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Epiphany

He gave us the season and moments of epiphany.

Yet no one knew how much he would change his people’s reading of the Scripture or how controversial he would be.

Only in time would it become clear that he was a different kind of Messiah—a different kind of prophet, priest, king, savior, lord, judge, warrior, teacher, son, brother, friend, and person.

Refusing to use envy, swagger, posturing, or bluster to make a name, following, and personal fortune for himself, he corrupted no one while leading all who followed him to higher ground.

Without relying on his own inclinations, and instead of returning insult for insult, wrong for wrong, or blame for blame, he let himself be misunderstood, mocked, lied about, and killed…

So that in our differences… on the right or the left… we can find the epiphany that leads us to the humility, curiosity, courage, and grace of realizing how much we are like one another… in kin, sin, and our need of him.


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249 Responses to “Epiphany”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    If you and I had no access to a Bible and had never even new about it or seen anything of it, what would be our relationship with God?

    Would there be some deeply implanted calling in our minds or spirits that made us look up at the night sky and wondered, who are we, why are we here and is there a power and force far above my knowledge that created it all?

    Of course in this scenario we would be lost from God and have no way of finding out about Him unless He provided a way.

    He would have to make the first steps to introduce Himself as our Creator.

    An epiphany can be a supernatural encounter with God. I have had a few myself and can recognize when they occur. An epiphany can also be a yearly festival commemorating the revealing of Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah to the Gentiles or a sudden understanding or insight…an encounter with God.

    I have no way of knowing how many epiphanies have occurred across time with countless peoples or even if there ever have been. The only written evidence I have of encounters with God is the written word. The story written from Genesis to Revelation. The Bible.

    Especially when God became a man and revealed Himself as such.

    The only epiphany that mattered for me, being when He revealed Himself to me as Jesus of Nazareth not just the Savior, but my Savior, and more importantly my Hope, my only Hope for peace in living.

    Yes we are all birds of a feather when it comes to our need for Jesus. Yet there are some birds who lay their eggs in another’s nest.

    The difference being that in some cases a leopard never changes its spots. And while some call themselves Christian all they are is still that same leopard.

    Just like a catbird raised in a robins nest is still a catbird.

    Becoming a pitfall, stumbling block and obstacle to others in their search for God.

    As stark as the differences between the kind of Messiah Jesus is and what He was expected to be. It is also just as clear the difference between a person who is Christ like and one who is actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    And yes Mart I get it that such pseudo-christian’s are just as in need of a Savior as am I, still His Person of the Holy Spirit enables me to have sight to recognize phonies when I see them. I guess you could say an epiphany of understanding and enlightenment. A protective measure provided for by God for my safety and wellbeing.

    48 degrees and clear this morning.

    Steve

  2. poohpity says:

    This topic reminds me of what James wrote about in James 1:23-24 NLT we look in a mirror and see the nature of the inner person but then we walk away forgetting what we saw. What an ability to realize or to be able to see the inward person as Christ does and still face all that He did for us which would be the only way one can fully understand what Grace is really all about. If one does not understand that then odds are they will not be able to show it to others.

    When someone blames someone else for the ugliness, hate, anger, bitterness, etc. that wells up from inside them, they will never have an epiphany of all that Jesus spoke of. It is only considering how I am and looking inside of me does any of His words or actions make any sense for the reason that He allowed Himself to be lead as a sheep to slaughter when He had all the power and strength to change the circumstances. He could have saved Himself from the torture of the lashings and crucifixion but chose instead to do it to save us, to take what we deserved.

  3. poohpity says:

    For me it is not whether anyone else if following Christ’s example but only about whether I am or not. That is where the rubber meets the road.

  4. Beloved says:

    Beautiful summer weather here so far, temps in the 70’s F and a little rain off and on. Trees being trimmed around the property and grass mowing in full swing with potted flowers everywhere! It’s a beautiful world God gave us!

  5. Beloved says:

    Yes Mart it takes grace to realize how alike we all are. Prayers for Grace on the blog today as only God can make such lovely trees. (Stolen from Joyce Kilmer)

  6. poohpity says:

    These are my thoughts and heart as well.

    When I say, “I am a Christian”

    I’m not shouting, “I’ve been saved!”
    I’m whispering, “I get lost!
    That’s why I chose this way”.

    When I say, “I am a Christian”

    I don’t speak with human pride
    I’m confessing that I stumble –
    Needing God to be my guide

    When I say, “I am a Christian”

    I’m not trying to be strong
    I’m professing that I’m weak
    And pray for strength to carry on.

    When I say, “I am a Christian”

    I’m not bragging of success
    I’m admitting that I’ve failed
    And cannot ever pay the debt.

    When I say, “I am a Christian”

    I don’t think I know it all
    I submit to my confusion
    Asking humbly to be taught.

    When I say, “I am a Christian”

    I’m not claiming to be perfect
    My flaws are all too visible
    But God believes I’m worth it.

    When I say, “I am a Christian”

    I still feel the sting of pain
    I have my share of heartache,
    Which is why I seek His name.

    When I say, “I am a Christian”

    I do not wish to judge
    I have no authority…
    I only know I’m loved

    by Carol Wimmer

  7. Beloved says:

    Thinking that when I say I am a Christian it’s because sin doomed me to life without my True Love, the One who died as a propitiation for my sin. Thinking it’s all about Jesus and not my performance, or even my struggles, but Christ alone. Following means doing things His way, day in and day out. Repenting when I inevitably turn to idolatry in all its myriad forms and humbling myself before God and man. All because of the Epiphany /epiphany that revealed Himself to me, a lowly dust ball in a tiny corner of life in a big big world. Thank you God for saving this wretch.

  8. narrowpathseeker says:

    Good Evening…I am preparing for guests that will be arriving Sunday, so I haven’t much time, but I really have to express my thoughts here.. I agree 100% with Steve…especially in regard to being very much alike in the fact that we ALL need Christ Jesus… yes we are ALL sinners but while some of us struggle to rise above ourselves and truly desire to be more Christlike…others appear quite satisfied to rise above others and show no Christlike attributes whatsoever. I pray for such people and if they were within my reach and they needed lifesaving help, I would provide what I possibly could.

    Didn’t Christ go off alone to spend time with His Father? I love to get away from worldly things to spend time with other Christians and experience Christ’s love… We ask in the Lord’s prayer ….lead us NOT into temptation …deliver us from evil…. somehow being subjected to satan on a daily basis should not be the norm in a Christian gathering..or at least that is how I see it… I really don’t understand this whole matter of accepting as though condoning such a dark spirit… OK sorry…I have to get back to work here but if I hadn’t expressed these thoughts they would have ruined my upcoming visit..

  9. Beloved says:

    Learning to love like God does takes a long time I think.

  10. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning all, its 45 degrees and will get a little cooler before the sun rises. I suppose I will miss this in the next couple days as it is supposed to get warmer and humid. We’ll see.

    Matt’s had his breakfast and is kicked back in his big “lazy boy” watching TV and I have a few minutes to sit at the computer check out the news and of course look in on BTA.

    Reading over some of the comments, I only don’t read one particular persons comments as I already know the spirit in which they are given, I am trying to get a sense of what to say in furthering Mart’s thoughts.

    It occurred to me to ponder the question just what is it that makes a “good” Christian and what is it that makes a “bad” one.

    Is it possible to actually be a “bad” Christian and of course by what standard is either so observed to be?

    Paul says we are to judge arguments within the church ourselves citing that we as Christians will even judge the angels.

    So by what authority and by what standard then do we as Christian’s judge? The answer has to be from and through our Lord. By the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

    I suppose that one isn’t actually a bad Christian, but rather a bad example of Christ-like behavior.

    So when we encounter such a person what do we do?

    At first we gently and with compassion tell the person of their affront to Christ in their behavior. If that doesn’t work what then? Do we get allow that person to drag us down to a place of getting angry or upset? Jesus said if we even get angry in our own home we are in danger of the hell fires. So I would suppose that allowing such a person to drag us into their own format of strife would be like being dragged into hell.

    Do we pray for such a person? Certainly, and in so doing leave it to God to change their heart, because nothing whatsoever we do changes anything.

    The Angel Michael said to Satan when contending over the body of Moses, “The Lord rebuke thee”, and Jesus said to the same devil, “Get thee behind me”.

    Both are clear examples of how to deal with evil when it raises its ugly face. Attempt to get the offender to see the error of their way, pray for them, turn the matter over to God and put them out of your sight. Do not let them be a daily drag on your walk with God.

    If they are hungry, feed them if hurt, see to their needs, if naked clothe them, but do not join them in their endless pit of contention and strife.

    Well I did not know where my thoughts would take me until I began to write, so be it.

    Yes Mart we as Christians should always seek the higher ground, but it is my experience that while I can’t pull someone up, they can drag me down.

    Peace to all.

    Steve

  11. jeff1 says:

    As a child I loved to visit my grandmother and grandfather in the country as it was a great novelty to me having been born and bred in the town.

    Back in those day there was no television so my grandfather would have a night where he invited neighbours from around to join him and they would play cards which if I remember rightly was more about the getting together and companionship than it was about the money as none had much of that back then to gamble with.

    I would enjoy watching them and of course would tell my mum of it when I would go back home and her response was that cards where evil and so I went away despondent and confused as to how they were evil as my grandmother and grandfather were both God fearing and always ensured I said my prayers at night.

    Even as a child I loved songs and would listen to the wireless regularly listening to a wide variety of music and this song was played and I can remember the peace it give me and today it reminds me that God finds a way when their seems to be no way.

    It is He who encounters me in my need and my part to recognise and accept it.

    Friends, this is Tex Ritter with a strange story about a soldier boy and a deck of cards. “During a North African campaign a bunch of soldier boys had been on a long hike and they arrived at a town called Casino.”

    The next morning being Sunday several of the boys went to church, and after the Chaplain had read the prayer the text was taken up next. Those of the boys who had a prayer book took them out, but this one boy only had a deck of cards, and so he spread them out.

    The Sergeant saw the cards and said. “Soldier put away those cards.”

    After the services were over the soldier was taken prisoner before the Provost Marshall.

    The Marshall said, “Sargent, why have you brought this man here?”

    “For playing cards in church, sir.”

    “And what have you to say for yourself, son?”

    “Much, sir,” replied the soldier.

    ‘The Marshall said, “I hope so, for if not, I shall punish you more than any man was ever punished.”

    The soldier said, “Sir, I have been on a march for about six days and I had neither Bible or Prayer Book, but I hope to satisfy you, Sir, with the purity of my intentions.”

    With that the boy started his story.

    “You see, Sir, when I look at the Ace it reminds me there is but one God. The deuce reminds me that the Bible is divided into two parts; the Old and New Testaments. And when I see the trey I think of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. When I see the four I think of the four evangelists who preached the Gospel. There was Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. And when I see the five it reminds me of the five wise virgins who trimmed their lamps. Ten of ’em; five who were wise and where saved; five where foolish and were shut out. And when I see the six it reminds me that in six days God made this great heaven and earth. And when I see the seven it reminds me that on the seventh day God rested from His great work. When I see the eight I think of the eight righteous persons God saved when he destroyed this earth. There was Noah, his wife and three sons and their wives. And when I see the nine I think of the lepers our Saviour cleansed and nine of then ten didn’t even thank Him. When I see the ten I think of the Ten Commandments, God handed down to Moses on a tablet of stone. When I see the King it reminds me that there is but one King of Heaven, God Almighty, and when I see the queen I think of the Blessed Virgin Mary who is Queen of Heaven. And the jacks or knaves, its the devil. And when I count the number of spots on a deck of cards I find three hundred and sixty-five the number of days in a year. Fifty two cards the number of weeks in a year. Four suits, the number of weeks in a month. Twelve picture cards, the number of months in a year. Thirteen tricks, the number of weeks in a quarter. So you see, Sir, my deck of cards serves me as a Bible, almanac and prayer book.”

