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Empathy

Why does the Bible say nothing about how Eve was feeling after her first son killed his younger brother?

Did word get back to her that, when asked where Abel was, Cain had said, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Did she know that he seemed more concerned about losing the affections of his fields than what he had done to her?

Why is there no description of what everyone was feeling on the day Cain left home…?

The Genesis record may leave us wondering. Maybe that’s because we already know what it means for a mother’s heart to be broken and a family divided.

Cain wasn’t the first heart to go cold. Did he even know that his own father had blamed his mother for bringing trouble home… after both of them, together, had fallen in with a cold-blooded rebel?

Was this the beginning of our shared need for the empathy that would eventually show up in the “Older Brother”… and long awaited hope of every mother?

 

 

 


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113 Responses to “Empathy”

  1. poohpity says:

    It would seem that unless we go through something often we fail to understand how another feels when they go through similar circumstances. Then on top of that blame, accusing others for circumstance and never taking personal responsibility seems also to prevent the understanding as well.

    In the beginning thinking it was the fault of someone else puts a wedge from us learning the lessons that God would have us learn that promotes not only change but understanding. When Cain went through life with God’s protection by the mark placed on him so that no one would take matters into their own hands and kill him as he did his brother maybe then he realized and came to an understanding of the nature of his own wrongs.

    As a mom I sure do want my children to look out for each other which I have developed empathy that is how God wants His children to do too. We are after all in this thing called life together not as each others enemies but comrades fighting against the real rebel, God’s enemy, the Devil.

  2. Beloved says:

    Happy Mother’s Day to all today!
    Empathy, the Lion of Judah, Jesus. Love the pic, it speaks volumes to me as I usually think of God/Jesus as more vigilant. I’m sure they remember what it was like to live in a clay form. Imagining Eve’s grief/sadness is almost unimaginable. Being thrown out of the garden must have been an immense blow but then losing one child by another? Horrific! In this world we all will suffer loss, disappointment, grief yet as the Bible says we have a high priest who is acquainted with our sorrows. Yes I do believe the kingly Lion has a soft side. But it doesn’t change His status or diminish what He did for us, and why. And, what He requires to remain His cubs. For all eternity!

  3. SFDBWV says:

    Ha, ha, ha from 10 little kittens to a very big cat.

    It reminds me of the Star Wars movie when Yoda the “turtle” became Yoda the dragon.

    The lion looks a little cross too.

    The first thing that jumps out at me from our new thoughts are just how many “gaps” are in Scripture and how dangerous it is for us to fill them in.

    Genesis is filled with them. Where exactly is this place east of Eden where Cain took a wife and who was his wife?

    Who were these people Cain was afraid might kill him?

    However as to how Eve may have felt; this is the first death of a human she was exposed to, as the first actual deaths were the animals God skinned in order to make clothes for Adam and her.

    Did she actually understand what death meant?

    Do we?

    Across time there are many a mother who has suffered the death of a child but far less whose one son killed the other…Except God who sees every murder as one brother killing the other.

    God suffers empathy with each and every murder in the world.

    Also every married man out here should feel a little empathy when Adam blamed Eve for his eating the forbidden fruit.

    The first man to shove off blame on his wife.

    I do like Chuck Missler’s possibility for why Adam joined Eve in eating the forbidden fruit. Again this is what comes from filling in a gap or inventing an answer when there is little discussion written in Scripture.

    But it goes like this…Adam loved Eve so much that he was willing to share in her guilt so that she would not have to suffer expulsion from Eden and separation from God all alone.

    As an example of Christ he was willing to “die” with her rather than see her eternally alone.

    Repeating what I said at 5am this morning, a blessed and happy mother’s day to all you mothers out there.

    Steve

  4. street says:

    Why does the Bible say nothing about how Eve was feeling after her first son killed his younger brother?

    the song “Some Day never comes” has been running in my mind for a couple weeks now. i only heard the song for the first time then. at first a bitter lament. then a lament with hope.

    the first thing i remember is asking papa why?
    for there were many things i didn’t know.
    and daddy always smiled took me by the hand sayin
    someday youll understand.

    well im here to tell you now every mothers son
    you better learn fast, you better learn young,
    cause someday never comes.

    time and tears went by,
    and i collected dust,
    for there were many things
    i didn’t know

    when daddy went away
    he said try to be a man and
    someday youll understand

    well im here to tell you now every mothers son
    you better learn fast, you better learn young,
    cause someday never comes.

    then one day in april
    i wasnt even there for there
    were many things i
    didnt know

    a son was born to me,
    mama held his hand sayin
    someday youll understand.

    well im here to tell you now every mothers son
    you better learn fast, you better learn young,
    cause someday never comes.

    think it was september
    the year i went away
    for there were many things
    i didnt know
    and i still see him standin
    trying to be a man
    i said someday
    youll understand

    but i am here to tell now
    each and every mothers son
    you better learn fast, you better learn it young,
    cause someday never comes.

    ooh someday never comes

    Isaiah 44:18
    They do not know, nor do they understand, for He has smeared over their eyes so that they cannot see and their hearts so that they cannot comprehend.

    Isaiah 47:10
    “You felt secure in your wickedness and said, ‘No one sees me,’ Your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you; For you have said in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one besides me.’

    Isaiah 52:14
    Just as many were astonished at you, My people,
    So His appearance was marred more than any man
    And His form more than the sons of men.
    15
    Thus He will sprinkle many nations,
    Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him;
    For what had not been told them they will see,
    And what they had not heard they will understand.

    8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

  5. street says:

    and live

  6. swwagner says:

    Happy Mother’s Day to All,

    God forgives Mothers…and soothes their wounds…call upon Him today to be set free from sins and mistakes.

  7. jeff1 says:

    Faith isn’t knowing it is trusting God. The Bible’s stories are full of God using people who were “dubious” characters.

    God sees the potential in a person as He sees the whole person and not just their faults.

    In my humanness I fail to do that as what the eye can’t see the heart doesn’t grieve over.

    It is God who protects us from ourselves, others and this world as He is all knowing, all seeing and all loving and though I spent my life worrying and doubting God I had an earthly dad who knew God better than anyone and why I can see that God is so much better than I could ever imagine.

    Worry Ends Where Faith Begins

    You’re worried about tomorrow and what the future holds
    Your mind is full of questions as you face the unknown
    You’ve spent so many sleepless nights trying to work it out
    Worry has consumed your faith with all its fear and doubt

    Chorus:
    Worry ends when faith begins
    When you put it in God’s hand and leave it there…Oh just leave it there
    He’s still in control so trust in Him and take a hold of faith again
    For worry ends when faith begins

    Why should we ever worry, why should we fret at all
    When worry only hinders the mighty hand of God
    He said it is impossible to please Him without faith
    So lay aside your worry, walk on in Jesus’s name

  8. SFDBWV says:

    Trying to do movies about Biblical stories in Genesis, especially is nearly impossible to do.

    The reason being that when we write a story we build characters present a plot tell the story of how all events come together to produce the end. The story is then put together in a screen written format and we get a movie.

    There being so much open-ended information left unsaid in Genesis that it leaves far too much to the writer’s imagination and even perhaps desire to slant or express a certain view that whatever the finished result is will not match up with far too many people.

    Russel Crowe is a very talented actor, but who as a Bible reader could really enjoy the last movie rendition of “Noah”?

    For any of you who may not have seen it “Tubalcain” sneaked on board the Ark and ate several of the animals on board and presented Noah with a battle for the influence and control of Ham. Ham angry with Noah for not having saved Ham’s intended wife and leaving her to be killed by the hoard of people who tried to get on board.

    The whole movie bordered on the inane.

    But then that is my point.

    My view, your view, everyone’s view of the gaps in Genesis are left to personal interpretation unless filled in by the Holy Spirit for the education of the church and even then it is going to be challenged.

    Having said all of that it can be fun to imagine and fill in the gaps as long as we understand that it is just conjecture.

    Perhaps God gave us just enough information to tell the story and leave the gaps to “trust”. As focusing too much on the unimportant aspect of the story distracts us from getting the point of what is told.

    From the time sin entered mankind, sadness, broken hearts and suffering began and continues to this very day. Without prejudice across all races and cultures of man the original sin has made us all accustom to the pain of living in a broken existence on planet earth.

    We all of us can empathize with each other on every level that sin has caused.

    Our only hope is found in Jesus of Nazareth because of His sacrifice of dying with us in order to save us and bring us all into His Kingdom where there are no more tears.

    Steve

  9. poohpity says:

    I can have empathy for the lion being caged up with only the walls and bars that surround him and no place else to go because I have been in jail. I can have empathy for the homeless because I have been homeless too. There are several circumstance that the Lord has brought me through, I believe, just so that I can empathize with others when they are hurting, scared, troubled or have failed so that I might bring them the same comfort I have received from the Lord.

