to do more of it. Funny but when I was a busy single mom of 3 I used to dream of getting away to a motel room with just my Bible and studying and praying for a day alone. Now I am alone and easily find things to distract my devotion. I think that being a prodigal myself I still am in awe He adopted me and I find it sometimes difficult to allow myself to believe He calls me His daughter. But I’m slowly getting used to the idea. It’s all by His Spirit as you know. His pregnant grace does not overwhelm. I’m easily overwhelmed by both the good, and the bad.

  127. Beloved says:

    As far as prodgals go a single day is as a thousand years to the LORD. Think of it!

  128. jeff1 says:

    You cannot stop people reading the Bible for the wrong reasons to increase knowledge to Lord it over others. That’s why God wanted us to read for encouragement and reproof but sadly those who read it for the wrong reasons become puffed up rather than as God intended humble and obedient.

    God has other ways of drawing us to Himself and how my dad knew God was through obedience i.e. wanting to please God by putting his best foot forward and trusting God with the outcome.

    Footsteps walking with me
    Footsteps I cannot see
    But every move I make
    And every step I take
    I know they’re there with me
    They walk with me all the way
    Beside me day by day
    Through good and bad
    Through happy and sad
    Those footsteps won’t go away

    I’ll never walk in life alone
    There’ll always be someone there
    I know He won’t let me down
    He’s with me everywhere
    The special things in life I’ve done
    Have been through Him and His love
    I’ve been blessed in so many ways

    Thanks to the Lord above

    Footsteps walking with me
    Footsteps I cannot see
    But every move I make
    And every step I take
    I know they’re there with me
    They walk with me all the way
    Beside me day by day
    Through good and bad
    Through happy and sad
    Those footsteps won’t go away

    I think that my life’s been planned
    By the one who’s guiding me
    When I’m led by the hand
    Of someone I can’t see
    I’m not always sure where to go
    That’s when I follow His lead
    I know that the pathway that He shows
    Will held me to succeed

    Footsteps walking with me (footsteps walking)
    Footsteps I cannot see (I cannot see)
    But every move I make
    And every step I take
    I know they’re there with me
    They walk with me all the way
    Beside me day by day (day by day)
    Through good and bad
    Through happy and sad
    Those footsteps won’t go away
    Through good and bad
    Through happy and sad
    By my side they will stay

  129. poohpity says:

    Beloved, how does reading the bible have anything to do with legalism? First off it is where one learns about God’s grace, second it is not forced reading it is because one loves God and wants to know about Him out of desire not duty.

    Legalism is following the moral law and expecting others to do the same. Anyone who has read the bible knows that the law does nothing for us other than showing us our sin. I have yet to know one who truly reads the bible that gets puffed up because they know that it is God who teaches us from it. But thank you for showing the very persecution that comes to those who do read it from those who don’t.

    How do you know it is about Jesus crucified? Well there are two ways someone who read the bible taught that or one reads it for themselves. Either way all we know about Jesus came from the bible whether we are fed by someone else or we have learned to feed ourselves.

  130. poohpity says:

    Being puffed up about reading the bible would be like being puffed up because I sat down with my husband this morning to have a conversation with him and that would only happen because I love my husband, desire to spend time with him and communication keeps the marriage together. Not because I have to but because I want to.

  131. Beloved says:

    “I have yet to know one who truly reads the bible that gets puffed up because they know that it is God who teaches us from it. ”

    My point exactly. Perhaps you are blind to your own pride? Many false teachers preach and read from the Bible, thinking and believing they are truly reading and knowing God. Ireland’s wars are a prime example, which is why our dear Vivien has a hard time with the Bible. I’d be a bit gun shy myself if the Bible was used to cause wars. Be careful you don’t condemn in your preaching. I did enjoy hearing some of the history of the Bible again though. :-)

  132. Beloved says:

    Well yes the Bible has caused many wars and killings. Tyndall was killed because of it. But if in my town in my own neighborhood bombs started falling because of the Bible I’d have trouble. God would have to guide me in many different ways as He does Viv and as He did me before He revealed Himself to me. His grace gave me the thirst for God that I have still. Timidly I follow, but His grace is sufficient for what I need, today. He’s that good!!!

  133. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, you are talking of things you don’t understand because you would have to be brought up and live in a country where it did happen and I can remember my ex husband coming home and telling me of work mates sitting in the office and falling out over the Bible because they couldn’t agree on the interpretation and that it wasn’t about God but their ego’s arguing as to who was the smartest.

    Believe what you want to Pooh, but I have seen people quote the Bible for their own interests and not for God’s.
    You don’t know everything there is to know Pooh whether you think you do or not.

    I am not a liar and not everyone who reads the Bible as Godly intentions for doing so.

  134. SFDBWV says:

    Viv I just want you to know you are not alone or left out there to defend yourself without help or encouragement.

    The heavens declare the majesty of God and there to be seen by all and any who look up and see past the twinkling stars.

    Mart’s whole point is that people who think they have it all figured out only partially see as through dark glass.

    But that unfortunately doesn’t keep them from running their mouth, just like I said at the beginning, the wise owl keeps his eyes wide open his ears on alert, but his mouth shut.

    Don’t let misguided people disturb your peace, God is with you always.

    A friendly smile from a friend in the mountains of West Virginia to you in Northern Ireland.

    Steve

  135. jeff1 says:

    Thank you, Steve, when will I ever learn to be more like the wise owl, I do love this one Mart has posted as the eyes are as blue as the ocean.

    It’s good to take in the beauty as there is much beauty in the world as every country as special places to feel unperturbed and know the peace God gives.

    Some day there will be no misguided people to disturb our peace.

    Thanks for the smile, and my neighbour was telling me a joke she seen on social media warning people here not to be alarmed because the “shining bright object” seen in the skies over Northern Ireland was the “sun shining” and not an unidentified flying object.

    So a Good Day to you from sunny Northern Ireland.

  136. Beloved says:

    I’ve been hungry for pineapple upside down cake for days now, except we use cherries not blueberries.

  137. bubbles says:

    My second grade teacher made us memorize poems. Here’s one I’d forgotten about:

    A wise old owl sat in an oak
    The more he saw, the less he spoke
    The less he spoke, the more he heard
    Why can’t we be like that wise old bird?

  138. narrowpathseeker says:

    I have been spending less and less time on the pc altogether. I have been spending even less time here, but have been spending far more time praying and listening for His replies.

    I was staying away from BTA for long periods of time, because I was weak and was too often robbed of my peace and joy of communicating with brothers and sisters in Christ.

    Someone encouraged me to rethink avoiding the site, so I came back and almost immediately saw BTA in a different light..it is looking to me like a mission field…where I can help to rescue some from the roaming lion, pray for those discerned to need prayer, and at least attempt to encourage whomever I can.

    Let me start with Bubbles….I pray for you often. I also read and appreciate your posts although I don’t respond. I will print out your Wise Old Owl poem, frame it and hang it somewhere I will see it daily. Thank You

    Vivian….I have always admired your honest and humble nature. I pray for you as well and I love learning about Ireland first hand from a native. Please ignore the roaring lion….it has no power over you.

    Foreverblessed, you too are precious.. Thank you for your post of 3:20 am. It touched me deeply.

    Pat, I love your straightforwardness, your wisdom and sense of humor. Of course, I am sure you know I pray for you daily.