    “Friends, I know this story is true because I knew that soldier.”

  12. SFDBWV says:

    Good morning Viv. I grew up also amongst people who played cards as a way of socializing. When I was in the Marine Corps we played a great deal of cards and one such game was called “Back Alley Bridge”, men would wait their turn to get in on that game.

    I remember the country “song” you have transcribed here. And while I never heard a sergeant reprimand anyone for playing cards on Sunday, when I was in Boot Camp at Paris Island SC we were marched to church each Sunday morning and if any did not want to go they stayed back at the barracks and cleaned it up. I don’t remember any not going to church.

    Spades and Hearts were the most played card games of my youth. Like you it is all a good memory of friends and family getting together.

    But alas the new electronically connected age has changed all of that. Too bad the young of today have no understanding of the valued things of our youth, just as we have no understanding of theirs.

    Thanks for the memory.

    Steve

  13. poohpity says:

    What better thing is there than to be accused of being ruled by a demon as Jesus was accused of several times but He brought comfort to His real followers by saying, “Students are not greater than their teacher, and slaves are not greater than their master. Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master. And since I(Jesus), the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, the members of my household will be called by even worse names!”

    So thank you Steve and Narrow for the great privilege and conformation of Who I belong to.

  14. poohpity says:

    Not only of Who I belong to but also Who I follow. :-) John 15:18-19 NLT

  15. Beloved says:

    Steve Hearts is a favorite of mine, you can download it for free on the internet.

  16. Beloved says:

    Better to take our “problems” to God than wasting time trying to defend ourselves. God has something to teach us. Remember how Jonah poured out his heart (anger) to God? What did he learn about God but that God is merciful to even the nastiest of people.

  17. poohpity says:

    Mart, you spoke of how Jesus would change how His people would read the scripture that brought to mind what He did in Luke 24 first with the 2 disciples then when they were all together.

    The two on the road to Emmaus
    27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

    Then to the whole group of disciples
    44 Then he said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.

    He still does that kind of Epiphany today for those who are searching and seeking after Him.

  18. Beloved says:

    So true pooh, reminds me of streets post about the story of the Samaritan woman where Jesus said, I am the Messiah! Oh to have the Holy Spirit open our eyes to that blessed Epiphany!

  19. Beloved says:

    I love this from Max Lucado,

    Grateful for Grace
    We must not see grace as a provision made after the law had failed. Grace was offered before the law was revealed. Indeed, grace was offered before man was created! “You were bought, not with something that ruins like gold or silver, but with the precious blood of Christ, who was like a pure and perfect lamb. Christ was chosen before the world was made, but he was shown to the world in these last times for your sake” (1 Pet. 1:18–20 NCV).

    Why would God offer grace before we needed it? Glad you asked. Let’s return one final time to the charge card my father gave me. Did I mention that I went several months without needing it? But when I needed it, I really needed it. You see, I wanted to visit a friend on another campus. Actually, the friend was a girl in another city, six hours away. On an impulse I skipped class one Friday morning and headed out. Not knowing whether my parents would approve, I didn’t ask their permission. Because I left in a hurry, I forgot to take any money. I made the trip without their knowledge and with an empty wallet.

    Everything went fine until I rear-ended a car on the return trip. Using a crowbar, I pried the fender off my front wheel so the car could limp to a gas station. I can still envision the outdoor phone where I stood in the autumn chill. My father, who assumed I was on campus, took my collect call and heard my tale. My story wasn’t much to boast about. I’d made a trip without his knowledge, without any money, and wrecked his car.

    “Well,” he said after a long pause, “these things happen. That’s why I gave you the card. I hope you learned a lesson.”

    Did I learn a lesson? I certainly did. I learned that my father’s forgiveness predated my mistake. He had given me the card before my wreck in the event that I would have one. He had provided for my blunder before I blundered. Need I tell you that God has done the same? Please understand; Dad didn’t want me to wreck the car. He didn’t give me the card so that I would wreck the car. But he knew his son. And he knew his son would someday need grace.

    Please understand; God doesn’t want us to sin. He didn’t give us grace so we would sin. But he knows his children. “He made their hearts and understands everything they do” (Ps. 33:15 NCV). “He knows how we were made” (Ps. 103:14 NCV). And he knew that we would someday need his grace.

  20. SFDBWV says:

    Epiphany…One such awakening of knowledge should be that while we can be like the example Jesus gave we can never be Him.

    Much of the “Sermon on the Mount” describes an impossible task for us to achieve.

    In the example Joyce gave concerning “grace” Max gave account of a mistake in judgement that was expected and already prepared for, followed up with a word from his father about learning something from his mistake.

    While grace is a free gift from God it isn’t the end of our responsibility for our receiving it.

    We are to learn from our mistakes and not repeat them, we are to strive to be more Christ-like, we are to grow, not stay stunted in our one and only step toward God.

    How do we show our gratitude to God for His gift of grace? By being obedient to His will. By climbing that rugged rock strewn narrow pathway straight toward Him. Shining His light before us, not our own.

    By feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, being a good neighbor, friend and helping hand to all.

    Yes salvation is a free gift, but it came with a heavy cost and we are to honor it by our actions, not just our words.

    Confessing our sins means acknowledging them, being ashamed of them and never to repeat them. If we sin against another person we are to make atonement for it as well as asking their forgiveness for it.

    If you steal something from another you can at least give it back or pay for it, but how do you pay back or return a broken trust, how do you undo a lie? Or un-sleep with another’s spouse? How do you give back another self-esteem or dignity after you have taken it from them?

    Can you remove the pain of hurt feelings you maliciously inflicted on another?

    It all begins on your knees before God and only God can make a way that seems impossible for you.

    Whereas God has already forgiven you freely, your price for making atonement to another takes a huge step through the doorway of pride and may take you a lifetime to make things right again, reliant on the offendeds ability to also offer grace “freely”.

    62 under cloudy skies, some light drizzle overnight.

    Steve

  21. jeff1 says:

    Pooh, said something on the last post that her purpose is to evangelise which made me realise why I think and see things so differently.

    I don’t see a world that hasn’t heard about God but a world that has rejected God and it is the reasons that I find troublesome.

    I believe that false teaching and misrepresentation of Jesus is the main reason others reject God.

    I speak as someone who has been running back and forward to God the greatest part of my life because as Pooh said I listened more to others rather than listening to Him.

    Then I ask myself why did I not listen and because I had a dad being the example he was I see the answer clearly now.

    I never had my dad’s simple faith and perhaps that is because my mum complicated my faith with superstitions that my dad never bought into because he knew God so well.

    By keeping his faith simple my dad did not blame God when life did not go as he wanted it to because he understood his purpose was to fulfil God’s will on earth and so when there was suffering be it his own or another’s and I would ask why his answer would be ‘Jesus Suffered.’

    My dad always was in a personal relationship with Jesus because that is where he kept his focus and why he was undisturbed in any circumstances and I never did understand that because I never had allowed myself to get that close to Jesus.

    In essence my dad’s relationship with Jesus was consistent while mine was and still is inconsistent due to the difference in our character as what my dad had that I did not have was stability of mind.

    Pooh, you may be critical of me for listening to other Christians but when you are taking medication that keeps you from being psychotic then you tend not to trust your own mind and so look to those who have stability and why I look to someone like my dad as I could trust in his discernment because he was that close to Jesus in his walk but it has taken me a lifetime to see it.

    Walk With Me Lord

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

    Be my friend, Lord! Be my friend!
    Be my friend, Lord! Be my friend!
    While I’m on this tedious journey,
    Well I need You Jesus, to walk with me.
    Hmmm-Hmmm
    Hmmm-Hmmm
    Hmmm-Hmmm
    Hmmm-Hmmm
    Hmmm-Hmmm
    Hmmm-Hmmm
    Hmmm-Hmmm
    Pilgrim Journey
    Well I need Jesus to walk with me.

  22. SFDBWV says:

    Viv how I wish I could cover you and protect you from the “poohs” of this world, but it isn’t given me to do that, all I can say is that pooh is also sick and worse she doesn’t even recognize it.

    Your walk with God is between you and God, and pooh only poisons the water and puts stumbling blocks in your way.

    In fact the closer you get to having peace here the more she raises up a fuss to bring you down, not lift you up.

    I will join with others here for you to have that eternal impenetrable sphere of love and protection around about you to keep you safe.

    The attacks will continue, they just won’t have any effect.

    Love from the mountains to you Viv. Remember you do fine with your walk and for the most part we all see it here.

    Steve

  23. poohpity says:

    Unlike others here I am not being critical or judging your walk with the Lord, that is not my place to do. I am sorry that is what you have misunderstood me to do. I was simply saying look to Jesus as your example to follow and to emulate not other people because all people have one thing in common we all have faults and failures of our own and no one does this journey perfectly but we have a Savior who is forgiving and full of grace.

    Forgive as He forgave
    Love as He loved
    Show mercy as He showed us mercy or show grace as was shown to us.
    Do what is right
    Treat others how you want to be treated
    Above all else live humbly with our Lord.

    Viv, your dad can not change you but Jesus can. It seems the harder we try the epiphany comes that it is the Lord who works in our lives, if we were able to change ourselves then I am sure we would have. The closer one is in a relationship with Him the more we are submissive to His will and plan not our own.

    If others find fault with me because I point them to Jesus, His power and His amazing love, grace and mercy that is fine with me. Jesus had the most problems with those who thought of themselves to be more righteous and godly than others wanting praise and honors for themselves not for those who point others to the Lord where that praise and honor really belongs.

  24. poohpity says:

    No one is able to knock someone off a pedestal if they are already on the ground. The ground at the foot of the Cross is a level playing field for all those who have received sight into the true condition of their own hearts, minds and soul then they stop measuring the lives of others. Follow those who lead you to Jesus then one day you will just follow Jesus without all the in between people, just you and Jesus.

  25. foreverblessed says:

    God bless you all!
    I’ve been busy, and can’t really write.
    Just wanted to say hallo.
    The scripture
    1 Peter 5:5 (b)
    Was very timely given for me.
    It was the light of my path and the lamp before my feet!

    Just walk on in the strength of Jesus!
    He knows all, we are nothing without Him.
    If we have sinned or not, even without ever haven’t sinned, we are nothing without Him.