    When my children do not understand something I have done as a parent I usually say when you are a parent you will understand because explaining something to them when they have no source of reference is very difficult. There are many times that I do not share things with them especially when it comes to an action that was taken against me so they will not dislike or think bad of someone like what their paternal side of family did not do to help us when they were young and we were homeless. I did not think or feel it was wise and so often I was made to look like the bad guy and still till this day I keep those things hidden in my heart because like Eve not sharing, what would it solve anyway to make them look bad.

  10. Beloved says:

    The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

    6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

    In this conversation I see a very empathetic God, His empathy geared toward the well-being of Cain. God is just and merciful. I’m wondering if God remains to this day just as kind and empathetic toward all, giving warnings of coming destruction to each individually. Not because of random choice by God but because of our own bad choices. I’m delighted to be able to have these types of conversations with Him myself, from my heart. Because I know He has empathy for this clay pot with mushy messy insides.

  11. Beloved says:

    And yet….

    Ephesians 5:8
    8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.
    Matthew 5:14-16
    14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

  12. jeff1 says:

    In this house we’ve built of make believe
    Loved ones go long before seems its time to leave
    But we will learn how to grieve, to forgive and to receive
    ‘Til we see them in that city

    Span of stars overhead as we walk this road
    While this darkness remains I will bear you load
    And together we will tend the seed He’s sown
    As we walk along the road to that city

    On that day we will sing “Holy, Holy”
    On that day we’ll bow down in the light
    And then we’ll rise and turn our eyes
    To the One whose the light, the light of that City

    Though my eyes can’t see what is waiting there
    Though my mind can’t conceive all that He’s prepared
    There the blind will see the sun
    What was old will be young
    And the lame, they will run all over the streets of that City

    On that day we will sing “Holy, Holy”
    On that day we will bow down in the light
    And then we’ll rise and turn our eyes
    To the Lord, Jesus Christ
    On that day we will sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy”

    On that day we’ll bow down in the light
    And then we’ll rise and turn our eyes
    To the Lord, Jesus Christ
    He’s the light of that City

  13. street says:

    empathy
    thinking how Jesus poured Himself out to walk among us. to live the life we should have lived. paul spoke of emptying self, a thing to be grasped. like ruth forsaking everything to take care of her mother-in-law. substitution and living sacrifice come to mind. the Way the Truth the Live.

  14. jeff1 says:

    Thinking of our post communion prayer.

    Almighty God,
    we thank you for feeding us
    with the spiritual food
    of the body and blood of your Son Jesus Christ.
    Through him we offer you our souls and bodies
    to be a living sacrifice.
    Send us out in the power of your Spirit
    to live and work to your praise and glory. Amen.

    This hymn also comes to mind.

    Jesus bids us shine
    With a pure clear light,
    Like a little candle
    Burning in the night.
    In this world of darkness
    So let us shine
    You in your small corner,
    And I in mine.

    Jesus bids us shine,
    First of all for Him;
    Well He sees and knows it,
    If our light grows dim.
    He looks down from Heaven
    To see us shine
    You in your small corner,
    And I in mine.

    Jesus bids us shine,
    Then, for all around;
    Many kinds of darkness
    In the world are found
    Sin and want and sorrow;
    So we must shine
    You in your small corner,
    And I in mine.

  15. Beloved says:

    ..and long awaited hope of every mother?

    Psychologist for years blamed mom for all the children’s misbehavior s adding more guilt to an already mostly guilt ridden parent. I can see where this started now in the garden. Oh Jesus what hope for personal restoration You have given to us. You have restored our longing to be loved, accepted and vindicated by your precious blood spilled on the cross. Help us today to fix our whole being on You, drowning out the lies from within and without. Keep us in Your perfect peace. Bless you, LORD God of all, perfect lover and redeemer of our souls. In your name, Amen

  16. street says:

    psychologist may put the blame on the woman, God placed the responsibility on adam in order for the seed to come into the world and bypass adam’s sinful line by substitution. not only was there a substitution but also a taking on of a responsibility like a kinsman redeemer. from what i understand a debt that could never be payed by the debtors. a love that draws me to the cross. do you think we could forgive the blameless One? He asks us to love our enemies and they are many.

  17. street says:

    seems to me that no matter how difficult and painful the past has been we need to come to a place of rest that Jesus offers freely. was reading Acts recently and noticed that the authorities had taken notice that peter and john had spent time with Jesus.

    Jesus loves me this i know for the Bible tell me so, little ones to him belong they are weak but he is strong
    yes Jesus loves me

    stronger than sin and death

  18. Beloved says:

    Jesus loves me even and especially when I understand I am set apart from my enemies to do good works. Love them with no expectations as Jesus did for us. Honor and glory come from God and return to God through His conduits of faithfulness. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. And I His, beloved.

  19. street says:

    Why is there no description of what everyone was feeling on the day Cain left home…?

    what were they feeling when he came home? could he come home?

    i have to admit when he left the feelings were devastating.

    Jesus said come to me you who are burdened and heavy laden and I will give you rest.

    blessed are those who mourn they will be comforted.

  20. SFDBWV says:

    I find it disturbing that scholars believe that the Book of Genesis and most especially the story of creation was written by the Jews while in captivity in Babylon.

    I found it exciting that there in Iraq is a monument to what was the Tower of Babel and deeply saddened to learn of ISIS’s destruction of the tomb of Jonah there in Syria.

    The last few days have been typical of an anti-christ world that hates the Jew and the USA for being their ally.

    I was in the Marine Corps in June of 67 when Israel took back the land God had given them and then as well as now always sense the hand of God upon their efforts.

    How hypocritical and arrogant of the Islamic people to insist that the USA not have an embassy in Jerusalem. There comes a day when all nations of the earth will have their embassies in Jerusalem where Jesus will rule the world.

    It is God’s will, but are we stepping ahead of God?

    Brother is killing brother all because the Islamic inhabitants of Gaza insist on having their way or they will make trouble.

    Ever since that 6 day war the worlds diplomats have inch by inch given territory Israel won back to her enemies. Has it created peace? No not at all.

    Cain killed Abel out of jealousy and all that Abel could do about it was “cry out to God from the ground”. But it was just the beginning of brother killing brother as each death carried with it the skewed reasoning for killing another human being as well as the dead crying out from the ground to God for justice.

    It wasn’t very long in the Book of Genesis that God became disgusted with the very people He had created as so killed of all of them except the family of Noah. Sadly all of the evil in mankind continues in the world even after such an event.

    Apparently it wasn’t God’s will to kill out the seed of evil from man at that time.

    The question of how Eve felt or dealt emotionally about the death of Abel reminded me of the story of all the children 2 years old and younger being killed in Bethlehem at the birth of Jesus in a vain attempt to stop a new king from being born and the subsequent verse (Matthew 2:17-18 crediting the prophesy of Jeremiah 31:15.

    Perhaps this is a taste of what Eve felt. And still does.

    59 degrees and wet from overnight rains. Wondering where Maru is.

    Steve

  21. jeff1 says:

    God’s empathy is with us from the cradle to the grave and beyond.

    The hymns that are most often sung at funerals I have attended are ‘Psalm 23′,’The Old Rugged Cross’, and this one.

    Written by Scottish Anglican Henry Francis Lyte who was dying of tuberculosis when he wrote it and died three weeks after its completion.

    The words speak of the heart of a man who truly knows God as he reflects how God has not left him as often as he has left God.

    It’s a hymn that gives me great hope for those of us who feel distant from God because it speaks of how near God is and often when I know I have not behaved as I should my guilt makes me run from God rather than to Him.

    I distance myself from God because I know I don’t deserve is empathy but He is a God of empathy and the One I should be running to and not from.

    Abide with Me

    Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
    The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
    When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
    Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

    Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
    Earth’s joys grows dim; its glories pass away;
    Change and decay in all around I see;
    O Though who changest not, abide with me.

    Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word,
    But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord.
    Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
    Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

    Thou on my head in early youth didst smile,
    And though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
    Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee.
    On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

    I need Thy presence every passing hour.
    What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
    Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
    Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

    I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
    ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
    Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
    I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

    Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
    Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
    Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
    In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

  22. foreverblessed says:

    Several times I read this topic, and trying to understand what Mart wants us to think about.
    It is more the lack of empathy of Cain, for his mother ( and father andcall other siblings) he compares with the lack of empathy the older brother had with the prodigal son.
    God puts a sort of shield around Cain, they can’t kill him or his death would be avenged 7 times.
    And to the older brother the Father says:
    My son, ( and I guess the Father would look with great love in His eyes) you are always with Me, and everything I have is yours.
    But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is now alive again, he was lost and is found.
    Luke 15:31

  23. foreverblessed says:

    On a side-note: the last month I have been involved with a close friend, who thought she had a bad flu of the intestines, till she ended up in hospital one night, and found out it was cancer of the intestines, that was the cause of her throwing up.
    I visited her that night, just after Easter Sunday. And was heavy in my mind, thinking of the big drama, that great ordeal she was going through.
    And instead, I found somebody very peaceful, and it was as if Jesus was in that hospital room. It was amazing, it was like paradise on earth.

    So the words of the song Jeff gave Abide with me:
    -Ills have no weight-
    They are soooo true!
    Jesus is everything, if we have Him we have All.