    Steve, you should know that you are loved, admired, and respected by most of us here.

    Joyce, I never asked you not to talk to me…I just refuse to debate the “one”. The “one” is what the “one” is and you nor anyone else with the exception of God Himself can change my belief on that matter. I am sorry if that hurts your feelings but it is a non negotiable subject.

  139. SFDBWV says:

    I was talking with Glenna last evening about how all of the Old Testament brought us up to the birth of our Savior and all of the New Testament brings us up to the birth of the Church. The Book of Revelation speaks to the church up until the 4th chapter and then is once again all about Israel and the judgement of the world.

    As I look at the passage whereby Jesus embarrasses Peter by continuing to ask him if he loved Him and repeats for Peter to feed His lambs and sheep (John 21:15-17 KJV) I am led to consider that as the New Testament ends we the Church of Christ take up the story.

    The story doesn’t end with what is written in Scripture, but rather begins from there on up unto the end of all things, if indeed there is an end.

    And we are the participants and characters.

    We take with us what we have learned, but are aided with a constant companion who leads and directs us. He is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus the Christ, our Lord and our God.

    Unlike any story of Scripture we are gifted with power from above dwelling with us, within us forever and will at that time resurrect us.

    But not so we can sound more biblical than another, only so that we can fulfill our purposes for God and some of those purposes is to feed the hungry and clothe the poor. To give a hand up to those who are down to show love not just speak it, wherever we can.

    A clue is found clearly in Isaiah 58:1-14 KJV

    Yes sometimes we need to be reminded over and over again what it means to be Christ like, to be Christian.

    As well as reminded not to be like the ones who stand in the street corners in public trying to sound pious to impress others of their “knowledge”.

    I am glad to see Pearl you have returned with a purpose. I wish more would join in and not let strife win.

    Steve

  140. saled says:

    A poem from a little plaque my parents had hanging in their kitchen:

    There’s so much good in the worst of us
    And so much bad in the best of us
    That it hardly behooves any of us
    To talk about the rest of us.

    Most of my Bible teaching came from Dr. J. Vernon McGee, and I love what he had to say about this. He said that when anyone spoke of him in a negative light, he said to himself, “Boy, if they only KNEW me!” True humility.

  141. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Morning Friends

    Saled, my father used to recite that poem frequently and I love it.. Of course over the years I have come to realize that we ALL talk about somebody at sometime….Maybe it is like much else….there is that fine line in the center where balancing the opposing ends is crucial. However, I have been trying very hard to take control of my big mouth and I am making a little progress and bringing that poem to mind may help me along.. Thank you again.

  142. poohpity says:

    Viv, never thought of myself as knowing a lot but have been falsely accused repeatedly of thinking that I think I do.
    ********************************************************
    I will quote some wisdom attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt again, “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people.” I know I am guilty of all three but which one do I fall into more often and who will set me free if it is the last one?

  143. poohpity says:

    I do know that God fully knows me down to even knowing how many hairs are on my head also every thought and all the things I keep secret from others but has found value in me and loved me enough to die a criminals death in my place. He knows the worst but thinks the best, Praise His Holy Name. And if I mean that much to Him that is all that really matters to me. As Pat once taught me :->~~~~~

  144. poohpity says:

    I do not think I am better or worse than anyone else because I KNOW the ground at the foot of the Cross is level and welcomes ALL. As scriptures teaches those who think it is important enough to read, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” (Romans 12:3 NIV)

  145. poohpity says:

    But that verse comes after saying let God transform the way you think Romans 12:2 NLT because only then can we look at ourselves with sober judgement rather than looking at others.

  146. jeff1 says:

    Even when I desire to change I find there are people who can bring out the worst in me and though these days I spend my time with like thinking people there is still an internal struggle going on to stop me from speaking when I know it would be better to keep my mouth shut.

    I am thankful that God loves me as I am because I know I am so much more my mum than my dad and while I am not saying my dad was perfect he was the wise owl knowing when or when not to speak, when or when not to listen to another and when or when not to speak or act in a situation.

    My mum was impulsive and volatile and called a spade a spade and it didn’t matter if she was speaking to Joe Blogs or the Queen of England she spoke her mind and never a thought of the consequences and her actions were likewise if you upset her then run for the hills if you know what is good for you.

    The differences their was in their upbringing as my mum was treated badly in the times she was brought up and condemned by the community for her illegimatecy.

    She went to school barefoot and spoke of how she was knocked of the footpath by others who said she wasn’t fit to walk with them.

    If my mum was mad it was society at that time that turned her that way and that is not me making an excuse for my mum’s behaviour but a fact of life.

    I do not have that excuse but was very close to my mum as a child and she said things to me that my dad knew she shouldn’t say to a child and she told me that we were all cursed because of her and my dad would say she believes that but it is not God’s way and I should not listen to her but as a child I absorbed all my mum said and now my head is all over the place and I can see that I have turned into my mum.

    She died of leukaemia at just 61 after having had a difficult life looking after my brother who suffered from schizophrenia from he was a teenager.

    I now take medication for a chemical imbalance and though the doctors here would not label my illness I understand from my symptoms that I am a manic depressive.

    I agree that it is a fine line as I can be very normal but do struggle with symptoms and without my medication would be very ill.

    My dad had a stable family Christian upbringing with 4 siblings and he and his twin sister were the eldest.

    He joined the Royal Navy at 18 and when the war ended then joined the Palestine Police until 1948 when the British left.

    This is probably why he was so disciplined and stable because he learned from a young age how to be so.

  147. poohpity says:

    Viv, I often listen to what you write and see how much you identify yourself compared to your parents but have yet to read how you find your new identity in Christ. The person who Jesus says you are after you have asked Him into your life, your new identity having all that old stuff pass away to be replaced with who Jesus says you are in Him.

    For example: You are a child of the great “I AM” (John 1:12)

    You are not condemned by God (Romans 8:1)
    You are chosen by God, holy and dearly loved (Col 3:12)
    You are completely forgiven (Col 1:14)
    You can approach God with boldness, freedom and confidence (Eph 3:12)
    You are a member of Christ’s body (1 Cor 12:27)

    and many many more things that are found in the bible. If those things cause wars and strife then I would say that those who claim to know God’s word may be deceived and are trying to deceive others into believing that they do.

  148. poohpity says:

    I’ve been the one
    To shake with fear
    And wonder if
    You’re even here

    I’ve been the one
    To doubt Your love
    I’ve told myself
    You’re not enough

    I’ve been the one
    To try and say
    I’ll overcome
    By my own strength

    I’ve been the one
    To fall apart
    And start to question
    Who You are

    You’re the one who conquers giants
    You’re the one who calls out kings
    You shut the mouths of lions
    You tell the dead to breathe
    You’re the one who walks through fire
    You take the orphan’s hand
    You are the one Messiah
    You are I am

    I’ve been the one
    Held down in chains
    Beneath the weight
    Of all my shame

    I’ve been the one
    To believe
    That where I am
    You cannot reach

    You’re the one who conquers giants
    You’re the one who calls out kings
    You shut the mouths of lions
    You tell the dead to breathe
    You’re the one who walks through fire
    You take the orphan’s hand
    You are the one Messiah
    You are I am
    You are I am

    The veil is torn
    And now I live
    With the spirit inside
    The same one
    The very same one
    Who brought the son
    Back to life

    Hallelujah, He lives in me
    Hallelujah, He lives in me
    Hallelujah, He lives in me
    Hallelujah, He lives in me

    You’re the one who conquers giants
    You’re the one who calls out kings
    You shut the mouths of lions
    You tell the dead to breathe
    You’re the one who walks through fire
    You take the orphan’s hand
    You are the one Messiah
    You are I am
    (Hallelujah, He lives in me)
    You are I am
    (Hallelujah, He lives in me)

  149. jeff1 says:

    When I spoke to my Rector about my mum and how back in those days she was shunned and treated the way she was he replied how he finds many of his parishioners hold superstitious beliefs that are not God given.