  26. poohpity says:

    Last night put the heavy on me
    Woke up and I’m feeling lonely
    This world gotta a way of showing me (showing me)
    Some days it’ll lift you up
    Some days it’ll call your bluff
    Man, most of my days I ain’t got enough

    And all I know
    Is You’re my only hope

    When I’m up when I’m down (uh, huh)
    When the wolves come around (tell me)
    When my feet hit the ground
    I just need, I just need You
    On my darkest days (uh, huh)
    When I’m losing faith (tell me)
    No, it ain’t gon’ change
    I just need, I just need You
    Lord, I need You
    Yeah, I just need You

    Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
    I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me
    Thy rod and thy staff

    They comfort me when I’m beat down, broken
    Hold my heart when it’s split right wide open
    Turn these eyes to my Soul Protector
    Break the will of this born infector

    ‘Cause all I know, all I know
    Is You’re my only hope

    When I’m up when I’m down (uh, huh)
    When the wolves come around (tell me)
    When my feet hit the ground
    I just need, I just need You
    On my darkest days (uh, huh)
    When I’m losing faith (tell me)
    No, it ain’t gon’ change
    I just need, I just need You
    Lord, I need You
    Yeah, I just need You

    When You pull me closer, I come to life
    When You pull me closer, I come to life
    When You pull me closer, I come to life
    When You pull me closer, I come to life

    When I’m up when I’m down
    When my feet hit the ground
    On my darkest days
    No, it ain’t gon’ change
    Oh Lord, I need You

    When I’m up when I’m down
    When the wolves come around
    When my feet hit the ground
    Yeah, I need, I need, I need, I need You
    On my darkest days
    When I’m losing faith
    No, it ain’t gon’ change
    Ain’t no way this thing gon’ change, it’s You

    I need, is You
    I need
    On my darkest days
    When I’m losing faith
    I need You, I need, Is You, I need
    Every single day, every breath I take
    I need You
    I need You

  27. poohpity says:

    Forever, I know some think they never sin and therefore treat others with contempt and judgement but God says there is not one without sin, not one.

  28. jeff1 says:

    Yes, I know what you say is true Steve, that I shouldn’t listen to her but it is my folly to listen to the wrong people and not the right ones as I listened to my mum more than I did my dad and she wasn’t stable.

    I love that you are so protective Steve and I thank you and others for that love and protection which does lift me up again and why other Christians matter so much in my walk as I am more needy in that I get discouraged more easily than I should.

    I try not to think badly of Pooh, as we all have our demons but she is always on the attack and I find it wearying and troublesome which just adds to my already troubled mind.

    There is comfort in knowing that God knows how to protect us not just from others but from ourselves to.

    I am a townie but surrounded by mountains and when I think of your mountains I remember this song as we loved to watch Doris Day’s films and this was a real favourite of mine.

    Love to you to and hope you enjoy this song.

    Take me back to the black hills
    The black hills of Dakota
    To the beautiful Indian country
    That I love

    Lost my heart in the black hills
    The black hills of Dakota
    Where the pines are so high
    That they kiss the sky above

    And when I get that lonesome feelin’
    And I’m miles away from home
    I hear the voice of the mystic mountains
    Callin’me back home

    So take me back to the black hills
    The black hills of Dakota
    To the beautiful Indian country that I love

    And when I get that lonesome feelin’
    And I’m miles away from home
    I hear the voice of the mystic mountains
    Callin’me back home

    So take me back to the black hills
    The black hills of Dakota
    To the beautiful Indian country that I love

    To the beautiful Indian country that I love
    That I love
    Take me back to the black hills
    To the beautiful Indian country that I love

  29. poohpity says:

    Is it really me who is on the attack of others by assuming, accusing, jumping to conclusion and pointing the finger at them? Obviously those who are so good at attacking are the one’s who accuse others of doing it and blame them for causing the root of bitterness, anger and hostility that wells up inside them because of their own heart condition but blame it on anyone or someone else.

    That is the why, in the crowd of accusers, that Jesus simply said, “Let the one without sin cast the first stone”. The epiphany happened and that lead to them all dropped their stones and walking away. How many of you are still holding on to your stones with Jesus writing your names in the dirt with His finger?

  30. Beloved says:

    Because of the Epipany I see a vlworld full of Hope. Whatsoever things are true honest lovely just pure etc think on these things! Seeing Christ in and through all things is the mind of Christ in us. Happy Father’s day Steve, Street, Chris, Mart and all father’s reading. And especially to our Father in heaven who daily meets our need for love, hope, and faith.

  31. poohpity says:

    Those who hold on to resentment, hate, bitterness, anger, grudges and unforgiveness find comfort with others who think the same way as they do. Birds of a feather flock together. Turn away from such things and follow Jesus who will give you the peace of a sound mind and loving heart.

  32. poohpity says:

    Father in heaven, Holy is your name. I pray for your kingdom to come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give me today my daily bread and forgive me as I have forgiven others. Help me to turn away from the temptation to follow anyone other than you and deliver me from the power of the evil one. For you are the Kingdom, the power and all the glory belongs to you forever. Amen!

  33. poohpity says:

    Before Jesus was taken up into heaven in a cloud He gave instructions to His followers that He was going to send the Holy Spirit so they could witness or to give testimony about who He is and how He changed their lives(Acts 1:8 NLT). That is what evangelism is, it is not a dirty word or a dirty action it was a command from Jesus for those who say they follow the commands of Jesus. How many people share how Jesus changed their lives? Could it be because there is no change and if there is not a change do they truly believe in Jesus for themselves or do they go on the faith of someone else? Faith in Jesus is personal between you and God, no one can do that for you, others can only point you to the Lord through their testimony and the hope they have found in the teaching of Jesus Christ and from Jesus Christ Himself. They have to have an epiphany of their need for a Savior rather than wanting to be somebodies savior themselves and for others to follow them.

  34. jeff1 says:

    I deceived myself into thinking that I wasn’t being judgemental but God showed me otherwise and I have learned how easy it is to blind myself into believing everyone else is wrong and I am right.

    By staying focused on Jesus and the Cross I find I have no right to judge another but that doesn’t mean I don’t have to make a judgement call as to whether I think a relationship is healthy or unhealthy and whether it is damaging or not.

    My mother had a saying and it is proving to be a true one and that is that ‘one person’s meat is another person’s poison’ and I have found it in all walks of life that personalities clash and there is only so much we can do as unless a person desires to change then God does not force Himself on them to do so.

    I shoot myself in the foot when I insist other’s must change rather than recognising the changes needed in myself to develop a closer relationship with Jesus.

  35. narrowpathseeker says:

    Well…I am taking a brief break…company will be arriving late tonight.

    Vivian, I think you recognize everything one needs to recognize…you can see yourself as clearly as you can see others and that is a super plus in the endeavors to rise above ourselves. What some people say and what they do and/or mean are two different things. If a person is continually telling YOU what is wrong with YOU and can never recognize, confess, nor feel any remorse for wrongdoing, that person DOES need to change BIG TIME..not YOU.

    Vivian, not a day passes that I don’t remember something I said or did in the past 70 or so years that I don’t feel very bad….regret for that particular wrong doing.. I am very aware that I am a sinner, but I am not one bit moved, intimidated, influenced, demeaned, enlightened, nor anything else by someone like Pooh. She is triple guilty of all she accuses others of….especially false pride, jealousy and hatefulness… The only thing I disagree with Steve about is when he says she doesn’t recognize her sins….if you notice when her name is not even mentioned just the dark spirit and unChristlike attributes…she quickly responds and defends herself….she KNOWS!!!

    I think your desire to do better, your humble spirit and your honesty are precious…don’t let yourself be robbed by another’s jealousy, hatred, and sick need to be above others.

  36. narrowpathseeker says:

    OK….I also said she doesn’t recognize her own wrongdoing, but what she doesn’t recognize is that she is super transparent and doesn’t recognize that others recognize her real self.

  37. street says:

    Only in time would it become clear that he was a different kind of Messiah—a different kind of prophet, priest, king, savior, lord, judge, warrior, teacher, son, brother, friend, and person.

    light has a way of clearing, cleansing, restoring things.
    redemption- to make Holy

  38. street says:

    Without relying on his own inclinations, and instead of returning insult for insult, wrong for wrong, or blame for blame, he let himself be misunderstood, mocked, lied about, and killed…

    innocent as a dove and shrewd as a serpent.

  39. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Narrow, I need to keep focusing on God’s goodness and not let her goad me by her comments as it can disturb my peace of mind.

    Thank you Steve and Narrow for your care and support.

  40. Beloved says:

    I was very excited to hear from the pulpit this morning that there’s a new way of thinking happening concerning the plan of God for all mankind being rescued through Christ Jesus before creation even. This was a well seasoned older visiting preacher and former Bible college president.His message was awesome of course and well thought out as he proved through scripture Gods character and plan. I felt like he must be following Mart! So blessed as I’ve finally found the right church for me. What an epiphany! Gods timing is always perfect.

  41. jeff1 says:

    Using scripture to uplift and encourage is so much more loving and when we attend a church where we get that message we feel forgiven for our sins.

    There was a couple at our church the other week who didn’t belong to it and the person whom I knew sitting beside me said they were now attending our church because our Rector had agreed to baptise their child while the church they were attending the Rector had refused to because the child is born outside wedlock.

    While I am not a person who likes to see children conceived outside wedlock I know what it was like for my mum born illegitimate and the suffering and stigma she went through because of it and so I believe our Rector has made the loving choice in what is difficult circumstances as it gives hope that both parents and child will become faithful to Christ after the Christening and that is something to celebrate and worth putting some parishioners noses out of joint for.

  42. street says:

    dear jeff loved your story of a child being rejected and then being accepted for christening. i heard stories, i was rejected for christening because i did not have a “christian” name. i think God takes special notice of these remnants. Vacation Bible Schools theme this year is castaways. how so true… so God can have mercy on them all, for His Glory. He sustains them. He is so Good.

  43. street says:

    Refusing to use envy, swagger, posturing, or bluster to make a name, following, and personal fortune for himself, he corrupted no one while leading all who followed him to higher ground.

    He lead them to Life. away from the snare of death.

  44. poohpity says:

    Yes street Jesus leads people to life and an abundant life at that and a beautiful relationship with Him.

  45. poohpity says:

    God knew in advance those who would follow Jesus and they were a gift to Jesus and those who would not follow Jesus but others. Those who follow Jesus become one with Him and with each other not as the world is.

    John 17: 6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.

  46. foreverblessed says:

    When we follow Jesus, we do as He says.
    His commands are not burdensome.
    I also think that Jesus commands are learned deeper and deeper.
    He slowly draws us to more of what His will for us is.

    Not defending yourself, not getting bitter.
    But I have written before that in the brotherhood of Christ, we can confront your brother when he sins against you. Matthew 18:15-17.
    This is done carefully, and in great humility, but nonetheless it is done.
    If he does not listen, three times, ( that is burdensome, three times you show him how he has treated you f.i. that he tells lies about you, and three times he does not listen,)
    Then is the next step, Jesus says: you treat him as a tax collector or a heathen.

    And then the command applies that Jesus told us: love your enemies, do good to those who hurt you.

    Love them as I have loved you.
    In other words, I feel this means, get over it,hand the problem over to God,band leave it in His Hands.

    To go over this problem over and over again, is so useless.

    Jesus loves us, as a Saviour, Agape love.
    but the closer we grow to Him, and do what He says, we become His friends, and that is phileo love.

    Are we His Friends?

    Are we sure that Jesus is our Friend, then we know that He will defend us.
    No need that we defend ourselves, just be focused on Him.

    Dear loved fellow brothers, be blessed today!