    Every time I am with her I am so blessed.
    She says that knowing Jesus was something she believed in her mind, but ever since that morning just after Easter, the day she found out she has this illness, she now believes with her heart.
    I talked about Jesus one night, and she would cry, and I asked, why do you cry?
    She answers, now I feel in my heart it is so true about Jesus who saves us, Jesus who lives in us, Jesus, who takes up all our burdens. And I cry, because it is so good, and I try, because I have carried my own burdens for so long.
    I cry because I feel so light!

    Thank you God for saving us.
    Thank you Lord for the Cross of Jesus!!!

  24. foreverblessed says:

    I want to add a little to the story of my friend:
    This terrible illness God used to draw her closer to His heart.
    What, when we are already born again, and we get this message, and Jesus does not show Himself so wondrously to us, will I still believe? What if God withdraws, seemingly, will I hold fast, will I persevere?
    Then the words of the Lord’s Prayer ring in me:
    When we are tempted, make that we will not forget You!
    And may God sustain all those who are in the valley of tribulation, Psalm 23

  25. jeff1 says:

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

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

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

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

  26. Beloved says:

    Foreverblessed,
    thank you for sharing about your friend and the great empathy and faithfulness of God in the worst of circumstances. Zephaniah 3:17NLT 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.”

  27. Beloved says:

    “Older Brother” = Jesus

  28. poohpity says:

    Steve, I am so glad you found it disturbing about scholars, heavens knows scholars of what, saying that Genesis was written during captivity in Babylon when we believe that it was heard and written by Moses during his time on the mountain or soon after with God after leaving the captivity of Egypt. God told the story of creation with the history of what followed that and Moses wrote it all down. Some of the clues to that are David pointing people to read the words of God also when people that worked for the kings found the scrolls and read them to the people and they changed their ways that all happened before captivity in Babylon. David referred to God’s word as a lamp unto his path, many psalms speak of it, that gives us many clues as to it already being around.

    Possibly around 4500 BC that the City of David was established which is Jerusalem so it seems it has been the capital of Israel for over 6000 years and since then many have tried as they might to destroy what God had established and have found that God is mightier than what the surrounding nations think they know and have given every effort to abolish but God that gave the land to Israel although for peace Israel has given some of it away but in the end, God!

  29. foreverblessed says:

    You are welcome, Beloved.
    There is a typo, 7.37 am
    try should be: cry.
    She cries because she has carried her burdens alone.
    While Jesus was waiting, all along.

    What a beautiful verse thatis Beloved.
    The content of these words are Living Words, the Life of Jesus Christ flowing through us, by His Spirit!

    And that song, Jeff, isn’t it possible that we cry out from our hearts to our Savior, without these tribulations?
    I often ask this question to other christians:
    Do you know any Christian who has a deep deep deep relation with Jesus, without having suffered, without having had to deal with tragedy?

  30. poohpity says:

    Viv, I so agree with the comment of 8:24 am. It seems we do not know how near God is to us unless we are in the pits of despair but He is there in all the wonderful times of our lives as well but often when people do not think they need Him, praise and gratitude for Him get left behind and take the good times for granted. It seems when we are desperate we are better listeners than when we are not.

  31. poohpity says:

    forever, you asked, “Do you know any Christian who has a deep deep deep relation with Jesus, without having suffered, without having had to deal with tragedy?” I think that is why Jesus said, “those who have been forgiven much, love much.”. Jesus did not promise us a life without problems, trials, suffering or tragedy but did promise that He would be with us through all of that so that we could empathize with others and bring them the comfort that we ourselves have received from God.

  32. Beloved says:

    Steve I watched an interview on BBC in Jerusalem of a Jew who refused to say “Palestinian” but when asked why three times finally answered “they are Arabs”. I thought of Jesus telling His fellow Jews to love their enemies. I also wondered is land and place more important? Not sure how I feel about the whole situation happening there now. I do understand your position though.

    When 9.11.01 happened here I was attending a small Christian college. One student was a Christian Arab from Palestine. He was told to leave campus for a few days for his own safety. There was fear we could be attacked being a Christian college so security measures were increased. It was a harrowing time that created more questions than the stock answers we all had at the time, as the words, “love your enemies” echoed faintly through the halls. Empathy was great for our Arab classmate. Empathy mixed with fear. Fear not, Jesus said. After the initial reaction to calamity is over and adrenaline has subsided He’s just as good and faithful as when He hung on a cross after being born of a woman. My Redeemer, my friend.

  33. jeff1 says:

    Where there is fear love soon evaporates as I have been caught in the midst of a riot and seen the ugliness of hatred.

    Man can very easy turn if he believes he is under threat and the last thing on his mind his love thy enemy for justifying his actions becomes more prevalent.

    Who owns the land? God or humanity! Are we not to give it back to God? Is that not the right action to take because if God created the earth and all in it then it is His to as He commands.

    I can speak from someone who has put my patriotism before God and all the time I was doing that my dad was not as he was putting God first and I know now who got it right and it wasn’t me.

    Everything my dad said he was right about and if that isn’t God given righteousness then I don’t know what is.

    When it comes to bringing God’s Kingdom to earth, God is way ahead of me and once I realise that then I see that God is indeed in control as He always has been.

    John:16:33

  34. poohpity says:

    Having known some of those that perpetrated 9/11 they were not against Christians per se but against the western culture on a whole which seems to be what most of the problems in the middle east surround. They want to hold to old traditions and thinking of Islam a warring people group over growing and coming into the 21st century. If one does not think the way they do then they would just as soon kill you and their selves in the process. If one reads the writings of the prophet Muhammad from the 6th and 7th century the founder of Islam that is where we see where the thinking of wiping everyone who does not believe as they do off the face of the earth.

  35. poohpity says:

    Ishmael the forerunner of Islam through Muhammad God said, “This son of yours will be a wild man, as untamed as a wild donkey! He will raise his fist against everyone, and everyone will be against him. Yes, he will live in open hostility against all his relatives.”

  36. street says:

    Empathy
    how does it feel to be divorced into darkness because of disobedience? divorced from God

    how did it feel when you noticed He still loves you enough to send His Son?

    how does it feel to be betrothed to another?

    Forgiven and loved with an everlasting love

    even asked to share.

    did He ask too much?

  37. street says:

    under new management?

  38. foreverblessed says:

    Oh yes, Beloved, “the Older Brother” Mart talks about Jesus!
    The empathy that showed in Jesus, the empathy that we need.
    The empathy that is from Jesus, and that is ours, through faith!

    ” All that I have is yours”

    All that is good we can claim, in faith in Jesus name
    Love, peace, patience Gal 5:22-23

    And in the case of an unrepented brother, the brother who kills and then says to God:
    My punishment is more then I can bear
    Listen to what he fears: “anyone who finds me will kill me”
    The sin in yourself that you do not confess, is the sin that you fear others will to do you.

    There is a lot of fear that is unnecessary
    It is not really there, it is our own sin, that is unconfessed.

    Lord, search my heart, and see if anything is there that does not belong to you.
    In Christ we have forgiveness, in Christ we have victory over our sin, shortcomings.
    Everything that is in Christ is ours, for those who believe He is the Son of God.

    ( I was really encouraged by the Utmost for His Highest of today)

  39. foreverblessed says:

    Sorry, I realise that there are many here who have suffered greatly by others who have sinned against them.
    So the saying about unconfessed sin is not for them!

    And I havr, had a friend, who suffers from fear, she has had breast cancer, and after 15 years another cancer. All has been treated, and she is cancer free for 4 years now.
    But she has grown fears. Suspicious. She broke contact with me. And after that with many other friends. Now last year she just left her husband. She claims there is another woman in his life. He came to us lately, and put his arms in the air: there is non one else. But she has lost faith in me

    My son studied medicine, and two years ago he was working as a student in the psychiatric part of the hospital.
    He said to me: mom, there are many women there who have had cancer. Fear that takes over:
    Psychoses or delusions, (erroneous idea)
    Psychoses is easier to treat, as it is obvious that what they see is not real, it is too strange.
    But delusions are so hard to treat: if someone believes that her husband is cheating on her, she believes that, no reasoning can get her of from that way of thinking.
    Fears that overtake us.

    But… I have had a dream about her, that everything will be ok with her. That was before she left her husband. So after I had that dream, things got worse.
    I have to hold on to the promise of the Holy Spirit,that He gave through that dream, and I pray intercessory prayerso:
    Jesus, You are stronger than the lies that hold us in their grip. In Your name all sin is conquered. Free her from her fears, set her free! She believes in Christ, You rescue her,
    In Jesus’ Name I pray!

  40. SFDBWV says:

    Trying to compress my thoughts this morning so as not to ramble too much and come close to expressing what it is I want to say.

    First of all Foreverblessed I think your last comment this morning (May 17 3:33 am) is superb.

    I got the feeling that when Mart first posted this subject on Mother’s Day it was a reflected thought about Eve and her feelings concerning her two sons.

    How, though unrecorded, she must have felt about one murdering the other. The anguish, pain and confused emotions she had to have dealt with.