    He himself has tried to stop Halloween celebrations among his own parishioners revealing to them it is pagan but as they know no better they see no harm in them.

    People will believe what they want to believe and they were brought up to celebrate Halloween and ignorance is bliss in their shoes.

    Its very difficult to live as if the old stuff has passed away when society still lives as if it hasn’t.

    Ignorance is only bliss to those who know no better.

    I have returned to the God of my childhood.
    To the same simple faith as a child I once knew;
    Like the prodigal son I have longed for my loved ones,
    For the comforts of home and the God I outgrew.

    I have returned to the God of my childhood,
    Bethlehem’s Babe, the prophet’s Messiah;
    He’s Jesus to me, Eternal Deity;
    Praise His name, I have returned.

    I have returned to the God of my mother,
    With unfailing faith for the child of her heart;
    She said bring them up the way that you want them,
    Thank God when they’re grown, they’ll never depart.

    I have returned to the God of my mother,
    I learned at her knee He’s the lily of the valley;
    He’s Jesus to me, Eternal Deity;
    Praise His name, I have returned.

    I have returned to the God of my father,
    The most God-like man a child could know;
    I just heard a shout from the angels in glory,
    Praising the Lord a child has come home.

    I have returned to the God of my father,
    Creator of heaven and earth, God of the universe;
    He’s Jesus to me, Eternal Deity;
    Praise His name, I have returned.

    I have returned to the Yehweh of Judah,
    On my knees I did fall where the wall now stands;
    The lesson I learned as I’ve worked my way homeward,
    The Saviour of all is a comfort to man.

    I have returned to the Father of Abraham,
    The shepherd of Moses who called Him the great I am;
    He’s Jesus to me, Eternal Deity;
    Praise His name, I have returned, I have returned.

  150. Beloved says:

    Viv it is very hard living amongst those who think like the world thinks. Very hard. I like the song, its very reassuring in a troubled world. Yes God has all the Answers (Jesus) we need.

  151. Beloved says:

    I think returning is daily.

  152. jeff1 says:

    I like this song from Sunday morning reflections as it helps me forget the world and see how God has blessed me.

    As the world looks upon me, as I struggle along
    They say I have nothing, but they are so wrong
    In my heart I’m rejoicing, how I wish they could see
    Thank you Lord, for your blessings on me

    Chorus

    There’s a roof up above me
    I’ve a good place to sleep
    There’s food on my table
    And shoes on my feet
    You gave me your love Lord
    And a fine family
    Thank you Lord, for your blessings on me

    Now I know I’m not wealthy, and these clothes, they’re not new
    I don’t have much money, but Lord I have you
    And to me that’s all that matters, though the world cannot see
    Thank you Lord for your blessings on me

    Repeat Chorus

    There’s a roof up above me
    I’ve a good place to sleep
    There’s food on my table
    And shoes on my feet
    You gave me your love Lord
    And a fine family
    Thank you Lord, for your blessings on me

    Thank you Lord, for your blessings on me

  153. Beloved says:

    An excerpt from the poem Well?, by Woodbine Willy. Part of a sermon on Pauls conversion this morning.

    I dreamed as I were dead, ye see,
    At least as I ‘ad died,
    For I were very much alive,
    Out there on t’other side.
    I couldn’t see no judgment court,
    Nor yet that great white throne,
    I couldn’t see no record books,
    I seemed to stand alone.
    I seemed to stand alone, beside
    A solemn kind o’ sea.
    Its waves they got in my inside,
    And touched my memory.
    And day by day, and year by year,
    My life came back to me.
    I see’d just what I were, and what
    I’d ‘ad the charnce to be.
    And all the good I might ‘a’ done,
    An’ ‘adn’t stopped to do.
    I see’d I’d made an ‘ash of it,
    And Gawd! but it were true
    A throng ‘o faces came and went,
    Afore me on that shore,
    My wife, and Mother, kiddies, pals,
    And the face of a London whore.
    And some was sweet, and some was sad,
    And some put me to shame,
    For the dirty things I’d done to ’em,
    When I ‘adn’t played the game.
    Then in the silence someone stirred,
    Like when a sick man groans,
    And a kind o’ shivering chill ran through
    The marrer ov my bones.
    And there before me someone stood,
    Just lookin’ dahn at me,
    And still be’ind ‘Im moaned and moaned
    That everlasting sea.
    I couldn’t speak, I felt as though
    ‘E ‘ad me by the throat,
    ‘Twere like a drownin’ fellah feels,
    Last moment ‘e’s afloat.
    And ‘E said nowt, ‘E just stood still,
    For I dunno ‘ow long.
    It seemed to me like years and years,
    But time out there’s all wrong.
    What was ‘E like? You’re askin’ now.
    Can’t word it anyway.
    ‘E just were ‘Im, that’s all I knows.
    There’s things as words can’t say.
    It seemed to me as though ‘Is face,
    Were millions rolled in one.
    It never changed yet always changed,
    Like the sea beneath the sun.
    ‘Twere all men’s face yet no man’s face,
    And a face no man can see,
    And it seemed to say in silent speech,
    ‘Ye did ’em all to me.
    ‘The dirty things ye did to them,
    ‘The filth ye thought was fine,
    ‘Ye did ’em all to me,’ it said,
    ‘For all their souls were mine.’
    All eyes was in ‘Is eyes, – all eyes,
    My wife’s and a million more.
    And once I thought as those two eyes
    Were the eyes of the London whore.
    And they was sad, – My Gawd ‘ow sad,
    With tears that seemed to shine,
    And quivering bright wi’ the speech o’ light,
    They said, ”Er soul was mine.’
    And then at last ‘E said one word,
    ‘E just said one word ‘Well?’
    And I said in a funny voice,
    ‘Please can I go to ‘Ell?’
    And ‘E stood there and looked at me,
    And ‘E kind o’ seemed to grow,
    Till ‘E shone like the sun above my ead,
    And then ‘E answered ‘No
    ‘You can’t, that ‘Ell is for the blind,
    ‘And not for those that see.
    ‘You know that you ‘ave earned it, lad,
    ‘So you must follow me.
    ‘Follow me on by the paths o’ pain,
    ‘Seeking what you ‘ave seen,
    ‘Until at last you can build the “Is,”
    ‘Wi’ the bricks o’ the “Might ‘ave been.”‘
    That’s what ‘E said, as I’m alive,
    And that there dream were true.
    But what ‘E meant, – I don’t quite know,
    Though I knows what I ‘as to do.
    I’s got to follow what I’s seen,
    Till this old carcase dies.
    For I daren’t face the land o’ grace,
    The sorrow ov those eyes.
    There ain’t no throne, and there ain’t no books,
    It’s ‘Im you’ve got to see,
    It’s ‘Im, just ‘Im, that is the Judge
    Of blokes like you and me.
    And boys I’d sooner frizzle up,
    I’ the flames of a burning ‘Ell,
    Than stand and look into ‘Is face,
    And ‘ear ‘Is voice say – ‘Well?