  47. SFDBWV says:

    Coming Like the Flood
    “So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.” (Isaiah 59:19)

    The great enemy of our souls “the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Yet he can also be “transformed into an angel of light,” and so can “his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15). He and his ministers are perhaps most dangerous when most deceptive, quoting Scripture and spiritual sentiments in a superficial show of piety, yet distorting the “Scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16), and we must use the sword of the Spirit against them.

    Then there are those times when, angered that their deceptions (sometimes even their own self-deceptions) are not persuading the true people of God to compromise their stand for God’s truth and His great salvation, they resort to great pressure and overt opposition—even persecution—seeking to silence their testimony. The enemy comes in like a great flood, and the waves seem about to engulf us, and we cry with the psalmist: “If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us: Then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us: Then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul” (Psalm 124:2-4).

    But God is on our side, as long as we are on His side and hold fast to His clearly revealed Word. Before the demonic flood can overwhelm us, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up His standard (or, more literally, “put him to flight”), and God will prevail once again, for “the foundation of God standeth sure” (2 Timothy 2:19), and “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). HMM

    From this mornings “Day’s of Praise”

    Steve

  48. SFDBWV says:

    I was amused this morning to realize perhaps why Mart has a painting of ducks with this subject.

    It occurred to me that in his commentary concerning Jesus, our Lord was above all of the evil railed against Him.

    Just like water off of a duck’s back it never sticks, just runs off.

    Steve

  49. jeff1 says:

    Thank you Steve as the world can be a scary place and I am reassured that God will not forsake me.

    Satan is no match for God but this world is deceptive in portraying this truth and so we can be steadfast in knowing that God is with us from the cradle to the grave and beyond.

    God will make a way
    Where there seems to be no way
    He works in ways we cannot see
    He will make a way for me
    He will be my guide
    Hold me closely to His side
    With love and strength
    For each new day
    He will make a way
    He will make a way

    By a roadway in the wilderness
    He’ll lead me
    And rivers in the desert will I see
    Heaven and earth will fade
    But His Word will still remain
    He will do something new today

  50. poohpity says:

    Rather than trying to depict who’s sin is greater, the realization that none are without sin because of the fact we all come from flesh, kin and all are in the need of a Savior is quite the epiphany. Then following that eye opening experience we no longer look to each other but to the Lord in humility. With that humility then comes curiosity, courage and grace to seek God with all our hearts, minds and souls.

    Curiosity to learn more about the One from whom all blessings come.

    Courage to go against the tide of the world or the flesh in God’s upside down way of living of not returning insult for insult, wrong for wrong or blame for blame.

    Grace knowing that we can do nothing to earn God’s favor because it is a gift from Him, from His heart to ours.

    Then one would spend less time trying to get the splinter from the eye of someone else and realize that we have a log in our own, humility.

  51. poohpity says:

    As Mart wrote, “So that in our differences… on the right or the left… we can find the epiphany that leads us to the humility, curiosity, courage, and grace of realizing how much we are like one another… in kin, sin, and our need of him.” It is hard to look within when we have been trained to look around at others and compare ourselves to them when the ultimate comparison should be to Christ then none could say a word but put their hand over their mouth in silence knowing that to much as been said already.

    Romans 3: 19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

    21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

  52. jeff1 says:

    Now that you have drawn my attention to it, Steve, I too am amused, as it seems God has a sense of humour (as well as Mart) when it comes to His children otherwise if He did’t laugh then He’d never stop crying I suppose.

  53. Beloved says:

    Still thinking about fathers;
    If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matt. 7:11

    Just thinking about the goodness of God and His will, to come under the yoke and find peace. What a gift we can receive, peace in the midst of conflict; guns bombs words difficulties of every kind. Nothing is too difficult for God! Being still (quiet) is the best way to hear His voice. Psalms 47:10

  54. poohpity says:

    Are you still looking at others and their sin while forgetting your own? Then it would seem there has been no epiphany, no following or even knowing the commands of Jesus. Only living as one is taught by the world which is ruled by the prince of darkness and is against Christ and His teaching therefore also being against those who follow Him closely. BUT There is a better Way.

  55. poohpity says:

    Psalm 46:10

  56. Beloved says:

    Foreverblessed this caught my eye yesterday and it makes sense according to the continuous turmoil here. It was Paul’s teaching to Titus 3:10-11 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. 11 You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.
    It sounds harsh to me but my natural tendency is to be a people pleaser. I need scripture to teach me how to be a God pleaser and not a man pleaser, which is idolatry.

  57. Beloved says:

    Oh sorry I meant Psalms 46:10 Be still…

  58. cbrown says:

    Thank you pooh for the fathers day blessing. Not that I have earned it, but my youngest son gave me a card that said, “Dad, I am thankful for your relentless love and I will will strive to do likewise.”It was ablessing to have him sitting next to me in church yesterday.

  59. poohpity says:

    Chris when my boys were younger they each sat on either side of me in church when their dad was not in their life and both tugged on my arms, telling me to stand up because I also played the role of their dad as well as their mom. Although it brought a smile to my face and a warm feeling to my heart I told them they did have a Father in God and if they would let Him, He would be the best Father they could ever have. It was to that Father of all us I prayed, so you’re welcome.

    It was a blessing yesterday to sing our Father’s praises with others. Nothing like the company of many worshiping God together. Not many on the blog attend church so glad to hear you do although I would have not doubted that of you anyway. :-)

  60. Beloved says:

    Thinking of waiting in prayer,
    Psalm33
    20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.
    21 For our heart is glad in him,
    because we trust in his holy name.
    22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
    even as we hope in you.

  61. Beloved says:

    Street said, He led them to life. Thinking about and praying for all the castaway children who by Gods Grace will hear the Gospel this week. I was one of those dropped off at church when I was little. In the second grade I memorized psalm 100 and 23. When I accepted Christ as savior at 30 i immediately remembered them! Psalm 23 taught me that God cares and is daily involved in my life. Psalm 100 taught me that it was God who made me, to experience good things, unlike what I thought about myself growing up. Oh He’s so good! Thank you street and those involved with children’s ministry. You never know how your help and love may impact a small life for eternity!

  62. Beloved says:

    Chris my daughter sent me a card for Mother’s day that shocked me. We have not spoken by phone for over two years but do correspond occasionally on FB. The card said “Gods light shines through you and touches everyone lucky enough to know you.” That’s what matters to me even thought I wish we were closer as mom/daughter. Relentless love, I do like the sound of that Chris. Only because God loved us first! Love is a miracle! We must love whoever we are with not knowing how we may be used to impact others, for eternity. Thank you for loving the prisoners.

  63. foreverblessed says:

    Yes, I agree with Beloved, thank you Chris!

    This month the theme of the oecomenical prayer sessions in my city is the book of Job.

    I came across this study from Ellicot ( from biblehub)

    –Doth Job fear God for nought?—Manifesting the worst kind of scepticism, a disbelief in human goodness. Satan knows that the motive of an action is its only value, and by incrimination calumniates the motives of Job. The object of the book is thus introduced, which is to exhibit the integrity of human conduct under the worst possible trial, and to show man a victor over Satan. —

    This is also what Mart often says: we do not fight against flesh and blood.

    But we show the evil world what a real child of God is like:
    It loves his Father in heaven no matter what, unconditionally.

    All though God was leading Job in this ordeal to do just that, but God was positive that Job would grow into unconditional love for God.

    The book of Job has such a deep meaning.

    But we also read a Psalm with it, this week is Psalm 92.

    But how terrific that you remembered those Psalms, Beloved!
    When I was a child we had to learn by heart one verse of Psalm every week, but it was a rhymed verse, suited for singing. Psalms put on music by Calvin, ( or u set his leading)
    To my amazement, I have not remembered any of them, but that is maybe because it was an old songbook, long outdated words, that I don’t hear anymore.

    Be blessed today, with your eyes on Jesus!
    Like a handmaid who looks to her mistress what to do for today!

  64. jeff1 says:

    Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy,
    Whose trust, ever childlike, no cares can 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 kindliness, 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.

    Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
    Whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
    Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
    Your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.

  65. poohpity says:

    Keep your eyes upon Jesus
    For all that you ask He can do
    He has called you to serve Him
    And gladly He’ll carry you through

    Keep your eyes upon Jesus
    He does what no other can do
    Take your problems to Jesus
    Believe and He’ll solve them for you

    Keep your thoughts upon Jesus
    For you know the Lord up above has made a new creature of you
    And you will grow in His likeness
    As daily your mind and your life, He will renew

  66. poohpity says:

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

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

    Through death into life everlasting
    He passed, and we follow Him there;
    O’er us sin no more hath dominion
    For more than conqu’rors we are!

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

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

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

  67. Beloved says:

    Forever have a blessed evening and Viv what beautiful verse! “Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
    Whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,” What good thoughts to start my day! Thank you so much!

    We are into allergy season here so must keep windows closed early and late in the day but enjoying balmy weather nonetheless. No allergies or adverse weather in heaven though!

  68. Beloved says:

    I’m not sure if those are wood ducks but the saying “Birds of a feather flock together” brings to mind “How good and pleasant it is for all to dwell together in unity”. Psalms133 Isn’t that what Mart is trying to get across?

  69. jeff1 says:

    When no one else can give me peace I find it in meditating on the words of hymns and gospel songs or poetry and there are so many that there is not a mood where I cannot find a song that gives me the understanding I need to rest in His promises.

    God’s word transcends time, nationality, culture, religion, status, gender, age as who of us at some stage in our life as not needed to hear it to comfort us in times of doubt, fear, or sins.

    When I attend a baptism, confirmation, wedding or funeral it is the word of God spoken at these occasions that gives me more understanding of God than my own interpretation as it binds us together in love and it is there we have harmony with each other as we meet to share in worship of Him.

    Bind us together, Lord, Bind us together
    With cords that cannot be broken.
    Bind us together, Lord,
    Bind us together,
    Bind us together with love.

    There is only one God,
    There is only one King;
    There is only one Body,
    That is why we sing:

    Bind us together, Lord, Bind us together
    With cords that cannot be broken.
    Bind us together, Lord
    Bind us together,
    Bind us together, with love.

    Made for the glory of God,
    Purchased by His precious Son;
    Born with the right to be clean,
    For Jesus the victory has won.

    Bind us together, Lord, Bind us together
    With cords that cannot be broken.
    Bind us together, Lord,
    Bind us together,
    Bind us together with love.

    You are the family of God,
    You are the promise divine;
    You are God’s chosen desire,
    You are the glorious new wine.

  70. Beloved says:

    Viv for hundreds of years the scriptures were only available to clergy, theologians, and students. Yet the Word has always been available to even castaways. Here in American Baptist churches we are told to read and study the bible in order to grow and get to know God. The new church i just started offered me a choice of 3 Bibles within 5 minutes of sitting down. I have probably a dozen Bibles already and brought one with so said no thankyou. When the preacher started he began with, ” Open your Bibles” . So you see it’s very much a part of the evangelical culture here. However, don’t let anyone put you down for not reading as its part of your culture and God as we know is “in and through all things”, including liturgy song and verse. He’s even in our thoughts hopes and dreams, as well as our fears, tragedies and disappointments. Not to forget pets, nature and death even. Thank you for sharing your faith journey here, it is a blessing.

  71. jeff1 says:

    As I see it, it does not matter how we worship but rather that we are all worshipping the same God.