    While mourning for one, disappointed with the other, yet still having a love for even the one who now feared for his life. Perhaps also fearful he too might be killed.

    While seeing Cain’s appearance changed in such a way as to mark him as a killer, perhaps less human and more like the animal he had behaved like.

    Her pain may have very few other women who could ever actually have ‘empathy” with her.

    I think the subject is about a pain maybe only a mother can know.

    And God have complete “empathy” for.

    59 degrees and wet after an afternoon and evening of steady rain.

    Still wondering about Maru.

    Steve

  41. jeff1 says:

    I was encouraged by the words of this song as God is always moving in mysterious ways to those still in darkness.

    Hope for All Nations

    V1.
    The world is so hungry, but we hold the bread of life.
    Surrounded by darkness, but we know the name of the Light.
    In a day so divided, we have the loves that unites, Jesus, Jesus, He is…
    Cho.
    Hope, Hope, Hope for all nations.
    Hope, hope for every need.
    Hope, hope for the life that’s been broken.
    He’s always been, forever He’ll be.
    Hope, Hope, Hope for all nations.
    Hope, hope for every need.
    Hope, hope for the life that’s been broken.
    He’s always been, forever He’ll be.
    V2.
    Grace that can mend the marriage that’s too far gone.
    The arms that are bringing the prodigal hearts back home.
    The truth for the lonely, that you are never alone.
    Jesus, Jesus, He is
    Cho2.
    Hope, Hope, Hope for all nations.
    Hope, hope for every need.
    Hope, hope for the life’s that’s been broken.
    He’s always been, forever He’ll be.
    Bridge
    The same great power that raised Him from the dead is living within us.
    The Church will rise with kingdom dreams again.
    Nothing can stop us.
    The same great power that raised Him from the dead is living within us.
    The Church will rise with kingdom dreams again.
    Nothing can stop us.
    We are declaring…
    Hope, Hope, Hope for all nations.
    Hope, hope for every need.
    Hope, hope for the life’s that’s been broken.
    He’s always been and forever will be
    Our Hope

  42. jeff1 says:

    God moving in mysterious ways is not biblical but this hymn was written by composer William Cowper just before the onset of a depressive illness, during which Cowper attempted suicide by drowning.

    The hymn was later published in Oiney hymns which Cowper re-wrote with Newton. Entitled Conflict: Light Shining out of Darkness, it was accompanied by a text from Saint John’s Gospel, Chapter 13: Verse 7, which quotes Jesus saying to His disciples; “What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.”

    God moves in a mysterious way
    His wonders to perform;
    He plants His footsteps in the sea
    And rides upon the storm.

    Deep in unfathomable mines
    Of never failing skill
    He treasures up His bright designs
    And works His sov’reign will.

    Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
    The clouds ye so much dread
    Are big with mercy and shall break
    In blessings on your head.

    Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
    But trust Him for His grace;
    Behind a frowning providence
    He hides a smiling face.

    His purposes will ripen fast,
    unfolding every hour;
    The bud may have a bitter taste,
    But sweet will be the flow’r.

    Blind unbelief is sure to err
    And scan His work in vain;
    God is His own interpreter,
    And He will make it plain.

  43. Beloved says:

    Viv that beautiful poem could have been written by Job also after his sufferings! This came from Biblegateway today:
    Romans 11:33NLT Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways!

  44. poohpity says:

    It seems when we have empathy or compassion for others it prompts us to “Do Something”.

    I woke up this morning
    Saw a world full of trouble now, thought
    How’d we ever get so far down, and
    How’s it ever gonna turn around
    So I turned my eyes to Heaven
    I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?”
    Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of
    People living in poverty
    Children sold into slavery
    The thought disgusted me
    So, I shook my fist at Heaven
    Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
    He said, “I did, yeah, I created you” (now listen)

    If not us, then who
    If not me and you
    Right now, it’s time for us to do something, yeah
    If not now, then when
    Will we see an end
    To all this pain
    Oh, it’s not enough to do nothing
    It’s time for us to do something

    I’m so tired of talking about
    How we are God’s hands and feet
    But it’s easier to say than to be
    Live like angels of apathy who tell ourselves
    It’s alright, “somebody else will do something”
    Well, I don’t know about you
    But I’m sick and tired of life with no desire
    I don’t want a flame, I want a fire and
    I wanna be the one who stands up and says
    “I’m gonna do something”

    If not us, then who
    If not me and you
    Right now, it’s time for us to do something, yes it is, come on
    If not now, then when
    Will we see an end
    To all this pain
    Oh oh, it’s not enough to do nothing
    It’s time for us to do something

    We are the salt of the earth
    We are a city on a hill
    We’re never gonna change the world
    By standing still
    No, we won’t stand still
    No, we won’t stand still
    No, we won’t stand still
    No

    If not us, then who
    If not me and you
    Right now
    It’s time for us to do something
    If not now, then when
    Will we see an end
    To all this pain
    It’s not enough to do nothing
    It’s time for us to do something
    It’s time for us to do something
    It’s time for us to do something

  45. street says:

    Empathy
    thinking of death that first time it entered the world. it entered our hearts first in the fall, now in our body. the entire family of man under the sentence of death. able’d physical death a reminder and harbinger of the truth we find ourselves in. dead to God to the world and each other. the wages of sin is death, the justice of God, but the free gift is life in Christ Jesus, eternal life.
    we went off on our own and found death. Jesus said apart from Me you can do nothing. come back to Jesus the Author and giver of life to be freely received. remember what sin did, like cancer. no one really wants cancer the fear and death that come with it. Jesus said flesh and blood can not enter the Kingdom of Heaven, thinking your soul can in Christ Jesus. the soul that trust in Him as the law and the prophets say will never die. a place of love joy peace patients kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness and self-control, not under the influence of darkness. in Christ by faith hope and love. the Resurrected Christ never to die again. Jesus promised he would not leave us as orphans. not only did He redeem us He sent His Spirit, the Holy Spirit to help us. to guide us in Spirit, that was given, and truth, the Word of God. generous and gracious. the blood of the Lamb has accomplished much. life

  46. Beloved says:

    Empathy and spiritual direction for ALL who suffer according to God’s will:

    2 Corinthians 4:16-18NIV
    16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

  47. poohpity says:

    I know as a mother I wanted nothing more than to have my kids understand the hurt they caused each other. I do not know if the “Older Brother” ever had empathy for the death of his younger sibling. It is like going from childishness to a childlike faith. Childishness thinks only of self while being childlike means open to learning and finding the wonder in life but it seems that Cain never made that change from childishness to being childlike.

  48. Beloved says:

    Interesting thought as street mentions we have life through blood, seems blood does not die as the blood of Abel cried out from the ground for justice. No, I don’t think we can get away from empathy, it seems to be in our very hemoglobin. This makes a little more sense as to why blood had to be shed for forgiveness of sins.

  49. street says:

    Hebrews 9:21-23

    21 And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry with the blood. 22 And according to the Law, one may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

    23 Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 nor was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

    11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony. 12 If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. 14 As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; 15 so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.

  50. Beloved says:

    How very great the empathy of God in Christ! To forgive before hearing ‘God forgive me’ is astounding. (I can’t remember off hand if any did as Jesus to forgive them) LORD help me to forgive those who have sinned against me without admitting their sin. This a difficult struggle for me.
    (Please don’t throw any rocks at me.)

  51. Beloved says:

    *if any did ASK Jesus..*

  52. Beloved says:

    Thank you LORD,
    I don’t remember seeing the last sentence of this verse before,

    New Living Translation
    He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle. He will bring justice to all who have been wronged.

    Resting in Jesus is such a relief from anxiety. He is so faithful, always.

  53. Beloved says:

    Mart speaks of cold hearts and a cold blooded killer. I hadn’t thought of them in that way, although it’s always been a shock reading that Adam blamed God for giving him a woman who made him eat what was forbidden. Spinlessness from the get-go. Cold hearts. Betrayal all around yet God remains steadfast in His love for His creatures. I hadn’t thought about cold heartedness as being sins’ deception. Thank you Father for giving us a Savior.

  54. jeff1 says:

    Just another beautiful song to encourage and comfort. God always finds away, seek and ye will find.

    Through the storm
    Your cries are heard
    He will always be
    Who he’s always been
    You can trust his holy word
    He is God
    And he is good
    He is able to
    Come to your rescue
    Like he promised that he would.

    Chorus:
    He didn’t fail Daniel in the lion’s den
    He didn’t fail Abraham or Gideon
    He didn’t fail Noah on the ocean blue
    No, he didn’t fail Jonah
    And he won’t fail you.

    Looking back
    The Lord has done
    Great and mighty things
    In the time of need
    Like a father and a friend
    So fear not
    Be strong in faith
    When we’re overwhelmed
    He will overcome
    Through his mercy and his grace

    Chorus:
    He didn’t fail Daniel in the lion’s den
    He didn’t fail Abraham or Gideon
    He didn’t fail Noah on the ocean blue
    No, he didn’t fail Jonah
    And he won’t fail you.