  154. street says:

    4 He makes winds his messengers,
    flames of fire his servants.

    thinking how sin hides the face of God.

    removed by the blood of the Lamb.

    Emanuel

  155. poohpity says:

    The old stuff I was speaking of is how we are seen in the flesh or by the world rather than the new stuff, spiritual, like who we are in Christ and our new identity.

  156. poohpity says:

    But we could not possibly grab unto our new identity unless we have learned what that is by those who came before us and walked with Jesus or had been changed by Him. Where do we find those things out? I know we experience the change in our thinking and in our behaviors but someone has put words to that change as we find in the bible which that knowledge transforms the way we think by giving us new ways to think. The old garbage out replaced with new information.

    Ignorance often brings chaos, subjugation and bondage. BUT Hosea says, “Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” So ignorance of God is not something we are taught. Isaiah and Micah said, “That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” God gave us His word so that we would not be ignorant but to know Him, His will and His ways.

    In the NT Peter then teaches, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”

    “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities and continue to grow in them, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But whoever lacks these traits is nearsighted(or ignorant) to the point of blindness, having forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.…”

    So essentially ignorance is not bliss but a hindrance to a growing relationship with God. “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”

  157. street says:

    Genesis 15:6
    Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

  158. street says:

    21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

    6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

  159. Beloved says:

    Actually street I’ve just been reading Romans7-8 to reassure myself after a day of failures. Pentecost has been in the back of my mind also as Mart mentions it. Paul says we walk in the spirit and not the flesh. Jesus has overcome our sins/failures which is why we have the Spirit in us believers. Thinking about where does judging fit in here? If Christ has overcome our sins with grace therein lies our hope. Thinking that judging myself by the righteous judgement of God in Christ Jesus has given me renewed strength as Paul said to the Philippians I believe. Paul in prison, condemned and criticized, understood this so well. Mart seems to get it also.

  160. street says:

    familiar with Romans 7. thinking about Galatians 5:24
    Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

    me too, last week my denial of Christ and going my own way leads to great darkness. yet turning back there is hope never give up in Christ. i suspect it is dross coming to the surface that needs to be dealt with. denying self is hard, taking up the cross daily is hard too. like steve says watch and wait, be still and know Jesus is God.

    when we think we are doing something worthwhile for God,we are not. it’s when we are unaware that His work moves forward. do what ever God gives you the best you can for Him. a lot of that is loving other people who are unlovable like ourselves. love is selfless and informed. in Romans 8 it talks about no condemnation and in Romans 12, a living sacrifice daily. i ran into some Old Testament verses that ask where is God or these great miracles that we see the saints of old walk through incredible events of faith. God was asking why have you not asked these questions? i have asked them before, but i quit asking them. it seems, to trust Him, is more important than finding answers and seeking the Kingdom comes first.

  161. street says:

    Thinking about where does judging fit in here?

    i think if we are familiar with the ways the deceiver attacks us the easier it will be to avoid the pit-falls. the hard part is not to rely on law but the Spirit of Grace. Jesus constantly ran into people living by law and they where very far from God. does that mean He was lawless, no. He understood the purpose of law or intent behind the law.

    Galatians 5:14
    For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

    Galatians 6:2
    Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

    Romans 13:10
    Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

    thinking Jesus is the only One Who does this perfectly. the rest of us are like fish out of water. abiding in the vine overcomes this problem. the love chapter comes to mind. Words that need a Spirit.

  162. street says:

    Romans 8:4
    so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

  163. poohpity says:

    There is so much I have yet to understand and what I think I know is only a shadow of what actually is. People can find divisions in such things as; honoring one day over another, wearing or not wearing certain clothing, celebrating Halloween or not, eating certain foods, not going to movies or dancing, etc. there are many things that can cause strife and divisions. Augustine said, “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, and in all things charity (or love).”

    It seems the essential is as Mart pointed out, “It is that— he is still with us— and that we belong to him.”. People do many things thinking they are worshiping God by doing them and actually who are we who have found freedom in Christ to say any different and not accept them as they are. Liberty in the non-essentials. But bottom line in all seems to be a relationship with God and with others and acting out of love. It seems to be bottom line faith is what brings one closer to God.

    Not the things we do but who we believe in.

  164. street says:

    For Better or Worse
    thinking what would it be like to live with some one who despises evil? would we reap the benefits or blessings of learning from them or following their ways. if we were evil, what would that relationship be like? what would it look like if love entered the picture?

    thinking of sheep and goats of Matthew 25

    thinking a work of God not man. how it grows i know not.

  165. street says:

    2 Peter 1:2
    Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

  166. street says:

    33 The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!”

    The King Lives!!!

  167. Beloved says:

    For Better or Worse

    I’m thinking that despite all the hardships, whether life death impairment loss pain guilt or shame, what should truly matter most is more than our own stories. I was just reading Galatians and was struck by Paul’s devotion and purpose so that even though he was greatly impaired by his vision he didn’t let that stop him. He knew what was most important and pleaded with the church to return to Christ and turn from the idols that enslaved them. Life can be a real roller coaster of events both inward and outward but through it all the sustenance of God’s Holy Spirit helps maintain devotion. Relying on His good work started by faith will keep the goats at bay I think until God’s time comes. May I be found faithful amidst the the best and the worst of human capacity. What really matters is Christ held high and lifted up, in my thoughts words and deeds. By His power we stand or fall but through it all He is faithful. A circle of love in a love starved land. Open our eyes, LORD.

  168. street says:

    17 For the Lord your God is living among you.

    He is a mighty savior.

    He will take delight in you with gladness.

    With his love, he will calm all your fears.*

    He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

  169. Beloved says:

    Baptized by fire

    The day of Pentecost changed the way the Good News was shared. Imagine, walking into a place where you could hear in your own language the Gospel! My how times have changed. I knew someone that saw Jesus a few years ago and when asked what he looked like said his face was a firey flame. The fire of God changes us. The Spirit changes us. Giving us the ability to function in a beautiful yet dirty world. The change of seasons reminds me of the change to come, new heavens and a new earth. Looking forward to that promise with great joy!

  170. jeff1 says:

    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.

    Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies,
    But His smile quickly drives it away;
    Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear,
    Can abide while we trust and obey.

    Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
    But our toil He doth richly repay;
    Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
    But is blessed if we 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,
    Are for them who will 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.

  171. jeff1 says:

    Pooh’s 22.04 8.07 pm post

    Just to clarify Pooh when I referred to those that were ignorant in their bliss I was speaking of Christians who now in their elderly years had lived their lives unaware that Halloween was a pagan practise and why our Rector was now trying to stop them celebrating it as he felt was his calling to do so.

    A person who believes in Jesus is not necessary fully aware of what is world practise i.e. it has been practised since long before they were born and so they have not given any thought to its origin.