    God sees us as His children irrespective of what church we belong to and it must hurt Him when we are quarrelsome and divided when He wants us to be united in love.

    For someone who lived with so much hatred and violence I now see that it is only when we learn to love each other that there will be healing as it is God’s will that we do so.

    I cannot claim to be a follower of Christ until all hatred has gone from my heart and why I don’t think faith is enough without a change from within to show others that I am a new creation.

    I think being around people who are humble and obedient will help me to be the same and I thank you too Beloved for sharing all you have of you journey and others as it is encouragement and comfort when I am feeling despair.

    It is a blessing to have friends whom you can rely on to support you without being judgemental when you admit to struggling in your faith.

    I believe God but I wish I were more the warrior like my dad and less of a wimp when it comes to conflict.

  72. Beloved says:

    Ha ha I think God made warriors to protect the wimps of the world like me also. I hate conflict but can be quick to retort if I’m in a bad mood. I grew up with an uncle and grandfather getting beat up by my dad for trying to protect me, though they couldn’t stop him. Sometimes I want revenge when God’s way seems so slow and wrong, according to my need. Still trying to wrap my mind around letting God avenge me. The hurting just doesn’t end. Need to submerge myself in Jesus for a while.

  73. Beloved says:

    Viv I just opened to this. Its what we were discussing.
    Jesus Calling: June 16th
    Stay on the high road with Me. Many voices clamor for your attention, trying to divert you to another path. But I have called you to walk ever so closely with Me, soaking in My Presence, living in My Peace. This is My unique design for you, planned before the world began.
    I have called each of My children to a different path, distinctly designed for that one. Do not let anyone convince you that his path is the only right way. And be careful not to extol your path as superior to another’s way. What I require of you is to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Me–wherever I lead.

    RECOMMENDED SCRIPTURES:

    Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
    10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

    Micah 6:8 (NLT)
    8 No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
    and this is what he requires of you:
    to do what is right, to love mercy,
    and to walk humbly with your God.

  74. Beloved says:

    I’m trying to wrap my head around the fact that my life’s path was preordained by Love. And that I was never alone for one second. Epiphany developing i think.

  75. street says:

    thinking about Epiphany, how God chose before the foundation of the world, how He held them in His Hand, sending His Son…..sending His Spirit, coming back to get us. His Word never fails.

  76. Beloved says:

    Beautiful street, thanks. Rescued, yes. It was His plan all along, and this epiphany brings me back to reality.

    Please pray for me as I struggle with feeling safe in this new church, thanks.

  77. jeff1 says:

    Micah 6:8 (NLT)

    This is where I struggle to want mercy for those who need it and yet I need it myself as I struggle with wanting others to get their comeuppance but it is not so much for revenge that you spoke of Beloved but because I know they need to see the wrong in what they are doing because until I seen the wrong in myself I did not desire to change and until I realised that I didn’t know how I needed to look at Christ’s way of doing things and asked myself what would He do rather than doing my own thing.

    My dad never tried to do his own will because he knew he was here to do God’s will but he had remarkable discipline which I don’t find easy while he did.

  78. Beloved says:

    Viv military have discipline trained into them through rigorous exercise which the general population don’t receive. I love your tenderheartedness, it too has been trained into you by the hand of God by the mercy and grace He has given you to endure hardship.

  79. Beloved says:

    Another epiphany this morning. After speaking to you, Viv, about training and discipline i thought of 1 Cor9 where Paul talked about the need to be disciplined lest he lose the race! But Paul was speaking of bodily discipline as pertains to an apostle of God and preacher/ evangelist and becoming like others (culture) to win them! I guess I’ve always worried about being disqualified because as hard as I try, and daily!!!!! I can’t seem to discipline my emotions and the fallout they cause me as they wreak havoc on my body. But the epiphany is i am not called to be an evangelist or apostle but a mercy bearer to the lost and forgotten. I’ve been trying for so long to live up to what I thought “Christian” meant; perfect, flawless, etc etc that its no wonder church sends my anxiety skyrocketing! And to my shame I expect everyone else to be perfect and flawless as well!!! Oh I have a lot of unlearning to do about church, and about who I am as a part of Gods body here.

  80. poohpity says:

    Isn’t that the very reason that people do not show mercy or grace because they expect others as well as themselves to be perfect and flawless? It is an epiphany to realize that is not possible. There would be less finger pointing, judging, accusations, trying to get others to see their faults, isn’t that the whole point after all because only then can we see the need to walk humbly with our Lord and understand the need for our own forgiveness? When I come to a full realization of how much mercy God has shown me or shows me daily then my mouth will remain shut about others but only God can give that kind of sight or enlightenment to anyone, meanwhile one will continue to use a fine tooth comb to evaluate others because that is far easier after all.

  81. Beloved says:

    Pooh save your negativity I read the first couple words and refuse to read anymore from you. I’m just tired of it.

  82. poohpity says:

    Is what Jesus teaches negativity? Well I guess some could see it that way but to me it is just eye opening about my human condition and about how much He showered His love on me, such an undeserving person so why not show that to others. I guess one would have to know the teaching of Jesus to be able to see that.

  83. poohpity says:

    While I am alive I will never stop sharing the teaching of Jesus with boldness because I am not ashamed of Him and that is what He has asked of me.

  84. jeff1 says:

    I disagree that we look for faults in others unless they give us good reason to and have severely hurt us. It is hurt people that hurt people back as the troubles here showed in a tit for tat response to evil.

    It is a disciplined person like my dad who will take the higher ground because he sees the need for to stop the tit for tat response which causes more misery for everyone and damages our relationship with God.

    When a person looses a loved one in a violent manner it is difficult for them to accept even they are a Christian and they either blame God or the offender depending on their relationship with God.

    The person has to live with the consequences and if they can give the burden to God then they are free of the misery but many find that difficult to do because we are all different and react as such.

    Some offences are easier to forgive than others from a human perspective as belief in God does not make the consequences of an offence any easier to bear. A hurting person is not deliberately holding back forgiveness but they have to go through a process of letting go of the hurt and hatred before they feel they can forgive and the offender has to be patient in understanding that.

    It’s a 2-way process and there are no quick fixes as we have also damaged our relationship with God as well by not having considered His will rather than our own in the first instance.

  85. poohpity says:

    I do not think I have ever heard anyone ever say anything other than forgiveness is a process, it is hard and that it takes time. That is the reality of forgiveness but it does come easier, not easy, when I remember all that I have been forgiven for.

  86. poohpity says:

    You can disagree all you want about fault finding but it is easier to see them in others and much harder to see that in our looking at others we often neglect our own. That is just human nature. It is also human nature to compare our faults to others theirs are most often worse than our own, who has the greater sin. But gladly God does not seem to look at things like that, our flesh does but He said all sin and all sin is the same in His eyes except one and that one nothing will ever save us from the horror that awaits the one who commits that one.

  87. Beloved says:

    I think you are right Viv the closer we are to the perpetrator/victim the harder and longer the process to forgive, especially if it’s ongoing and longterm. Even negativity long-term has its limits and some things only God can deal with. Its good to release when possible. Delete from your life even.

  88. Beloved says:

    Viv I don’t think anything we do (besides rejecting Him) can damage our relationship with God as I Corinthians13 reminds us as well as 1 John that God is love and longsuffering. We can grieve God but not change our relationship with Him.

  89. jeff1 says:

    It depends if you are a person like my dad who only looked for the good in others or a critical person who looks for the bad.

    Personally I take people as I find them and usually the things I don’t like in myself are what I don’t like in others but am I to hate myself and them because I don’t like my/their weaknesses or am I to forgive myself as I try to forgive others?

    The truth is that some people are just easier to love than others whether they have sinned against me or not and that seems just to be human nature as one person’s meat is another person’s poison as my mum would say.

  90. Beloved says:

    Refusing to use envy, swagger, posturing, or bluster to make a name, following, and personal fortune for himself, he corrupted no one while leading all who followed him to higher ground.

    Delivery makes all the difference. No clanging cymbal or noisy gong.

  91. Beloved says:

    Yet Viv as they say, “The proof is in the pudding” and often what we see is what we get. Only Jesus can safely lead us to that higher ground.

  92. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Beloved, God wants us to return to Him so that we can know His love and you are right He sees we are struggling and waits for us patiently to return to the fold.

    Yes, negativity, can be damaging Beloved and why we have to stay close to Jesus to feel His approval and not get caught up in others disapproval what ever source it comes from.

  93. poohpity says:

    May I ask for some proof that I have put anyone down for not reading the bible, going to church or any other form of how they make a choice to worship. The only time I say anything is when people say they do those things deceiving others but actually have not done them but never, never for anyone honestly saying they do not do them or not wanting to do them. I do encourage people to read the bible and go to church but I do not think any less of them if they don’t but I do highly respect those who admit honestly they don’t but have no respect for those who deceive others into thinking they do.

  94. Beloved says:

    Viv thinking about struggling here and I believe He holds us while we struggle, not just when things are good. Being a part of the fold is safety, love and trust. He let’s us struggle and even wander but I believe He never leaves or forsakes us.

  95. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Beloved, we know that no matter how we error He is there waiting to forgive and that is what keeps me trying to do better because I do not want to disappoint Him.

    Pooh, that we stay connected to God is what matters to Him and if a man tells me he feels nearer to God fishing than in a church then I say God be with you.

    I understand that because it is in my silences I feel closer to God though I attend my church but that is more about me than it is God as I like being with others when worshipping Him.

    Churches all over are experiencing low turn outs and my Roman Catholic hairdresser told me that when the revelation of abuse was revealed in children’s homes that many young people would not go to mass so it is the times we live in and many are disappointed in their churches and their clergy.

    There is a shift in how we worship today and I have seen churches open that are no longer like the traditional one that I go to with a spire, pulpit, altar and stained glassed windows.

    These churches are open to all and many are leaving their mainstream churches to go to them. In a country divided like this one that is a very positive move.

    Change has come because of people disappointed in the mainstream churches.

    God makes a way for a new generation to come to Him as the old ways are faltering.

  96. Beloved says:

    That’s good to hear Viv. The next generation needs our prayers to stay strong in the faith. So much change everywhere it seems.

  97. jeff1 says:

    Yes, there is, Beloved, but change has come about because of wrong doing and therefor it is a healthy change because it shows that a younger generation will not blind themselves like many of the older generation were doing because they were trusting people rather than God.

    When in conversation with a Roman Catholic woman I worked with she told me of when she was just 16 that there was a priest who used to visit their home and when no one was in the room she did not like how close he would come to her and felt unsafe on her own with him. She mentioned it to her mum and her mum give her an awful telling of for suggesting such a thing. So she told me that in future she just made sure that she wasn’t left on her own in the room while he did his visit.

    I think the younger generation will handle themselves much better than their parents because they are not afraid to call out wrong doing no matter where it comes from and that takes courage in cultures where for years people believed what they were told and did what they were told without questioning those in authority.

  98. poohpity says:

    Just as Mart said in the last paragraph without “an epiphany that leads us to the humility, curiosity, courage, and grace of realizing how much we are like one another… in kin, sin, and our need of him.” There will be no generation any different than any other either because the one things we have in common is the flesh but it would be nice if more had the Spirit in common then we could grasp what this song by Mandisa is saying:

    We all bleed the same
    We’re more beautiful when we come together
    We all bleed the same
    So tell me why, tell me why
    We’re divided

    Woke up today
    Another headline
    Another innocent life is taken
    In the name of hatred
    So hard to take (hey!)
    And if we think that it’s all good
    Then we’re mistaken
    ‘Cause my heart is breaking (tell it, ‘Dis)

    Are you left?
    Are you right?
    Pointing fingers, taking sides
    When are we gonna realize?