  55. Beloved says:

    Great song Viv!

    Bubbles you’ve been on my mind and also Steve, Glenna and Matthew. My prayers for all of you and hope you can enjoy some beautiful summer weather.

  56. foreverblessed says:

    Beloved, what did you mean to say:
    ” If any did ASK Jesus”
    ?

    The reading of my devotion this morning:
    If any look at Me

    Look to Me and be saved.

    Not of any merit, only the looking,
    To the One who would be lifted up, like the snake in the wilderness.
    Anyone who looked at the snake was healed.

    So it happens now, when we look with faith on the Cross, healing flows through us, revitalusing spiritual power, cleansing us, making us whole…,
    Bit by bit

  57. Beloved says:

    I was thinking of when Jesus was being crucified and even before the crucification. We know most did not understand the prophesies about a coming Messiah. Even the apostles didn’t completely understand (Peter).

  58. Beloved says:

    Offering sacrifices in the temple was the way of asking for forgiveness of sins. As Hebrews points out, Jesus became our high priest offering Himself for the forgiveness of sins, final and complete, once for all time. (sorry I have a tendency to get stuck in the details sometimes)

  59. street says:

    offering sacrifices in the temple was a way of looking to or forward to God’s promises. everyone one knew the law could not fix our problem or the blood of goats and sheep purging our guilt and shame from our minds. we do know God did ask that they practice these till the promises are fulfilled. counted righteous by faith, looking to Him Who has been raised from the dead and now seated at the Right Hand of God.

  60. Beloved says:

    Thanks street

  61. Beloved says:

    Hebrews 6:10
    New Living Translation

    For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.

  62. Beloved says:

    I’m sorry this is way off topic but I must say something that’s important to me. When I was a new Christian being counseled by my Baptist pastor i asked him why Jesus had to die on the cross. He said it was because the OT method of sacrifices didn’t work so God had to put another plan in place. So I’ve always misunderstood the importance of the temple sacrifices as basically unimportant. When this pastor forced me to leave because of divorce (he humiliated me from the pulpit so I left) I went to a Charismatic church for about 15 years where the OT was rarely read. But I knew there was something missing all along. Long story, sorry, but I’m still trying to learn. On a good note, my Bible study has been about learning the importance of understanding the OT. God is faithful and looking back now I can see His faithfulness over many long years of drought, and why He led me to this place (physical and this blog) at this time in my life.

    I don’t want to condemn anyone, especially pastors because I know how easy it is to let the flesh rule. There is something so magnificent about Grace it chokes me up. Let patience have her perfect work!

  63. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Joyce. The subject you have broached is very deep and broad. I don’t pretend to have the answers you seek in order to give you Peace, but I can hopefully offer some learned insight for you comfort.

    First off over time, from a Christ led heart, my experience has been that some preachers choose their profession while others have been chosen and called by God.

    The difference is astounding, but it takes discernment and the basics of having the Holy Spirit lead, direct, teach, enlighten and open the eyes of those in order to see the difference.

    When we read that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow we can’t escape then understanding that the God of Genesis and Revelation is the same God spoken of and revealed all throughout the given Scripture.

    The “Living Bible” translation in describing God on the throne says that cherubs encircle Him eternally seeing the many facets of God.

    Eternally seeing the many facets of God.

    A piece of God’s personality and nature are provided for our education in the story from Genesis to Revelation. We can’t know all about God without having all of the story provided for us, but we can know enough about God from the story the Bible presents in order to see *HIS* will in and for our lives.

    While we will obtain much of all we need in order to survive from Him regardless of knowing Him, it all comes together when we come to that place where we not only know Him, but believe Him and accept His offer of peace through and by Jesus the Christ.

    This is a story about Him more than a story about us and when we can get to that place where He is more important than us it is then that we can realize how important we are to Him.

    As much as we need Him, He also needs us. Said another way as much as we love Him He also loves us.

    From the time Moses had people stoned to death for gathering firewood on the Sabbath to today the importance of obedience to God is presented as a serious matter.

    Even in this season of grace and mercy we can’t abuse Jesus’ sacrifice and take it so much for granted that we forget the history behind it the reason for it and the seriousness of it.

    Sorry Joyce I can get way too long and off on too many tangents. On a subject about empathy I am sure there are some folks out here who can relate to your story and even some who it can be said to have empathy with you.

    50 degrees, wet and cold.

    Steve

  64. foreverblessed says:

    Thank you Steve! I will add my own experience with the OT.

    Dear Beloved, your question rings with me, as I was raised in a church that said: the OT is just as important as the NT, we must obey what it says, so I was instructed in many many old testament laws, the laws from Exodus, Numbers Leviticus. With this same message:
    Jesus is the same today as in the past, as in the future.
    And…. Not a jotta of tittel of the law will pass.

    In the nineties we lived in London for a while, and there was a pastor who had a long Bible study on Romans. And there something happened to me.
    ( Maybe somewhat the same as what happened to Maarten Luther, 500 years ago)
    God started to speak to my heart.
    And I started to ask God questions. And in my case, because of my upbringing, and because of having suffered persecution from fellow Christians, who said that it was all wrong to keep the 7th day, because it had been changed to the first day.
    I was pretty desperate: God, have I suffered for nothing?
    What did You mean with this command: Keep the 7th day holy

    But I have shared this here before.
    The thing is: starting to ask the question why is it nessecary, this OT, why all these laws, if they would be set aside with Jesus????

    There is a great Bible study on that:
    The Two Covenants
    By Andrew Murray.

    You can read it on internet, download pdf files for free.

    It has helped me greatly!!!

  65. foreverblessed says:

    To me this question has a lot to do with the Father and the two sons:
    The prodigal son, who follows the flesh, and gets tired.
    HD finds out, he is miserable in the end: he comes to his senses.

    The older brother: the one who stays in the house of the father, does all his duties, goes through all the motions. He is the one who obeys all the commands of God.
    Probably, he obeys all of the OT commands too.

    And he too, will get tired in the end, ( it does not say so in the story, the story ends this way: you celebrate with us and be glad…all Mine is yours)

    The older son will get really tired, exhausted, he obeys all of the commands, even the ones about the food: clean and unclean meats. But his heart is not happy.
    He has tried keeping all the laws, even with the help of the Holy Spirit, but he misses the real abundant life that Jesus has promised.
    He has lived under the Old Covenant:
    You do this and that ( all God’s laws in the OT), and then God will do His part.

    And there he is: He is now ready for the New Covenant.
    My paet, however hard I try, it does not work!
    My heart is empty, and dry.

    Whatever I do, I will fail.

    And hopelessly we throw ourselves at God’s mercy:
    Here I am God, You take me where I am, I failed.
    Please HELP ME

    And there we are at the same point as where the prodigal son was: he was hopelessly list too.

    The younger son, because of following the flesh.

    The older son because of following all the rules of the OT.

    Poor in spirit.

    Both of them have become poor in spirit:
    I need You, God, please save me.

    And there is the real start of the New Covenant:

    God will do His part, and He gives us the power to do my part, His Spirit He gives that changes my heart.

    We live in the Spirit, and he who lives in the Spirit has fulfilled the law.

  66. foreverblessed says:

    That was Gal 5:18

    But what if we are under the New Covenant, what laws do we then follow.
    Steve has often said here, that was the question too in Acts 15,
    The council of Jerusalem:
    Acts 15:19-20

    Nothing said about keeping the seventh day, not the first day…Or the Holy Days of Leviticus 23.

    Living in the New Covenant means that you believe that you walk behind Jesus, and that you trust Him that He will show you what to do, and give you the Power to do it too!

    Living in faith in Jesus!!!

  67. poohpity says:

    Acts 17:25; Romans 7:10 NLT; 2 Cor 3:6 NLT; Romans 4:14-15 NLT; Romans 3:20, 5:13; 1 Cor 15:56; 2 Cor 3:7; Gal 3:10

  68. poohpity says:

    John 6:28-29 NLT; 1 John 3:23

  69. Beloved says:

    Dear Steve and Forever thank you so much for you kind caring words of empathy. I sobbed and sobbed tears of release yesterday as more healing brought by Jesus. When one who had suffered physical/emotional abuse for 32 years comes into the fellowship of believers and is abused again it’s mind boggling to say the least, as has happened several times as I’ve written before. But I think God is teaching me to trust Him more and not let my fear of man rule over me. It’s a snare I’ve been caught in for a long time, especially authority figures. I believe God can heal my heart and set me free. Yesterday’s revelation and now especially the balm of your love and concern definitely shows me the hand of is God greater than anything. I’m not completely healed as I have damaged emotions that I live with daily but they too cause me to turn to Jesus. Thorns are a good thing! The LORD bless you both today.

  70. Beloved says:

    Pooh how precious to us both the very words of God in sacred scripture. Blessings to you today also.

  71. Beloved says:

    Steve you thoughts about being chosen versas choosing make a lot of sense and very helpful. Forever I love your explanation of the prodigal son.

  72. jeff1 says:

    Today I watched the Royal Wedding of Harry and Megan.