    You say ignorance is a hindrance to a growing relationship in Christ but these followers have trusted Christ all their life irrespective of their failure to know the difference in what is Godly or worldly practise and who am I or you to say how God sees that as Jesus words from the cross were “Forgive them Father for they know not what they do”.

    Is any of us that righteous that we can dare to judge another person’s relationship with the Lord for it is God alone who has that right.

    Grace is a gift from God to all His children and His personal relationship with them is just that and I would not dare to suggest that another’s ignorance might hinder their walk with God as it is God’s right to have mercy on whom He has mercy and not for human assumption.

  172. foreverblessed says:

    You are so right, Jeff!!!
    If someone is sincere in their walk with God, He will in due time open their eyes to their wrongs.
    I am such a person. I sincerely thought that God meant us to keep the 7th day holy.
    God saw the sincerity in my heart, and showed me what Je really meant.

    Beloved, thanks for that poem!!!
    You, you follow me

    I just read that too, in the passage where Jesus reinstates Peter, usually I focus on Jesus’ questions, now my focus was on the end command:
    John 21:19 Jesus telling it to Peter:
    “Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then He said to him:
    “Follow me!”

  173. foreverblessed says:

    Intesting thought: Hell is not for those who see their wrongs
    But for those who do not see.

    I was alsof thinking, Street saying, why dont you ask?
    I had asked God very directly, what is that about the 7th day?
    And He answered me.
    Now I can ask Him, How do I love my enemy?
    I know I have to ask for Hier love for him to film my heart. That is the first thing. Then I can pray intercessory prayers.
    But then… tetreat or standby, confront … or what.

    Then the command: FOLLOW ME
    gets a bigger meaning!
    I can trust Him, He will show me, while He will make a way, even if it takes 20 years.
    With big eyes ( of the owl) fixed on Jesus. I am repeating what Beloved wrote on April 23, 9.57 am

  174. poohpity says:

    Viv, I guess I should feel privileged that you continue to attribute the Lord’s teaching to me but sadly it is not from me. Even when I give scripture references and quote them you think it is me saying them which is really sad to me to say the least. It is God from His word that teaches about a growing knowledge of Him repeatedly I just did not think that up, I am really not that smart or wise at all. So the issues that you find with me would be better taken up with God.

    Oh by the way I would never feel it is my job to judge a person’s relationship with God because as I have said before many, many times I have no idea what is in a person’s heart to judge anyone on anything. I simply repeat what the bible teaches which after teaching bible studies for many years I have learned over the last 29 years which is the reason I can say without a doubt the more I learn the more I know I do not know nor do I even think I do nor do I even want to know it all because I know that is totally impossible even for the most intelligent person in this world which I am not far from it, only God knows it all and I am completely fine with that.

    So it is fine to stop with the false accusations and assuming about the way I think or feel because obviously you really do not know. Try not putting your spin or perception into the things I write by guessing what I think or feel or twisting it to fit into your ways. Which proves the point that ignorance of God or any person for that matter can influence the way we think or feel about them without a factual bases there is nothing to really base anything on then all we have to go on is our own understanding which is often way off the mark.

    You are right none of us are that righteous to judge anyone which is the reason not to it. In your accusing me of judging isn’t that exactly what you yourself are doing, sitting on that throne where only God belongs but has chosen not to judge at this time but will in the future when we stand before Him.(Acts 10:42; 2 Tim 4:1 NLT; 1 Peter 4:5)

  175. poohpity says:

    People who are ignorant of God think for example He is an angry and punishing God at every wrong move they make and maybe even those moves that are not wrong but religions have persuaded them that they are. So knowing God better they would learn how full of grace He actually is and even understanding how deep His grace and love actually are, is something we only have a shadow of understanding about but hopefully we can grow in learning more about that so we are filled to overflowing unto others.

  176. foreverblessed says:

    Jeff, in reaction tot what you wrote on April 21, 4.30 am
    Enemies that see no need to say sorry, or tell where the graves of their victims are…
    Last thursday the ETA said sorry for all the useless killing. They said they were really sorry, and asked for forgiveness. That they had killed people who had no part in the disagreement, they were truly sorry for.
    You can read it on BBC.
    So do continue in praying intercessory prayers, do not give up hope, ask for hope
    Romans 15:13
    ” May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you MAY OVERFLOW WITH HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit.

    ( The Holy Spirit, Pentecost, as Beloved mentioned)
    I will continue to pray with you!

  177. Beloved says:

    Good day ladies!

    Thinking about Follow Me, what a great way to start the day. Its the waiting i have a hard time with. Sometimes theres blessing in a well timed nap. The sea isn’t always churning and the wind always howling. Beside the still waters He leads me, for better or worse, depending on how i look at things. Ever heard of Armenianism? It may help you as you pray.

  178. poohpity says:

    In Discover The Word again this week is about, “Why Can’t We All Just Get along” and today it gives a biblical perspective on who’s job it is to judge using Romans 14:10-21

    “10 So why do you condemn another believer[a]? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For the Scriptures say,

    “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
    ‘every knee will bend to me,
    and every tongue will declare allegiance to God.’”

    12 Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. 13 So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall………

    Remembering about Job’s friends who were full of assumptions and accusations that lead to the situation that Job was in and God told them they were wrong about in their opinions about Him(God). They were ignorant about God but talked as if they knew Him.

  179. poohpity says:

    I posted this 8 years ago on facebook and thought it would work for this topic as well.

    James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure and full of quiet gentleness.Then it is also peace loving and courteous. It allows discussion and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. 18 And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

  180. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, what verse are you quoting from the Bible in your 22 Apr 8.07 pm post which says that “so essentially ignorance is not bliss but a hindrance to a growing relationship with God”.

    Knowing God is a gift from God and I know that because I had a dad who like the song says was as God-like a man as a child could know.

    While my mum was believing that her type were cursed, there was my dad telling me how wrong my mother had got it because that wasn’t God’s way and that speaks to me today of a man who knew God and I was blessed to have him for a dad as he is the example I needed to return to the God of my childhood.

    The truth is that some have a closer personal relationship with God and my dad was one of those blessed as I believe it was his calling.

    My dad spent his life obedient to God hence his closeness while I have had a life filled with doubt/wandering/struggle hence my distance from Him.

    I don’t need to know all there is about God because I have had a glimpse of Him through my earthly dad and others I know who walked closely to God as their lives reflected it and today I feel blessed for having known people who walked the walk as they are an inspiration for me to trust God today and to do better myself and when I falter as I am known to do I only have to think of how patient and encouraging my earthly dad was to remember me of God’s way.

    Forever, what you are telling me about ETA is good to hear and gives us hope hear that hearts to may change.

    It still saddens me that victims have to suffer the loss of their loved ones and I can only hope that they feel God’s love for them and know their loved ones are not lost forever but sheltered in the arms of God.

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

    So let the storms rage high
    The dark clouds rise
    They don’t worry me
    For I’m sheltered, safe, within the arms of God
    He walks with me
    And no divert shall harm me
    For I’m sheltered in the arms of God

    Soon I shall feel the cold from Heaven’s portals
    Come home my child
    It’s the last mile you must trot
    I’ll fall asleep and wake up in God’s new held-arms
    For I’m sheltered in the arms of God.