    We all bleed the same
    We’re more beautiful when we come together
    We all bleed the same
    So tell me why, tell me why
    We’re divided

    If we’re gonna fight
    Let’s fight for each other
    If we’re gonna shout
    Let love be the cry
    We all bleed the same
    So tell me why, tell me why
    We’re divided

    Tell me, who are we
    To judge someone
    By the kind of clothes they’re wearing
    Or the color of their skin?

    Are you black? (black)
    Are you white? (white)
    Aren’t we all the same inside? (the same inside)
    Father, open our eyes to see!

    We all bleed the same (we all bleed the same)
    We’re more beautiful when we come together
    We all bleed the same (we all bleed the same)
    So tell me why, tell me why
    We’re divided

    If we’re gonna fight
    Let’s fight for each other (fight for each other!)
    If we’re gonna shout
    Let love be the cry (be the cry!)
    We all bleed the same (we all bleed the same)
    So tell me why, tell me why
    We’re divided

    Only love can drive out all the darkness
    What are we fighting for?
    We were made to carry one another
    We were made for more, said
    Only love can drive out all the darkness
    What are we fighting for? yeah

    We were made to carry one another
    We were made for more!
    We all bleed the same (we all bleed the same)
    We’re more beautiful when we come together (let’s stand united!)

    We all bleed the same (we all bleed the same)
    So tell me why, tell me why
    We’re divided

    If we’re gonna fight
    Let’s fight for each other (fight for each other!)
    If we’re gonna shout
    Let love be the cry (be the cry!)
    We all bleed the same(we all bleed the same) (bleed the same)

    Let’s stand united (let’s stand united)
    Let’s stand united!
    So Father God, I pray
    That our families will come together right now
    And seek Your face
    You will forgive our sins
    And You will heal our incredible land
    In the name of the only Savior, Jesus Christ
    Amen

  99. poohpity says:

    In today’s time I have never heard such hate, division, disrespect, lying not even when I was out in the world. Over the last 10 years it has become horrible and even saying things on TV that would have never been allowed before. It just brings tears to my eyes and breaks my heart. Just look how our FBI, DOJ is acting, not to say anything about how our Congress behaves. We need to let love be our cry, not ugly names or accusations or telling lies and if we can not do it in this small tiny community what does that say.

  100. jeff1 says:

    It says we have to trust God and not on our own understanding because this world is in a mess because of lack of our understanding.

    We are not so unlike Jesus’s disciples one wanting to be closer to Him than another and forgetting who it is that leads and who it is that should follow.

    Until we realise that we are here for His purpose which is not to reason why but to trust His commands and allow Him to take control of the rest then we will judge what is not for us to judge.

    When I take my eyes of Jesus that is exactly what I see a depraved world and whether I like it or not I am as much part of the problem as I am the solution because I have failed to love others just as much as the next man and when I take my head out of my backside long enough it is then I agree with God ‘Jesus is My Salvation’ there is no other can deliver me from my plight which was to play God rather than trust Him and why I am on my knees accepting His mercy and forgiveness because it is in knowing my own folly that I have empathy with this world which is where God wants me to be so that He can use me for His purpose and not have me deciding what is His call to make.

  101. poohpity says:

    The fight between the disciples of Jesus was who could have places of honor next to Him in heaven and His reply was are you able to handle the suffering the He had to go through to sit at the right hand of God but it would seem at that time they still did not fully understand who Jesus is or they would have realized what they were asking.

    When we had a person of color in the White House I would have thought that the racial tensions would have gotten better but they got ten times worse instead. Now the divides in every other area between the right and the left have gotten 20 times worse as well and it seems because more often than not the media fuels the fire of divisions by spreading propaganda and opinions rather than facts. People seem to play on the emotions of others, the inner man.

    Now one side will not even listen to the other, people who disagree are seen as virtual enemies. They destroy the property of others and literally destroy the person themselves in our colleges and especially in our government because one person lost, as well as name calling and demonetization of the people who think differently when there used to be enjoyment and learning in listening to people who have differing views so that we could learn from each other.

    There is nothing worse than having groups of people who think alike and everyone else be damned, it is called group think which has always caused fights and wars. Either think like they do or you are ostracized and they try to ruin your life by spreading false rumors/lies and the life of those who know and like you.

    My son went to college to with the career goal of being a Youth Pastor but when the persecution from peers started he started to fall away. He even wrote on facebook to me that I put God first before my children and I agreed with Him and told Him without God I would have never been able to raise them. So then he changed his major and went into social work instead walking away from not only God but me as well just because he did not like that I thought differently than him. I told him that I always brought him up to think for himself and it is fine not to think alike but it is not a personal attack to do so and we can still love each other in spite of those differences and actually those differences can bring people together with respect for the uniqueness and the ability to see things from the eyes of another.

  102. poohpity says:

    So just like Mart was talking about and the song of Mandisa we all still have so much in common by “kin, sin and our need for Him(Jesus)”.

  103. jeff1 says:

    Without God I could do nothing but I have given up my own life for my children because I believe it is what God would want me to do as their father had no time for them and my doctor told me if they had one steady parent it was better than two dysfunctional ones as they would pick up on the tension between us as children are very sensitive to their parents.

    They are my reason for wanting to go on in this world as they have always given me more joy than I have ever been able to give them because of my poor marriage and poor mental health.

    I brought them up to be Christian but both have turned away but are respectful of my beliefs and I know God cares for them as much as I do and is with me in being there to support them as they make their way in a difficult world.

    We cannot change the world and Jesus has told us that and our purpose is to trust Him because this world sure is not trusting Him and so it is for us as His followers to do.

    We only see in part and why it takes faith to walk on in the midst of darkness knowing that the light of the world has overcome and that is where our hope is secure and not on our own assumptions or speculation but on the truth that it is finished in Jesus and He has won the victory for us except we are still too blind to see it.

    We say we trust God’s word and then we run around like a scalded cat at the first sign of trouble.

    With us as friends God sure doesn’t need any enemies.

  104. foreverblessed says:

    Without God I can do nothing!

    I pray God will work that out in my heart!

    I even dont have to think about myself, as Oswald Chambers says:
    Because Jesus takes care of me.

    “”By what right do we become “a royal priesthood”? By the right of the Atonement. Are we prepared to leave ourselves resolutely alone and to launch out into the priestly work of prayer? The continual grubbing on the inside to see whether we are what we ought to be generates a self-centred, morbid type of Christianity, not the robust, simple life of the child of God. Until we get into a right relationship to God, it is a case of hanging on by the skin of our teeth, and we say — “What a wonderful victory I have got!” There is nothing indicative of the miracle of Redemption in that. Launch out in reckless belief that the Redemption is complete, and then bother no more about yourself, but begin to do as Jesus Christ said — pray for the friend who comes to you at midnight, pray for the saints, pray for all men. Pray on the realisation that you are only perfect in Christ Jesus, not on this plea — “O Lord, I have done my best, please hear me.”

    My utmost of today

  105. Beloved says:

    Very good thank you Forever!

  106. Beloved says:

    I just love Romans8

  107. jeff1 says:

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

    Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
    To be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.

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

    Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share,
    But our toil He doth richly repay;
    Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross,
    But is blessed if we trust and obey.

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

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

  108. foreverblessed says:

    What a beautiful song, Jeff!
    I pray to God, help me to be like that:
    To trust and obey.
    Help me to still all those other voices, but to hear Your still voice:
    “Come to me, you who are heavy laden,
    and I will give you rest into your souls”
    Matt 11

  109. jeff1 says:

    I do to Forever, I am so easily distracted and seem to wander far more than I follow which is why I understand what it is to fumble in the darkness more than what I know it is to walk in His light.

    I suppose for me it is the fact that He doesn’t give up on me and He will guide me home which these days I seem to yearn for as the world becomes more alien to me.

    Pooh mentioned and I find the same here how tv has so little on that is watchable but I have lately come across this programme which is American but it has every quality a show should have and I thoroughly enjoy watching it.

    It called Sue Thomas FBI and it is based on a true story of a deaf FBI agent and I would recommend it. It is about a group of FBI agents and the casting is delightful and the actors who play them are lovable and believable in their roles.

    I think it shows how our differences can when for the greater good of all and not our own selfish desires work in harmony.
    It also show a group who as friends watch out for each other’s back rather than one competing to be greater than the other which is what makes a great team effective.

    Everything about this programme gives me hope that the good will overcome the dark and why I love it so.

    This beautiful song is the opening theme for it.

    If I live to a hundred
    And never see the seven wonders
    That’ll be alright
    If I don’t make it to the big leagues
    If I never win a Grammy
    I’m gonna be just fine
    Cause I know exactly who I am

    I am Rosemary’s grandaughter
    The spitting image of my father
    And when the day is done my momma’s still my biggest fan
    Sometimes I’m clueless and I’m clumsy
    But I’ve got friends that love me
    And they know just where I stand
    It’s all part of me
    And that’s who I am

    So when I make a big mistake
    And when I fall flat on my face
    I know I’ll be alright
    Should my tender heart be broken
    I will cry those teardrops knowing
    I will be just fine
    Cause nothing changes who I am

    I am Rosemary’s grandaughter
    The spitting image of my father
    And when the day is done my momma’s still my biggest fan
    Sometimes I’m clueless and I’m clumsy
    But I’ve got friends that love me
    And they know just where I stand
    It is all a part of me
    And that’s who I am

    I’m a saint and I’m a sinner
    I’m a loser; I’m a winner
    I am steady and unstable
    I’m young, but I am able

    I am Rosemary’s granddaughter
    The spitting image of my father
    And when the day is done my momma’s still my biggest fan
    Sometimes I’m clueless and I’m clumsy
    But I’ve friends got friends that love me
    And they know where I stand
    It’s all part of me
    And that’s who I am

    I am Rosemary’s grandaughter
    The spitting image of my father
    And when the day is done my momma’s still my biggest fan
    Sometimes I’m clueless and I’m clumsy
    But I’ve got friends that love me
    And they know where I stand
    It’s all part of me
    And that’s who I am
    That’s who I am

  110. poohpity says:

    If I remember correctly which in the day and age of such a short memory Jesus welcomed those who knew they needed Him and those just came to him humbly not thinking of themselves better than anyone else. It seemed that more often than not they were the one’s that most cast aside or it was said by others, “how can He hang around with such as these, doesn’t He know who they are?”. The fact remains that Jesus knew exactly who they were/are, the one’s who knew their need of Him. However the one’s who were braggadocios, self righteous and self reliant did not see there need of Jesus and therefore degraded or put down others in some form or another.

    The needy looked up to Jesus and the self righteous looked around and compared.

  111. poohpity says:

    When I consider all the insults, wrongs, servitude, beating and humiliation the Jesus went through without retaliation or trying to protect Himself I see true acts of strength when He had all the power to do so but made the choice to take the suffering for us.