    It was refreshing to see two people in love starting out in life and an American minister Rev. Curry spoke of the redemptive power of love in a stirring sermon.
    “When love is the way…poverty will become History” he said.

    A fairy tale wedding encourages and comforts when the rest of the world is less so.

    A hymn from the wedding:

    Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
    Whose trust, ever child-like,
    no cares could destroy,
    Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
    Your bliss in our hearts, Lord,
    at the break of the day.

    Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
    Whose strong hands
    were skilled at the plane and the lathe,
    Be there at our labours, and give us, we pray,
    Your strength in our hearts, Lord,
    at the noon of the day.

    Lord of all kindlinness, Lord of all grace,
    Your hands swift to welcome,
    your arms to embrace,
    Be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
    Your love in our hearts, Lord,
    at the eve of the day.

  73. poohpity says:

    Viv, I too watched the Royal wedding. I got up at 3am to watch and I found sharing the gospel of Christ by Pastor Curry and the gospel choir singing “Stand By Me” was just amazing because both those young people have dedicated their lives to serving those less fortunate than themselves and intend on continuing their servant’s hearts to make a difference by loving those who many find unlovable and castaways.

  74. poohpity says:

    Yes Beloved, I hope those verses made evident that God does not need our help and that includes He does not even need us to praise Him because if we don’t He is able to even make the rocks cry out praises and that the law or following it has never changed the heart of anyone; that is only accomplished by His Holy Spirit by believing in Jesus not by our might, strength or works.

  75. Beloved says:

    Pooh I did not read your posts as I don’t agree with how you interpret scripture. I have more of a Calvinist leaning than your Armenian/Universalist approach but we share a love for scripture nonetheless.

  76. street says:

    Empathy
    thinking about how much the law, knowledge, and works have empathy for sinners condemned to death. the guilty set free in Christ Jesus.

  77. jeff1 says:

    I singing God’s praises lifts my spirit and so encourages my hope and faith in Him.

    Yes, it is more about me than God and so even my act of worship is what it is a selfish one.

    Yet, He encourages me to come to Him, not because He needs me but because He knows without Him I can do nothing.

    Without Him I could do nothing
    Without Him I’d surely fail
    Without Him I would be drifting
    Like a ship without a sail

    Without Him I would be dying
    Without Him I’d be enslaved
    Without Him life would be worthless
    But with Jesus thank God I’m saved

    Oh Jesus, oh Jesus
    Do you know Him today
    Please don’t turn Him away
    Oh Jesus, my Jesus
    Without Him how lost I would be
    Without Him how lost I would be

  78. poohpity says:

    Beloved I do not really know about Calvinism or the other thing you mentioned I pretty much just read what the bible says and if I do not understand something I ask the author to give me wisdom about it but I realize there is so much I do not understand so inserting what I think about what it does not say seems to be a moot point for me.

    I was thinking about the topic and how I can not even have empathy with Adam or Eve because they did not go through as the rest of us do and as their children did, the natural stages of growth because they were created not born. So everything they went through was as if they were children seeing it or experiencing life for the first time so just as children are not in touch with feelings, I wonder if they shared in that as well? So if God thought it to be important for us to learn about I bet it would be in there.

  79. poohpity says:

    Beloved, Isn’t saying that I have an “Armenian/Universalist approach” to reading the bible assuming an awful lot on your part? Or another means of a false accusation from someone who does not know the facts like fake news? But is very fitting in a business as usual type way.

  80. foreverblessed says:

    Today, on Pentecost, I pray that the overfill of the Holy Spirit will flow to those around us.
    I pray that the world will be blessed more and more by that overfill, that we as Christians have our eyes on Jesus,and with thatfirst love is stirred up in us and overflows to the world around us!

  81. foreverblessed says:

    Overflowing, was the message of ODB, on May 18, 2018,
    That really touched me, as when I was a child, many a times, the milk was spilled. But what a positive message from such a waste!!!

    Today I took my breakfast to church, in a ceramic cup, in a plastic box. No time to eat it, music band, talking with other Christians, encouraging one another, praying for the feeble, the I’ll…
    Then I went home on my bike, the sun was shining, the birds singing. And I thought, wait a minute, let’s have breakfast.
    So I got the plastic box and opened it, got the spoon, then the box fell I two, and the ceramic bowl fell on the ground, broke in pieces, and the yogurt, orange and muesli lay on the ground!!!
    Not only spilled, even broken pieces…

    Immediately I prayed this prayer:
    Lord, may Your overflow from us fill this city.
    May we become broken bread, and poured out wine for this world.
    May all Christians worldwide not hold on to their natural life, may they be willing to die the first death, so that we be broken bread and poured out wine,
    That the world will be won to You!!!

    In Jesus’ Name we pray

  82. foreverblessed says:

    When I had posted,
    2 Cor 2:16-18
    appeared again on my screen,
    ( Beloved, May 17, 10.53 am)
    As if saying: that verse says the same as what you learned about the broken pieces and spilled yogurt.
    What great fruit it brings: many saved souls,
    About whom we will rejoice in future times, when we see these souls that have been won by suffering in Christ.

    Great Joy!!!

  83. foreverblessed says:

    Not 2 but 4:
    2 Cor 4:16-18
    16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

    (All though, today in the sermon it was said that the fragrance of Jesus would evaporate from us to others around us)

  84. foreverblessed says:

    Forgot to tell you one more detail of today:

    I lost my yogurt, and fruit, but when I just stepped on my bike, and cycled further back home, there I heard a song, a flying playing, it was a van, Belgium guy, who sells icecream.
    It was as if God was saying: I arranged this for you, go take it.
    So I put up my hand, and the man stopped, and one ball of stragiatella ice, in a cube. The sun shining, the wind blowing softly, I really enjoyed it.
    God is good
    All the time

  85. Beloved says:

    Empathy of God says if you seek Me with all your heart you will find me, though I am never far away. That’s what came to mind reading your morning adventure Forever. He knows what we need before we do! Such a grand thought, such a grand God we serve.

    Good point street. No empathy in law works knowledge. Wondering if there is empathy in wisdom? Probably the wisdom from above that James speaks of. But human wisdom? Crucify him! Crucify him! No Wisdom there.

  86. jeff1 says:

    From Sunday morning reflections reminding me to keep looking to Jesus.

    Land where Living Waters flow

    Some glad day my soul will fly way up in the sky
    Far above this land of grief and woe
    With my Lord I’ll fly away on that day, happy day
    To that land where living waters flow.

    Chorus:
    On that land (that land) where living waters (waters) flow
    My soul (soul) is longing to be there
    And some (and some) glad day I know (know) I’ll go
    To live (live) forever in the air
    ‘Tis a lovely land, wonder land where the angels sing
    Round the throne, shining throne, praising heaven’s King
    And some (some) glad day I know (know) I’ll go
    To that land where living waters flow

    Far above the vale of tears, doubts and fears, home appears
    Home where I have longed so much to go
    Soon on wings of love I’ll rise to the prize in the skies
    To that land where living waters flow

    Chorus:
    On that land (that land) where living waters (waters) flow
    My soul (soul) is longing to be there
    And some (and some) glad day I know (know) I’ll go
    To live (live) forever in the air
    ‘Tis a lovely land, wonder land where the angels sing
    Round the throng, shining throne, praising heaven’s King
    And some (some) glad day I know (know) I’ll go
    To that land where living waters flow.

  87. poohpity says:

    It seems that even Jesus who had to become human like us and it was needed to be empathetic so that He could show us mercy.(Hebrews 2:17 NLT; Hebrews 4:15 NIV) I guess it would be hard for someone who has not walked a mile in our shoes to be very understanding and without understanding grace and mercy may not be so easy to show. I know sometimes I may not have been through a circumstance that someone else may go through but I have been through enough of life that I can understand somewhat and I get that understanding by just listening intently to the person sharing their heart.

    Jesus understands (has empathy) for our trials, struggles and temptations that is so reassuring to me. There is nothing I can take to God that He does not understand.

    God understands, he knows all about us
    He knows of our hopes, he knows of our plans
    He’s willing to help if we will but follow
    He knows all about us, God understands

    I walk with the Lord in sunshine and darkness
    I cannot forsake his word and command
    Temptation is great, his love is still greater
    He knows all about us, God understands

    I know of his love, I know all it’s meaning
    I know of the power he’s given to man
    Without faith in God my life would be worthless
    He knows all about us, God understands

    When trouble appears and life has no meaning
    Be washed and be cleansed in the blood of the Lamb
    He’s trusted and tried so cast him your worries
    He knows all about us, God understands

  88. SFDBWV says:

    I couldn’t get ODB this morning at all when I first got up, I imagine some of you may have found the same problem.

    I took the time to rest.

    I was thinking about the heart of this subject being the loss of a child and it made me think about Matthew and his loss and mine.

    When death comes to someone we love we grieve. The process may take years but there is a grieving process.

    There are people as Mart expressed in his comment that had to deal with a child who simply left home. They are not dead, but out there in a world without you to protect them or aid them or rescue them if needed. Out there on their own and you may have no knowledge of them at all.