    So let the storms rage high
    The dark clouds rise
    They don’t worry me
    For I’m sheltered, safe, within the arms of God
    He walks with me
    And no divert shall harm me
    For I’m sheltered in the arms of God

    Sheltered, safe within he arms of God, oh
    Ooh, ooh

  181. foreverblessed says:

    Mtman, April 18, 2018, 2.18 pm
    How did he get that timing, ha ha.
    But what he wrote has been on my mind too. I fine that he took great care in giving words to the problem.
    There is no moderator here, to guide us along the discussion, who steps in, once in a while, saying:
    You have crossed a Line.

    There ought to be church discipline, and as I say so, this is critique. While I really appreciate the space that has been given here. The ability to learn to write, to learn to discussie. And all the people I have met.
    But this should be a safe place….

    Should I then participate?
    I am asking God this question…
    And I trust that Jesus will show,
    And I will follow Him

  182. Beloved says:

    Forever I understand how you feel. No this is not a safe place. It’s not even good…. but for Marts and a couple regulars that post positive, life giving thoughts. By life I mean real life in Christ. That’s the thing that compels me as I’ve tried to leave countless times but I’m drawn here by what the Spirit is teaching me. Mostly about courage in the face of strong personalities who tend to try to dominate. But God always sorts it out in His quiet unassuming Way. Yes it’s very dangerous here, dangerous for cutting us down to size. We find out we’re not all that eventually. Plus the Internet makes for celebrity of the self. Where else can you speak anonymously (mostly) about how studious or important you are and drown out any criticism with a quick put down or even have others gather around to defend. Oh I’ve been there and done all that myself, to my shame, as I look into Jesus sad eyes that ask What are you doing?

  183. Beloved says:

    Forever please stay and trust God for the outcome. I would miss you. He works all things out for good for those that are committed to Him.

  184. street says:

    no moderator?
    there is only One moderator. He waits in the background waiting for us to get done. constantly working on our behave. there are two spirits or two headships we can choose from. the one we are born with, sinful. the second Spirit we are born with from above. a life giving Spirit. we are made alive while we where dead. thinking of naomi and the son who went away full and came back empty. both received incredible blessing by world standards. yet some would condemn such grace and mercy.

  185. jeff1 says:

    I find this song helps me stay focused on what matters and that is how I respond in the moment as whatever as passed I cannot change and the future I don’t know so the moment is all I have and often I find that the realisation of the little control I have over events brings me to the reality that resting in Christ is much safer than trying to figure out what tomorrow holds because He is the certainty in an uncertain world and so when I rest in Christ I free myself from the external and the internal voices that try to disturb my peace because God is greater than they are and grabbing hold of that truth is what matters in knowing I am free in Christ.

    I’m only human I’m just a woman
    Help me believe in what I could be and all that I am
    Show me the stairway that I have to climb
    Lord for my sake teach me to take one day at a time
    One day at a time sweet Jesus that’s all I’m asking from you
    Give me the strength to do every day what I have to do
    Yesterdays gone sweet Jesus and tomorrow may never be mine
    So for my sake teach me to take one day at a time

    Do you remember when you walked among ment
    Well Jesus you know if you’re looking below its worse now than then
    Pushing and shoving crowding my mind
    So for my sake teach me to take one day at a time
    One day at a time sweet Jesus that’s all I’m asking from you
    Give me the strength to do everyday what I have to do
    Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus and tomorrow may never be mine
    Yes just for my sake teach me to take one day at a time

  186. narrowpathseeker says:

    Foreverblessed. I have struggled with that same problem for years now….should I subject myself to darkness on a Christian site? Sometimes, while praying I feel strongly encouraged to stay away….other times I feel just as strongly encouraged to click on and stay. When I am on because of the latter and I find myself subjected to what I feel is just plain old premeditated evil, I wonder…is this a test? How am I supposed to react to that? Is ignoring enough? Am I evil too for feeling this way? and then…..Lord have mercy… BUT I have been encouraged to come and go as I feel guided to do so…I will not back down from the devil and neither will I entertain him with discussion. I will however do my best to rescue people from his clutches via those in his employ and pray for those in need.

  187. Beloved says:

    This is so good as I’m thinking about this place, this blog, and our responsibilities. Thinking about how what we learn here can be applied to our own homes.

    Seek Your City’s Good

    Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, “Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens, and eat their produce . . . And seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare. (Jeremiah 29:5–7)

    If that was true for God’s exiles in Babylon, it would seem to be even more true for Christian exiles in this very “Babylonian” world. What, then, shall we do?

    We should do the ordinary things that need to be done: build houses; live in them; plant gardens. This does not contaminate you if you do it all for the real King and not just for eye service as men-pleasers.

    Seek the welfare of the place where God has sent you. Think of yourself as sent there by God. Because you are.

    Pray to the Lord on behalf of your city. Ask for great and good things to happen for the city. Evidently God is not indifferent to its welfare. One reason he is not is this: In the welfare of the city his people find welfare.

    This does not mean we give up our exile orientation. In fact we will do most good for this world by keeping a steadfast freedom from its beguiling attractions. We will serve our city best by getting our values from the “city which is to come” (Hebrews 13:14). We will do our city most good by calling as many of its citizens as we can to be citizens of the “Jerusalem above” (Galatians 4:26).

    Let’s live so that the natives will want to meet our King! John Piper

  188. jeff1 says:

    When I read today of the death’s suffered by Jesus’s disciples then I am apt to be silent in knowing how pityingly small my part in today’s Gospel.

    If I am sitting at His feet then it is a fitting place to be because I am in amazement at the suffering of the twelve in their following of Christ and it is a humbling of the Spirit to know that Christ has made me part of His story.

    My tears are tears of shame and regret that I ever doubted Him and it is those twelve men that point me to Jesus today because they are the true heroes of the Gospel who set a precedent beyond parallel.

    I’m using my Bible for a road map
    The ten commandments tell me what to do
    The twelve disciples are my road signs
    And Jesus will take me safely through

    There’ll be no detours in heaven
    No rough roads along the way
    I’m using my Bible for a road map
    My last stop is heaven some sweet day

    I’m using my Bible for a road map
    The children of Israel used it too
    They crossed the Red Sea of Destruction
    For God was there to see them through

    There’ll be no detours in heaven
    No rough road along the way
    I’m using my Bible for a road map
    My last stop is heaven some sweet day

  189. poohpity says:

    Viv, I did not come back on the blog yesterday to answer your question because the last Tuesday of each month we do a Birthday celebration for those who have birthday’s in that month. Many do not have families here so we become family to them and show them that they matter to each of us and are glad they were born. I am in charge of the cake, ice cream, making coffee and calls to remind people to come. Then we discuss the next month and dates for the pot luck, game day and any other function we get going as a community.

    To answer your question no those exact words are from my mind putting together the facts from the verses I did quote soon after that along with Romans 12:2 NLT. I fully believe that God gave us a brain to use to gather facts and come to conclusions. I know some just base conclusions on their emotions or the way they naturally think which is like jumping to conclusions or assuming but some things require more information to base conclusions on rather than going off willy nilly in any direction.

  190. poohpity says:

    Viv, That song or poem you quoted above do you believe what it says? How come you do not get upset with that person for leading people to read the bible?

  191. foreverblessed says:

    Hang on to the words of the Gospel, Jeff!
    You are in Jesus hands

    The following is qouted

    Bless your enemies

    Say often, “God bless . . . ,” of any whom you find in disharmony with you, or whom you desire to help. Say it, willing that showers of blessings and joy and success may fall upon them.