    Isiah 53: 4 Surely He took on our infirmities and carried our sorrows; yet we considered Him stricken by God, struck down and afflicted. 5 But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. 6 We all like sheep have gone astray, each one has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.…

  112. Beloved says:

    Forever I completely agree only Jesus can give us true and complete rest for our souls. Then the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.

  113. foreverblessed says:

    But….
    I find it hard to completely lay myself down before Jesus.
    Laying all my worries at His feet, and leave them there.
    I find myself grinding over the things I worry, again and again, a hundred times a day. And especially at night, when I wake up,
    my own thinking starts.
    I shall describe that as @@@
    ….. o no, Jesus, You are Lord over all.
    Jesus, You are the same now and forever.
    But I have to give an answer to so and so, what shall I write?
    And then I think of what I should write
    ….@@@

    O no, Jesus, You are the Lord of my last few, my heart and my mind.

    In the end I just call out: Jesus, help.

    But the struggle goes on.

    I know, just as Jeff says: I will hold on to Jesus, because if I let go of Him, I have nothing left.

    When I was on holiday, in the Alps of northern Italy, at night this real great realisation of God’s Love, Who was everywhere, and flowing all over nature, and all around me,
    I saw that as a great gift of Grace from God.
    An epiphany, I will call it, as that is the theme of Mart’s topic.
    Now back in the lowlands, Netherlands, I must hold on in faith that that epiphany is still true.

    That’s called faith, when you do NOT see.

    And silently I wait before Him. And do my daily chores, and visits to people God has put on my path.

    Praise God, I will praise Him, ecen if my mind does not constitute to rest, He is still the Master of the Universe, He is still in control.

  114. Beloved says:

    Not to us, O LORD
    Not to us.
    But to thy name be the glory because of your love and your faithfulness into us!
    Unto thy name, be, the glory! Epiphany is Jesus

  115. foreverblessed says:

    Yes Beloved!!!

  116. Beloved says:

    Forever I love that even in the lowlands He is with us even though it’s hard to see His glory when clouds obscure the view. Lifting spiritual eyes our imagination can take us far beyond the toils of the day though as you know. Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, though hast bought us thine we are….

  117. Beloved says:

    Since I have friends here from other countries i must say I am very ashamed and embarrassed by some of our presidents actions lately. I thought we were better than that but just goes to show how imperfect a world power can be. His strength is in business and manipulating people to get his own way. Money is his bottom line. I guess that’s pretty normal the way the world goes though. Pray and keep eyes on Jesus.

  118. poohpity says:

    I can see how anyone would be embarrassed about our President if they believed all the gossip, propaganda, hate, false accusations and animosity that has been perpetuated since the moment he took office until now. No facts at all but just innuendo, misleading information and ignorance as a guide to form conclusions. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?? lol

  119. jeff1 says:

    Beloved, our politicians are always letting us down while the people are getting on with it and making the best of it without a Government as after 20 years into a peace agreement they still cannot agree how to run the country.

    Politics is a murky world and people with power are not always trustworthy but your right we need to keep our eyes on Jesus and not let it get us down as God makes a way to protect us from the ugliness of it all.

    His goodness makes up for all the badness in the world wherever it comes from.

  120. Beloved says:

    Amen Viv.

  121. Beloved says:

    Be of good cheer, Jesus said. I have overcome the world!

  122. poohpity says:

    I can not even imagine the responsibility of taking care of the safety, well being and security of 360 million people while not trying to control them but allowing them the freedoms that were once a part of the country but over the last 10 years we’re slowly being taken away by the growth of the government. It was to be a smaller citizen government but it has over grown exponentially.

    Look around the world where leaders rule everything their citizens do and in some cases even telling them how to dress. The hardest thing I ever did was being a parent where being responsible for the mental, physical and spiritual health of my children was all that mattered to me. So leading a country must be very very hard and rather than folks also throwing rocks of hate at him for things most often he has not even done, I would rather pray instead. For him not to succeed that would mean I would want my country to fail and that then would effect other countries around the world as well.

  123. jeff1 says:

    We pray every Sunday in church for our Government, the Queen and Heads of State around the world as we do the ill, homeless and bereaved.

    Any person in their right mind wants their Government to be effective but our politicians here have not been governing since Jan 2017 because each side has locked horns instead of finding away through it.

    In the meantime people from all walks of life are getting on with it and making the best of what they have even though the lack of Government effects health service, education, jobs etc. and the British Government in its wisdom decided not to deduct even a percentage of their earnings.

    Personally I was brought up to believe that those in power should be setting examples to the lowly but thank God He knows best for I have discovered that I don’t know much about anything.

    No one thinks they don’t have a difficult job but if you are not doing it then stand down and let someone else who will, as if, I neglect my duty as a parent, it is my children that suffer but when they do it then multitudes suffer and all because they focus on what they cannot agree on instead of focusing on what they can not so unlike Christians who do the same.

    While I don’t know much about your President I have to say at least He’s active and willing which is more than our politicians are.

    It is much more likely that God will be with Him in his endeavours than with ours who have relinquished their responsibility because their self righteousness is greater than their desire to give this country a fighting chance in recovering from the destruction it has endured and I believe people not only deserve better but they want better than that as it is not just for themselves, but their children and their children’s children who will suffer if the politicians fail to deliver.

  124. SFDBWV says:

    Long time ago in an adult Sunday school class I was involved with a man whom asserted himself as being more knowledgeable than the rest of us snapped at the idea that God did or would kill anyone.

    When all of the Scripture verses were provided that shown the God explained in Genesis did indeed insist on killing, and when He drowned all living things in the earth except those on the Ark, God even stated that He alone did this.

    Our expert growled at the evidence and soon left the class for more senior members.

    Again it is easy to see why the experts in the Torah looked for a more vengeful, judgmental and stricter Messiah than the gentle man Jesus.

    In the same way when we read Revelation, what kind of Messiah do we expect to see “return”?

    Have we missed something in the Book of Revelation that may lead us to believe that a more forgiving and merciful King of Kings returns and not one with strict enforcement of His will on His agenda?

    Yes Mart I too think we all are more alike than we want to believe.

    58, wet and clear as the sun rises this morning.

    Steve

  125. poohpity says:

    It seems to be quite clear that God has every right and is able to act justly when enacting His final judgement. He knows about the heart of mankind better than anyone else since He is our Creator. So in the final days of this present earth that righteous judgement prevails.

    Now while we are in the age of Grace, grace has been shown because the age of the Law was fulfilled in Jesus it well figures after enough time has been given in God’s time table then the destruction of all the He created will happen just as God warned us about in the age of the Final Judgement. God’s judgement is just and fair.

    Just in my understanding of what the scripture teaches death is only final for those who do not believe, the bible refers to the believers who have had a physical death as being asleep until their bodies are resurrected in that final age but their spirit is already with the Lord. (1 Thess 4:13-18)

  126. poohpity says:

    Jesus explains in Matt 13:41-43 and then in Rev 20:9-12

  127. poohpity says:

    The Royal law we are to follow is James 2:8 NIV before that in James 1 the brother of Jesus teaches;

    19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom(love your neighbor as yourself), and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. 26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

  128. foreverblessed says:

    What is in our own heart, that is what we see in the Bible.

  129. foreverblessed says:

    Steve, thanks for bringing it up.
    I am busy this month, studying : Vengeance, by Floyd Phillips

    I found that on the website: The character of God.

    When we read that in Revelation Jesus will come with a mantle dripped in blood!

    We see God as being full of Grace in the age of Grace, but after that, then it is gone!

    When I read that, then my heart shrinks.

    And I ask God: How come, that You also say, that whenever somebody cries out to You, that You will answer.

    Whenever, to me means, when it happens.

    I really ask these questions. Have done that for a long time.

    How come that You say that Your Mercy is forever?

    If it isn’t? If the Mercy of God ends at the last Judgment.

    Now this study of Loyd Phillips is really saying something that I would like!

    But when I read the scriptures myself, then I start doubting again: The vengeance looks so real.

    But…. that must be my own distorted view of what vengeance is.

    Floyd is saying: The vengeance of God, is: letting evil destroy evil, and so purify the sinner,

    God’s Vengeance means: The evil is destroyed, and the sinner saved, and made whole.

    I am still studying it. THe message hardly gets through.

    But what Steve said:

    “Have we missed something in the Book of Revelation that may lead us to believe that a more forgiving and merciful King of Kings returns and not one with strict enforcement of His will on His agenda? ”

    And I would say wholeheartedly: Yes!!!

  130. Beloved says:

    ◄ Isaiah 9:6 ►
    For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

    Aren’t we glad and so grateful that we know Jesus who shows us not only salvation from sins’ consequence, death, but how to live showing His kingdom of peace in a sinful world. The government powers in Jesus’ day were raising taxes and killing all children under age 2! What a world! The world will always be about money and power. We are to never trust anyone but Jesus as His followers. The birth of Jesus into the world was a great great Epiphany! Let us never ever forget our mission of peace. A very different kind of kingdom. Rulers will always let us as believers down, even those who profess Christ. Good to remember we are strangers and aliens here.

  131. poohpity says:

    To me what we read in the bible is what we read in the bible however we can take parts out of the context and spin them to mean what we would like them to mean especially when it comes to the fulfillment of prophesy about the future but we can ask for wisdom and use other parts of the bible to understand other parts. Like knowing what a puzzle looks like without all the pieces until some pieces God waits till we are ready to fill in the blanks for us and none of it will be complete until we see Him face to face until then we just have to have faith. Most of the prophesy we had from the past is figured out in hindsight like all the prophesies about Jesus and the times we are now living in.

    I have not been one of those who is so concerned about things to come that is what I spend all my time thinking about or trying to figure out because there is really nothing can be done about the future and there are enough things happening today and the rest I just leave in God’s hands.

  132. jeff1 says:

    Its exactly what I feel like most of the time, an alien, as this world has changed dramatically and it is keeping focused on God’s promises that gives me hope as I despair when I look at what is going on around me.

    Jesus says trust His word and forget the world as He is way ahead of us when it comes to knowing but somethings never change men wanting to be ahead of God but that is what got us into the mess, if my recollection of the story of Adam and Eve is right.

    He is to lead and we are to follow but man just doesn’t learn and no on knows that better than God.

    Precious Lord, take my hand
    Lead me on, let me stand
    I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m alone
    Through the storm, through the night
    Lead me on to the light
    Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

    When my way grows drear precious Lord linger near
    When my light is almost gone
    Hear my cry, hear my call
    Hold my hand lest I fall
    Take my hand, precious Lord, lead me home

    When he darkness appears and the night draws near
    And the day is past and gone
    At the river I stand
    Guide my feet, hold my hand
    Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

    Precious Lord, take my hand
    Lead me on, let me stand
    I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m alone
    Through the storm, through the night
    Lead me on to the light
    Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home
    (Lead me home)

  133. Beloved says:

    Viv I’ve always said what a slow learned I am! But He knows the heart of man that there is nothing good in it, except what we do for the Kingdom of God. .Matthew 5:9-16 New International Version (NIV)
    9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.

  134. poohpity says:

    Mart, said, “Yet no one knew how much he would change his people’s reading of the Scripture or how controversial he would be.” That is Jesus and I know that to be true after His death that He went through all the scriptures from Genesis to Malachi and opened their eyes to how they all pointed to Him.