    For such there is no grieving period only a daily loss of someone you love.

    In many ways I am more fortunate in that Matthew is home safe with me. But so much of him has been taken away that neither he nor I can reconnect to the young man who wrecked his car that June night nearly 19 years ago (June 7, 1999).

    Not one of you out there can have empathy with he nor I unless you have watched hope die. Not once but hundreds of time. Watched or experienced as belief turned to defeat. And watched it in someone you love over and over again and again.

    You helpless to fix all the pain or repair the damage and most of all helpless to give the one you love what they desperately want or need.

    For us there is no grieving period and grief is a daily part of living.

    This morning on my “Days of Praise” daily devotional it speaks of “God’s Sovereignty”

    May 21, 2018
    God’s Sovereignty
    “And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?” (Exodus 4:11)

    This divine rebuke to Moses was occasioned when Moses complained of his inability to speak eloquently for God before Pharaoh. It is also a rebuke to each of us who would dare question God’s wisdom in making us as we are—even with all our innate defects and handicaps. With our very limited knowledge of God’s purposes and our very short-range view of eternal priorities, we are ill-equipped to prejudge His ways with us.

    To those who questioned why a man should be born blind, for example, Jesus answered: “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him” (John 9:3). As another example, when certain believers complained about the lethal illness of a loved one, Jesus replied: “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby” (John 11:4).

    The steadfastness of Stephen’s faith as he was stoned to death led to Paul’s conversion, though at the time it must have seemed difficult for his Christian brethren to understand and accept. In another context, but stating a principle highly relevant to such questions, Jesus reminds us, “What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter” (John 13:7). God is not capricious, but He is sovereign. Whatever He does is right, by definition, and whatever He allows is for a holy purpose. “Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” (Romans 9:20).

    It should be enough for now to know that He knows, and that when suffering comes for His sake, it is “for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness” (Hebrews 12:10). HMM

    I am once again reminded that God is God and I am not. That my hope remains in my belief that in the end of all things God knows best and has worked out the very least of details in mine and Matthew’s life as to make sense of all of the pain of life.

    58 degrees foggy and raining.

    Steve

  89. poohpity says:

    Even If
    MercyMe

    They say sometimes you win some
    Sometimes you lose some
    And right now, right now I’m losing bad
    I’ve stood on this stage night after night
    Reminding the broken it’ll be alright
    But right now, oh right now I just can’t

    It’s easy to sing
    When there’s nothing to bring me down
    But what will I say
    When I’m held to the flame
    Like I am right now

    I know You’re able and I know You can
    Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
    But even if You don’t
    My hope is You alone

    They say it only takes a little faith
    To move a mountain
    Well good thing
    A little faith is all I have, right now
    But God, when You choose
    To leave mountains unmovable
    Oh give me the strength to be able to sing
    It is well with my soul

    I know You’re able and I know You can
    Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
    But even if You don’t
    My hope is You alone
    I know the sorrow, and I know the hurt
    Would all go away if You’d just say the word
    But even if You don’t
    My hope is You alone

    You’ve been faithful, You’ve been good
    All of my days
    Jesus, I will cling to You
    Come what may
    ‘Cause I know You’re able
    I know You can

    I know You’re able and I know You can
    Save through the fire with Your mighty hand
    But even if You don’t
    My hope is You alone
    I know the sorrow, I know the hurt
    Would all go away if You’d just say the word
    But even if You don’t
    My hope is You alone

    It is well with my soul
    It is well, it is well with my soul

  90. jeff1 says:

    We have empathy with each other as sojourners on this earth trying to understand a world that changes so much that all we have are our memories of bygone days.

    My memories are both sad and happy as I find that life is what it is a mixture of sunshine and rain.

    I have just got better at coping with the disappointments that this world brings and not blaming God for my own bad choices but accepting the consequences as had implications for those close to me.

    Why is it that it is often those closest to us that we hurt the most when it was not our intention to do so.

    My work for the Rector includes taking notices to be put on the weekly church notice board distributed in his five churches.

    Sometimes a parishioner will ask for a note to be put on the notice board that is more community related than church and when I say to him the person wants this put on the notice board he will reply we don’t always get what we want.

    If I have learned anything in life I would say this is a very true statement and I often have to accept rather than get my own way.

    Life isn’t just about me and I have to share with others and be it sad or happy I am just glad that I have always found someone to share my grief or happiness with be they a believer or non believer I have found their presence comforting or joyful.

    God puts people in our pathway and sometimes I comfort them and other times they comfort me so that we learn how to give and receive.

    It is in learning that God teaches me that I am not just here to please myself as in my humaneness I find it so easy to want to do things my way and forget that God always has and always will know better.

    I have all my life wanted to avoid conflict and yet it never has avoided me and so it seems I have to accept that it never will because as my Rector says ‘I don’t always get what I want’.

  91. Beloved says:

    Viv I just finished praying through this verse, Acts 20:24 (NIV)
    24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

    I was thinking how Grace is the great empathy of God. Then the song from the 60s came to mind, You can’t always get what you want- but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.(Stones) There’s much wisdom in what God allows, everything has purpose, the sovereignty of God Steve mentioned. Yet in all things we are more then conquerors through Jesus Christ. Father forgive them they don’t know what they are doing. Grace, empathy in action. Jesus, the vehicle of grace.

  92. Beloved says:

    The Stones song reveals the sad state of a 60’s drug sex culture beginning to wind down, I remember it well and survived through it only by the grace of God. I’m still amazed!

  93. jeff1 says:

    I wish I could see it as simply as you do Beloved but I have seen too much of the evil side of man and that has affected my mind and I can not reconcile evil and God.

    God has always been good and it was my dad that taught me that because he knew it was my mother’s superstition and not her knowing God that was confusing me.

    My mum believed that it was God punishing when a person was suffering for their sin.

    It was my dad who told me God doesn’t work like that and yet even today believer’s hold superstitious beliefs that shows ignorance of God is still widespread.

    I am uneasy about forgiving the evil that is going on in the world today because I am human and I can error and I cannot get my head around how some can be so depraved and in truth I don’t want to know because I want to run from such wickedness rather than thinking about forgiving it.

    I am just being honest about how I see it Beloved and I am not sure what is going on in the world today and why I leave it in God’s hands as I don’t trust in my own understanding of what God is doing but I do trust Him.

  94. Beloved says:

    Viv I hear you. I too have struggled with evil up close and personal as you know. All I know is that as you said not to lean on my own understanding, trust God and pray for sinners caught in the enemy’s clutches. God hates evil also, there’s some comfort in that. Also in the knowledge that there will come a day when Jesus returns and Satan is bound. If not today, someday as He’s promised.

  95. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Beloved, it’s best to leave to God the things that are not easy to understand and I know that you have suffered more than I could imagine as I was a spectator of evil while you were a victim.

    It’s just that I need to have new memories so that I can move on and though it can be a struggle I feel I am making progress and its because I focus on God and the goodness in the world and I long for a lasting peace rather than what this world offers.

    Mentally I get very tired and why I find music very therapeutic. I consider myself blessed in trusting God when I see that so many are lead astray or do not believe in His existence.

    Faith is in itself a gift from God especially in a modern world which relies more on science and technology than it does on Him. There is a peace in knowing that God will make all things new including this body and mind as He promised.

  96. poohpity says:

    I understand about having things I have seen, experienced and done stuck in my head that causes me to break down in tears wishing it would all go away. As time goes on, at times, those memories are triggered and brought back up, like you Viv it is worship music or reading the bible or praying that replaces those things with thoughts of beauty and goodness. I now have to consider what I watch and make the choice to turn away from some things just for mental health sake and my heart.

  97. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Pooh, it is difficult to forget but we are not so different in how we cope with difficult memories and coming from different countries, cultures and backgrounds I find that is quite amazing and encouraging as in our different ways we are worshipping and trusting Jesus to be with us always which means in our heart of hearts we know He won’t forsake us and I think it is because the more I know my need of Jesus the more He is there and there is something of a mystery in that which surpasses my understanding but gives me peace of mind none the less.

  98. jeff1 says:

    In trying to have empathy for my neighbours as I live in a semi detached house surrounded by other houses I said to my son I was not sure it was a good idea for him to get a musical instrument as the noise might affect the neighbours as I know some work shifts and may need to sleep during the waking hours.

    He told me I was a people pleaser and that it wasn’t a good thing and he ran of in a mood because he is to stubborn to listen and just wants to see things his way.

    The folly of youth is that my enthusiasm can fail to show consideration for those around me while the wisdom of age is that I have been that soldier (both the youth and the neighbour) and see the difference in being a people pleaser and having empathy with my neighbours.

    You can’t tell your granny how to suck eggs has been a saying I have heard so often over the years and I am just beginning to get the meaning of it.