    Leave to Me that necessary correcting or training; you must only desire joy and blessing for them. At present your prayers are that they should be taught and corrected.

    Oh! If My children would leave My work to Me and occupy themselves with the task I give them. Love, love, love. Love will break down all your difficulties. Love will build up all your successes.

    God the destroyer of evil, God the creator of good — is Love. To Love one another is to use God in your life. To use God in your life is to bring into manifestation all harmony, beauty, joy, and happiness.

    “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you,
    do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which
    despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Matthew 5:44

    From God calling April 25

    The idea just to bless, and not to tell God:
    -God, change them here and change them there-

    Wow, just blessing them, how hard that is!
    But I lay it all on the Altar.
    Jeff, don’t worry, God will show you in time.
    I know, at one time I could not read my own bible, but I could read scriptures that were given in books about the Gospel, about Jesus saving grace.
    Scriptures in a setting of Grace.
    And otherwise I could not read the Bible, because a certain old testament spirit would hinder me: you shall…
    Keep the 7th day…

    Just reading that would make me feel all unsure again, and I couldn’t hear what the Spirit wanted to say to my heart.

    I really had to listen to what the Spirit laid into my heart. The heart, the touch of real LIFE.
    The life of Christ.
    Jesus is the Living Word, that we eat, and live on.

    Hang on to Jesus, my dearly loved sister!

  192. Beloved says:

    I couldn’t agree more! It’s the mind of Christ we need to navigate this troubled world. If we seek Him with all our heart we will find Him. That’s His promise to all. Through better times and worse times His grace is sufficient for whatever the need may be. Singing Hallelujah!

  193. Beloved says:

    We don’t owe anyone an explanation for how we practice our faith. Ignore the deceivers deceptive questions.

  194. Beloved says:

    Imagine the associations that could have come to our minds—

    Thank you Steve and Street for challenging my thinking the other day. God is faithful. Clarity comes from the mind of Christ. I dare not trust my own thinking.

  195. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, you would have to have been born and bred in Northern Ireland to understand where I am coming from.

    I am not critical of the Bible but of interpretations that people take from it.

    I believe my Rector is right in saying God never intended us to read the Bible for knowledge but for guidance and encouragement.

    I never heard my dad quote the Bible to put a person down and yet it was common practise among some of my friends and enemies to put each other down.

    Look at the history of my country and you will see that religions used there interpretations of the Bible to support their beliefs.

    Look at the world and you will see that religions of the world do likewise.

    God’s word is for God’s chosen people whose interpretation is God’s will and that person will recognise false teaching because they have a God given gift of discernment and not a man driven desire to learn the word of God.

    God chooses whom and I am not going to argue with God as to why He chooses one over another because it is for God to use me for His purpose and not for me to dictate otherwise.

    Having a dad who had that gift of discernment I recognise it in others and so now I can recognise when a preacher is using the word of God for his own gain and it is still happening today and sadly why many are still being led astray.

    People believe what they want to believe and I was one of them so I know what it is like to blind myself.

    My dad never did that because he knew God better than I did and he knew whom to follow as truthfully when it came to intelligence he was up there and perhaps why he was always ahead of those around him.

    I trust God more than ever as I have seen what happens when I don’t trust Him. I spent my life wandering and doubting and struggling while my dad walked with God and it is now I can see the difference it made in our lives.

    I believe my mum was a complete mess because society at the time turned her into one and why I have difficulty myself today is because I was so close to her as a child.

    I believe in the Bible but when it comes to interpretation that is where I have great difficulty and perhaps it is because I truly believe it is for reproof and encouragement rather than knowledge.

  196. Beloved says:

    The Liberating Power of Forgiveness John Piper

    Your sins are forgiven. (Luke 7:48)

    A woman comes to Jesus in a Pharisee’s house weeping and washing his feet. No doubt she felt shame as the eyes of Simon communicated to everyone present that this woman was a sinner and that Jesus had no business letting her touch him.

    Indeed she was a sinner. There was a place for true shame. But not for too long.

    Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven” (Luke 7:48). And when the guests murmured about this, he helped her faith again by saying, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace” (Luke 7:50).

    How did Jesus help her battle the crippling effects of shame? He gave her a promise: “Your sins have been forgiven! Your faith has saved you. Your future will be one of peace.” He declared that past pardon would now yield future peace.

    So the issue for her was faith in God’s future grace rooted in the authority of Jesus’s forgiving work and freeing word. That is the way every one of us must battle the effects of a well-placed shame that threatens to linger too long and cripple us.

    We must battle unbelief by taking hold of the promises of future grace and peace that come through the forgiveness of our shameful acts.

    “But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared” (Psalm 130:4).
    “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6–7).
    “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
    “To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43).
    It doesn’t matter whether the act of God’s forgiveness is entirely past, or if there is new forgiveness in the future — in both cases the issue is the liberating power of God’s forgiveness for our future — freedom from shame. Forgiveness is full of future grace.

    When we live by faith in future grace, we are freed from the lingering, paralyzing effects of well-placed shame.

  197. SFDBWV says:

    Having participated here for as long as I have and having had to deal with the problem of one person’s vendetta against me in order to discredit my “testimony” I have been sadly reading the string of thought concerning what to do as far as each who has confessed their struggle in whether or not to continue.

    As professing Christians it is our responsibility to show Jesus in all we do, this is our living witness to Him as our Lord.

    As soon as we place ourselves in this position other people will use our “Christianity” against us. They tell us how now we are to live even though they do not. Every word we use every action we take we are judged from our position of calling ourselves Christian.

    Worse of all it is by other people who call themselves Christian that they now tell us what it means to be Christian.

    The devil is laughing at us here on BTA. Because He doesn’t have to do any more than allow human nature to destroy what can be a good fellowship.

    I don’t ignore sin nor attacks from the Devil, I have always confronted them.

    I ignore reading the one person who pledged to thwart anything I have to say. Because if I don’t ignore her then all I will get done is a no win string of arguing back and forth with said individual with nothing accomplished except the unleashing of the destructive energy of strife.

    The high ideals of what it means to be Christian always will clash with the world and even though there are two here who don’t recognize the world in their comments, their comments from time to time are incendiary.

    Every person here has called out the one person who has caused the strife, including me and nothing has changed. Nothing. The problem remains the strife remains.

    Jesus said that when someone slaps you on the face to turn the other cheek. He also told the Devil to get behind Him. Get behind Him to me means get out of here, get out of my sight.

    Interesting that in the end of all things Satan is punished while we are told to forgive all who persecute us.

    That wise old owl isn’t dumb, he watches takes in everything and processes all he observes finally making an observational judgement of events.

    When wisdom speaks the only one offended is the offender.

    Who very quickly will strike back by telling wisdom he is not to judge using Scripture as a weapon and defense of their offense.

    Show wisdom by not making your decision to stay or leave dependent upon the offence of unbridled strife.

    But on your desire to share your witness and thoughts of what it is to really be Christ Like in a world that hates you for it.