  99. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve, I seem to be losing the ability to express my thoughts in any articulate manner equal to the depth they are felt and believed, so I have limited my input considerably. However, I will give this one, my best shot.. I think of you as a man with exceptional strength of character, a strong loving heart, mind, and spirit, with a wonderful teaching gift and a witty sense of humor. When I think of “suffering builds character” I think of you as the poster man of confirmation. Pearl

  100. phpatato says:

    Amen, Pearl. Amen!! You spoke for me too. xo

  101. Beloved says:

    My Utmost is very good as usual.

  102. SFDBWV says:

    Pearl and Pat, thank you both for your kind words and friendship, both are appreciated very much and indeed humbling.

    There is an old saying that youth is wasted on the young. In retrospect it is somewhat true if looked at from the mistakes the young make.

    However as I am able to look back across my life what I see is how in every season of my life God enabled me to be just where I was and equipped me to do just that which He set me to accomplish.

    All which culminates in where I am today.

    I can do nothing alone, but all that God wants done through His Son Jesus the Christ.

    One of Glenna’s favorite sayings is that we are to bloom right where we are planted.

    I agree and when God plants fruit shall abound.

    In fact just outside are three apple trees that are just now losing their fragrant blooms that the orioles have been enjoying, soon there will be apples for the deer.

    And for those who know, there is a special little mushroom that likes to grow beneath the apple tree that tastes excellent when fried in butter.

    God provides, we just have to keep our eyes and heart open to Him and when we do we can see more clearly.

    Have I made mistakes across my life and in every season of it? Yes plenty, but God still loves me and stays with me as he finishes that work which He set out for me in my life from the beginning.

    All due to Jesus of Nazareth and I like to think a lot of help from a wonderful mother.

    58 wet and damp from overnight rains.

    Steve

  103. jeff1 says:

    After reading your post Steve I just came across this beautiful hymn which I have never heard before.

    All the Way My Saviour Leads Me

    All the way my Saviour leads me–What have I to ask beside?
    Can I doubt His tender mercy, Who through life has been my guide?
    Heavenly peace, divinest comfort, Here by faith in Him to dwell!
    For I know, whatever befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.

    All the ways my Saviour leads me–Cheers each winding path I tread,
    Gives me grace for every trial, Feeds me with the living bread.
    Though my wearv steps may falter, And my soul athirst may be,
    Gushing from the Rock before me, Lo! a spring of joy I see;
    Gushing from the Rock before me, Lo! a spring of joy I see.

    All the way the Saviour leads me–O the fullness of His love!
    Perfect rest to me is promised in my Father’s house above.
    When my spirit, clothed immortal, (Takes) its flight to realms of day.
    This my song through endless ages: Jesus led me all the way;
    This my song through endless ages: Jesus led me all the way.

  104. poohpity says:

    I think that all people can empathize with Cain and his parents before him which has been a problem all throughout history and that is the need to be god and to play god to others. How many times do we think we can fix things for others rather than pointing them to God the only One who actually can, fix things that is?

    There is a long history of people doing things their way repeatedly and never listening to anything anyone else has to say. Taking matters into our own hands as Cain did, as Abraham did, as Jacob did, etc. all though out history. When we do things our way growth is stunted, no one learns only but what we say or how we think but nothing new. It is a dead give away when someone says if I were there things would be different not understanding that the mess that already is may grow into being even messier with another set of human hands in the mix.

  105. Beloved says:

    Jesus leads me all the way. Yes! He is sovereign over every minute of my life. Doesn’t matter what people say or do I’m not responsible. Fixing my eyes on Jesus today. He’s already changed my plans once today, wonder what He has planned? Maybe little maybe much but He is good, kind, empathetic and fiercely just.

  106. SFDBWV says:

    Ok time for a little piece of life story…

    Yesterday Matt had a very difficult morning that stretched into the afternoon. Even though he didn’t accomplish what he wanted he and I still went to the Dairy Queen as planned after his shower.

    When we arrived at DQ the parking lot was empty and I thought, good, not busy is always best for us.

    Just as I was getting Matt out of our car and into his wheelchair a big red Dodge pickup truck pulled in and a big fellow got out in what appeared as his being in a hurry.

    I thought he just wanted to be first in line, but he was just in a hurry so he could hold the door open for us.

    Once in I thanked him and told him he better go ahead because Matt will be taking some time to read the menu and choose what he wants, the fellow said no for us to go ahead.

    As I already knew Matt did take his time and it was a few minutes before he got his order ordered.

    By then there were several people behind us waiting for their turn.

    I turned to them and thanked them for their patience and every one of them were smiling and said that it was no problem.

    The Lord goes before us and comes after us and given a chance people like to be gentle and kind as for some reason it makes all of us feel better.

    There is a lot more to our yesterday, but this story just a little piece of our lives, I hope you all enjoyed my sharing it with you.

    Steve

  107. narrowpathseeker says:

    Steve, your stories most usually have that teaching, touching, forthright and uplifting tone with a splash of humor mingled in there somewhere. I always enjoy everything you share. thank you.

  108. jeff1 says:

    I enjoyed your story Steve as it is always good to hear that people are kind and helpful and it does make us all feel better when we do.

    I have very impatient people around me and at times I find it frustrating but it is the times we live in and people are so busy that I just have to take myself away from the business to get some quiet time.

  109. poohpity says:

    It is to me not surprising that people are kind. I run into far more people that are kind than I do of those that are mean. It would seem we find what we are looking for or often times how we are is what we see in others. Even when people are mean returning a smile and/or kind word can brighten/sweeten even the sourest of souls.

  110. poohpity says:

    One of the first things I wrote in my bible was, “Be kind because you never know the battles someone is facing”. Solomon wrote, “A kind answer soothes angry feelings, but harsh words stir them up.”. It would seem that everyone faces those bad days when everything seems to be going down the tubes, so we can either put fuel on the fire to keep the bad day going or we can soothe the fire by putting kind words and love to quench the flames that seems to be where empathy can help in our reactions to others.

  111. Beloved says:

    Steve how gracious of you to take Matt out I’m sure it’s exhausting. So beautiful to hear of the grace of God poured out at the restaurant! Thank you.

  112. jeff1 says:

    Thinking of how it is often the action or non action of others that causes so much of the misery in life and I am thinking here of my son battling with his present day demons.

    His dad never spent any time with his sons and today my son is struggling with the effects of that lack of attention from his dad.

    Today he finds it difficult to just have a conversation with his dad and when I think of the relationship I had with my dad it makes me sad as I know I cannot compensate for his dad’s lack of interest in his early life.

    Empathy can only be given if it is felt and my son’s dad did not have an easy relationship with his own dad. History repeats itself whether we see it or not and often we are left to deal with the aftermath.

    Being kind is sometimes just not enough nor are words as damage goes much more deeper and that’s why I look to God today to fix what I cannot not as He knows better how to mend broken lives, dreams and hearts and why leaving my son in his hands gives me peace in the midst of distress that might otherwise defeat me.

    God Know Best

    Our Father knows whats best for us,
    So why should we complain
    We always want the sunshine,
    But He knows there must be rain

    We love the sound of laughter
    And the merriment of cheer,
    But our hearts would loose their tenderness
    If we never shed a tear…

    Our Father tests us often
    With suffering and with sorrow,
    He tests us not to punish us,
    But to help us meet tomorrow…

    For growing trees strengthened
    When they withstand the storm,
    And the sharp cut of a chisel
    Gives the marble grace and form…

    God never hurts us needlessly,
    And He never wastes our pain
    For every loss He sends to us
    Is followed by rich gain…

    And when we count the blessings
    That God has so freely sent,
    We will find no cause for murmuring
    And no time to lament…

    For our Father loves His children,
    And to Him all things are plain,
    So He never sends us pleasure
    When the soul’s deep need is pain…

    So whenever we are troubled
    And when everything goes wrong,
    It is just God working in us
    To make our spirit strong.

  113. SFDBWV says:

    Today starts the long weekend of Memorial Day. When I was a boy it was still called “Decoration Day” and something more of a homecoming event in our little cemetery here in our little town.

    Prior to WWII the cemetery was administered by a committee of people and most all of their records lost to time. During the war the cemetery got in some bad shape with most of the men gone there were few able people left to keep it mowed and clear of shrubbery and advancing trees. The care of the cemetery became too much for the committee to manage and so in 1944 it was deeded over to the Municipality so that the Mayor and town council could see to its care.

    I have never thought of taking care of the cemetery as just that, but rather taking care of all of the people buried there and their families wherever they may be.

    Each marked and some unmarked graves represents someone. Not just a name, but a life lived. Some very short others very long, but each one was someone who loved and was loved, who laughed, cried and was known.

    Every veteran is provided a flag to “decorate” their last resting place and while “Memorial Day” is supposed to a time to remember the sacrifice of our veterans our cemetery is adorned with flowers on past family members as all are remembered. Remembering that the purpose of every veteran is to protect their family against all foes and our way of life.

    It is one holiday that nearly every one of us can have empathy with each other as we place a flower on a grave and remember the person for whom we honor.

    It will be a busy 3 or 4 days for us here, I hope wherever you are you are blessed with love, joy, happiness and contentment.

    45 and clear.

    Still wondering about Maru.

    Steve

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