    Steve

  198. Beloved says:

    Viv what we think about ourselves is so powerful. I was very close to my dad who treated me as a concubine and despised by my mother who treated me like my fathers mistress. Love and affections can become very skewed in a situation like this. We tend to take on our parents pathologies as you mentioned with your dearly loved mum. Its only by knowing and believing and absorbing the mind of Christ that there is any hope of change. Its amazing to be set free from a lifetime of sinful burdens! Its His promise to us and He can and will do it, even if it takes a lifetime! He is true and faithful.

  199. SFDBWV says:

    I have often used the observation of nature in a way to demonstrate God’s principals in not only nature, but what is often in our Christian nature.

    In the savannas of Africa there is often a drama played out with nearly exact likeness in the frozen north.

    Lion’s will attack the weak, sick or young in their hunt for prey. The Wildebeest herd will surround their most vulnerable protecting them from the lion by facing them off. The lion will always back off from getting hurt.

    In the frozen north the Muskox does the same thing when their herd is attacked by wolves.

    The lesson here being that the wolf and the lion will go after the weak, sick and young, but the herd will protect them by surrounding and protecting them.

    Viv, you are loved, admired and respected by me and others here. Keep hold of what you have that connects you to Jesus and I and others here will surround you and try to ward off the wolf and the lion from attacks upon your safety and peace in Christ.

    Viv I am not saying that you are weak, sick or young, but it is clear that you are under attack.

    Your Friend
    Steve

  200. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Steve, for your advice.
    And for protecting Jeff!

    But you saying that nothing has changed….

    How do you know that so sure?
    I was thinking that the change is deep inside our hearts.
    Learning to focus with our eyes on Jesus.
    ( Big eyes like the owl)
    And learning to ask Jesus what He has to say to us.
    Learning to kill our old self: not giving into irritations.
    Learning to kill, read annihilate with great zeal and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
    Learning to ask God for the love we need to love our enemies.
    Learning what it is to ” turn the other cheeck”

    So while we wait on the Lord, deep inside us, a holy work has been done.

    Maybe I encouraged you to see this in a more positive perspective.

    But my point was church discipline….
    And I keep praying about IT.

  201. Beloved says:

    Steve what you are describing is ‘ survival of the fittest ‘, right? Arent we all glad that the fittest here, Christ, doesnt devour and go after the weak! In dying for us we now survive and better yet thrive!

  202. Beloved says:

    Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Listening is important.

  203. poohpity says:

    Gosh what was I thinking sharing scripture on a site that discusses topics about scripture. My bad!! My evil!!

  204. Beloved says:

    And here we are—looking back with far more understanding of the best and worst of the past—and still barely a clue of the best and worst that is still to come.

    What a hope we have.

  205. SFDBWV says:

    Good evening Foreverblessed, no I wasn’t describing the law of the jungle or law of survival in my comment. I am sorry I should have been clearer.

    The lion and the wolf both have Biblical reference, the lion, Satan, going about prowling for whomever he can devour, and the wolf being the pseudo-Christian or the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    Both the wildebeest and the muskox being the church and the sick, young or weak being any whom may be under attack.

    Like the stronger adult animals I referenced we as stronger Christians need and should always come to the aid and defense of another under attack.

    I try to take insults in stride and just ignore them. Which is why I ignore pooh’s comments. However at any time I open a wound and what may seem as an insult directed at her, she is fast to hit back right away. Jesus said not to return an insult with an insult. I think that says enough.

    Street is right, we should be adult enough not to need a mediator, but when childish behavior enters into the conversation it has to be recognized as such and either ignored or dealt with.

    When it continues it has a very negative effect.

    Maybe Foreverblessed you are right, perhaps it is a fight to survive after all.

    Steve

  206. Beloved says:

    Am i the only one thats confused?

  207. Beloved says:

    Probably, it seems to happen a lot lately. Have a blessed night all.

  208. jeff1 says:

    Thank you for your support Steve and I must try harder not to get drawn into any more conflict because as you say it has a negative effect and I don’t know why I respond to her when I know by now that she only twists words to suit herself and it seems that she only posts here to cause strife and then manages through her warped mind to blame everyone else and ironically it is I who am taking the tablets to keep me sane.

    I agree Steve, Forever, it is often a fight to survive and while we may expect that of the world it is disappointing when we come across it among believers whom you would expect to know better.

  209. Beloved says:

    What a Beautiful Name

    You were the Word at the beginning
    One With God the Lord Most High
    Your hidden glory in creation
    Now revealed in You our Christ
    What a beautiful Name it is
    What a beautiful Name it is
    The Name of Jesus Christ my King
    What a beautiful Name it is
    Nothing compares to this
    What a beautiful Name it is
    The Name of Jesus
    You didn’t want heaven without us
    So Jesus, You brought heaven down
    My sin was great, Your love was greater
    What could separate us now
    What a wonderful Name it is
    What a wonderful Name it is
    The Name of Jesus Christ my King
    What a wonderful Name it is
    Nothing compares to this
    What a wonderful Name it is
    The Name of Jesus
    What a wonderful Name it is
    The Name of Jesus

    Hillsong Worship

  210. jeff1 says:

    Thank you, Beloved, what a friend we have in Jesus, thankfully, He is more than enough when those despise forsake you, Jesus does not.

    He is the constant in a uncertain world as His word is His bond and while some carelessly use that word to their own purpose it does not change the truth of the Gospel.

    Jesus Saves Souls and right now that is the only three words of the Gospel that I need to know because I have in my lifetime heard God’s word used and taken out of context just so that men could justify their deeds and I am sick and tired of it.

    I am blessed to come to this site among others who do not carelessly use God’s word as whether it is used in ignorance or with lack of concern it does damage to the Body of Christ and our world today would be a better place if those of us who do not have the understanding of it left it to those who do because most of us whether lapsed or following since childhood can discern when God’s word is being used for the wrong reasons and that is the indwelling Holy Spirit alerting us to it.

    I have a brain that doesn’t function as it used to but when God gave us His indwelling Holy Spirit He gave us something far more precious than anything this world could offer.

    It makes no different if your a child like me or a King upon a throne the Holy Spirit bonds us to Jesus and God Himself won’t allow it to be quenched as it is His miraculous work in His children that means we are in this world but not of it and why no power on earth has dominion over us.

    God called us out before the world ever knew us just as the Bible says and as the day of our Lord approaches God will continue to save souls because His word is truth that He wants no one to perish because of lack of knowing is love for them.

    Think how blessed we are to know this that we are fore-bearers in a Kingdom to come where God Himself shall dwell among us.

    I am speechless to say anything other than feel ashamed for my outbursts and trust God with the outcome.

  211. bubbles says:

    Joyce, that song you posted has been a great help to me lately. I listen to it when I get scared or upset and it does help. Thank you.

  212. street says:

    Better than we think—and worse.
    had to return to this post. thinking of a song i found on you tube called someday never comes. a song that helps me understand a lament. to lament in hope is a gift of God. to lament with out hope is devastating. thinking of a house falling in a great storm. the song to me speaks of disappointment or even despair when you realize someday never comes. we are not home yet.

    18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.

    23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

  213. street says:

    thinking about children that weep, how it leads them to rest.

  214. Beloved says:

    Jesus is interceding, I always loved that. Children live in the now, the moment. We must become like little children Jesus said. It makes it much easier to live if we do not worry about the future but cast ALL our cares on Him. Because He cares for us! Weeping may last for a night but JOY comes in the morning. It’s a promise!

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