  135. Beloved says:

    Interesting thoughts Steve regarding John’s Revelation. I’m thinking Jesus’ disciples were expecting an earthly kingdom to rule over the Roman kingdom they were a part of with the Torah as their Constitution. No wonder they were so disappointed! And how precious the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide us. Reading Revelation through a Christological lense may yield a new understanding, an epiphany!

  136. Beloved says:

    I just read this yesterday Steve,
    Jude 5 New Living Translation (NLT)
    5 So I want to remind you, though you already know these things, that Jesus[a] first rescued the nation of Israel from Egypt, but later he destroyed those who did not remain faithful.

  137. SFDBWV says:

    Believing that there is always more to the story than we are first led to believe.

    In the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah we have Lot living there with his family.

    Is the story more about God destroying these two cities along with all the men women and children because of their sexual depravity or a clue to God providing an escape from destruction?

    The same could be said concerning the great flood of Noah.

    Noah found “grace” in the eyes of the Lord…

    I think that when we look at grace we see that God is intolerant of sin, yet provides an escape from it.

    Lot’s son-in-law’s decided to stay and so were killed along with everyone else, yet angels took Lot and his family by the hand and led them out of harm’s way.

    Is this also a clue to the coming “rapture”?

    Lot’s wife turned to salt because she disobeyed the warnings from the angels.

    I think it a great mistake for us to take grace for granted as it is said God will not be mocked.

    The “beginning” of wisdom being the “fear” of God, “beginning” being the clue here. For Jesus says for us not to fear one who can kill the body, but to fear the one who can destroy the soul.

    A cool 59 degrees with light fog from the rain overnight.

    Steve

  138. jeff1 says:

    Could not choose a song this morning from Sunday morning reflections as they were all so beautiful so I have chosen a selection.

    My Troubled Soul

    My troubled soul why so weighed down
    you were not made to bear this heavy load.
    Cast all your burdens upon the Lord
    Jesus cares, He cares for you.

    Jesus cares, He cares for you
    And all your worrying won’t help you make it through.
    Cast all your burdens upon the Lord
    And trust again on the promise of His love.

    I will praise the mighty Name of Jesus,
    Praise the Lord, the Lifter of my head;
    Praise the Rock of my salvation
    All my days are in His faithful hands

    My anxious heart, why so upset?
    When trials come how you so easily forget
    To cast your burdens upon the Lord; Trust again in the promise of His love

    Jesus cares, He cares for you
    And all your worrying won’t help you make it through.
    Cast all your burdens upon the Lord
    And trust again in the promise of His love.

    I will praise the mighty name of Jesus,
    Praise the Lord, the Lifter of my head;
    Praise the Rock of my salvation
    All my days are in His faithful hands.

    Bless The Broken Road

    I set out on a narrow road many years ago
    Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
    But I got lost a time or two
    Wiped my brow and kept pushing through

    I couldn’t see how every sign pointed to you
    That every long lost dream led me to where you are
    Others who broke my heart, they where like northern stars
    Pointing me on my way to your loving arms

    This much I know is true
    That God blessed the broken road
    That led me straight to you
    Yes it did

    I think about the years I spent just passing through
    I’d like to have the time I lost and give it back to you
    But you just smile and take my hand
    You’ve been there you understand
    It’s all part of a grander plan that is coming true

    Every long lost dream led me to where you are
    And others who broke my heart they where like northern stars
    Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
    This much I know it’s true
    That God blessed the broken road
    That led me straight to you
    Yeah

    And now I’m rolling home
    Into my lover’s arms
    This much I know is true
    That God blessed the broken road
    That led me straight to you

    That God blessed the broken road
    Ooh, ooh
    That led me straight to you

    Shout To The North

    Men of faith rise up and sing
    Of the great and glorious King
    You are strong when you feel weak
    In your brokenness complete

    Shout to the North and the South
    Sing to the East and the West
    Jesus is Saviour to all
    He’s Lord of heaven and earth

    Rise up women of the truth
    Stand and sing to broken hearts
    Who can know the healing power
    Of our awesome King of love

    And shout to the North and the South
    Sing to the East and the West
    Jesus is Saviour to all
    He’s Lord of heaven and earth

    And we will shout to the North and the South
    Sing to the East and the West
    Jesus is the Saviour to all
    He’s Lord of heaven and earth

    We’ve been through fire, we’ve been through pain
    We’ve been refined by the power of Your Name
    We’ve fallen deeper in love with You
    You’ve burned the truth on our lips

    Shout to the North and the South
    Sing to the East and the West
    Jesus is Saviour to all
    He’s Lord of heaven and earth

    And we will shout to the North and the South
    Sing to the East and the West
    Jesus is Saviour to all
    Yes, He’s Lord of heaven and earth

    Rise up church with broken wings
    Fill this place with songs again
    Of our God who reigns on high
    By His grace again we’ll fly

    Shout to the North and the South
    Sing to the East and the West
    Jesus is Saviour to all
    He’s Lord of heaven and earth

    Yeah, we will shout to the North and the South
    Sing to the East and the West
    Jesus is Saviour to all
    He’s Lord of heaven and earth

    Yeah, we will shout to the North and the South
    Sing to the East and the West
    Jesus is Saviour to all
    He’s Lord of heaven and earth

    Yes, He’s Lord of heaven and earth
    Yes, He’s Lord of heaven and earth
    Yes, He’s Lord of heaven and earth

  139. poohpity says:

    If we have faith that God is just and right in all His judgements and decisions then we believe He must have had a reason to save some and destroy others. But only those who have had a epiphany about God would believe or have faith in Him. Since God knows our thinking before we even do and knows what lies ahead for the people when we do not even have a clue maybe getting rid of bad actors would have been the best for the rest.

    2 Peter 2: Later, God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and turned them into heaps of ashes. He made them an example of what will happen to ungodly people. 7 But God also rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a righteous man who was sick of the shameful immorality of the wicked people around him. 8 Yes, Lot was a righteous man who was tormented in his soul by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day. 9 So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while keeping the wicked under punishment until the day of final judgment.

  140. poohpity says:

    God shows mercy, grace and compassion to those He makes a choice to. Could it be because those He has chosen to show compassion to will one day have faith in God and not to the others because He knows what harm they will cause. Gal 3:5-6 NLT

  141. poohpity says:

    For me there are several things written about God that seem really harsh to me but if He did not take the actions He does only He knows what would happen if nothing was done.

  142. Beloved says:

    Thinking about our need of Him. He asked me, “was I punished enough?” Whoa. Honestly I can’t think of anything His death did not cover. Just as He created everything in the beginning so in the end everything will be made alive by His transforming power. By grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is a gift of God. Yes we need Him, all of us, and He is enough no matter kin or sin. Our shared by humanity makes us all beggars in need. Jesus meets our need yesterday, today and forever.

  143. poohpity says:

    Yes but there are many who do not see their need or even believe there is a God. There are people who believe that that they are all sufficient in and of themselves and do not need anyone else.

  144. jeff1 says:

    It was God who brought me to the place where I seen my need of Him and He does the same for others when He knows the time is right.

    God’s plan, God’s timing, God’s way, my way to follow.

    Be Thou my vision, oh Lord of my heart
    Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
    Thou my best thought by day or by night
    Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light

    Be Thou my wisdom and Thou my true word
    I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
    Thou my great Father, I Thy true son
    Thou in my dwelling and I with Thee one

    High King of Heaven my victory won
    May I reach heaven’s joys, oh bright heaven’s sun
    Heart of my own heart whatever befall
    Still be my vision, oh Ruler of all

    Thou, and Thou only first in my heart
    High King of Heaven, my treasure Thou art

  145. poohpity says:

    King of the World
    Natalie Grant

    I tried to fit you in the walls inside my mind
    I try to keep you safely in between the lines
    I try to put you in the box that I’ve designed
    I try to pull you down so we are eye to eye

    When did I forget that you’ve always been the king of the world?
    I try to take life back right out of the hands of the king of the world
    How could I make you so small
    When you’re the one who holds it all
    When did I forget that you’ve always been the king of the world

    Just a whisper of your voice can tame the seas
    So who am I to try to take the lead
    Still I run ahead and think I’m strong enough
    When you’re the one who made me from the dust

    When did I forget that you’ve always been the king of the world?
    I try to take life back right out of the hands of the king of the world
    How could I make you so small
    When you’re the one who holds it all
    When did I forget that you’ve always been the king of the world

    Oh, you set it all in motion
    Every single moment
    You brought it all to me
    And you’re holding on to me

    When did I forget that you’ve always been the king of the world?
    I try to take life back right out of the hands of the king of the world
    How could I make you so small
    When you’re the one who holds it all
    When did I forget you’ve always been the king of the world
    You will always be the king of the world

  146. jeff1 says:

    This song from a man who knew that rages to riches nor fame and fortune did not bring you happiness. His story began in a Baptist church where he would learn to sing like an angel and for me personally make gospel music that would encourage and comfort me in my own walk of faith.

    Though he is more worldly known for being the King of rock and roll it is his gospel music that impacted me from an early age as there is a tenderness and sincerity to his voice that tells me he sings it from the heart of a man who knows God.

    I have learned from him to cherish that which is true and good i.e. worship, family, friends as I believe he paid the price for giving all of himself to a world that was all to willing to take every piece of him.

    The words of this song are heart wrenching and it is songs like this that convince me that God is a living God but this world has put Him to rest a long time ago and I am seeking in the wrong place if I am looking for His presence.

    If I Can Dream

    There must be lights burning brighter somewhere
    Got to be birds flying higher in a sky so blue
    If I can dream of a better land
    Where all my brothers walk hand in hand
    Tell me why, oh why can’t my dream come true

    There must be peace and understanding sometime
    Strong winds of promise that will blow away
    All the doubt and fear
    If I can dream of a warmer sun
    Where hope keeps shining on everyone
    Tell me why, oh why, oh why won’t that sun appear

    We’re lost in a cloud
    With too much rain
    We’re trapped in a world
    That’s troubled with pain
    But as long as a man
    Has the strength to dream
    He can redeem his soul and fly

    Deep in my heart there’s a trembling question
    Still I am sure that the answer gonna come somehow
    Out there in the dark, there’s a beckoning candle
    And while I can think, while I can talk
    While I can stand, while I can walk
    While I can dream, please let my dream
    Come true, right now
    Let it come true right now
    Oh Yeah

  147. foreverblessed says:

    Be Thou my vision,
    I find that such a beautiful song.
    The advantage of a song is, that it is easier to learn it by heart.
    Let the Words sink in.

    I wanted to add a scripture on the wrath of God:

    “It came to pass, when the days were near that he should be taken up, he intently set his face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before his face. They went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, so as to prepare for him. They didn’t receive him, because he was traveling with his face set towards Jerusalem. When his disciples, James and John, saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from the sky, and destroy them, just as Elijah did?” But he turned and rebuked them, “You don’t know of what kind of spirit you are. For the Son of Man didn’t come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” They went to another village.” (Luke 9:51-56)

    And especially Jesus’words: You don’t know of what spirit you are.
    He is trying to tell them: I am of a different Spirit than you are.
    My ways are higher than your ways.

    Mart is trying to tell us, for a long time, let us talk about where we agree…
    I really liked what Steve wrote about God giving a way out, where a civilisation is destroyed.

    I tried to find where it is said in Hebrews, be afraid of God who can destroy your soul in hell
    (about which I talk to God, what are you saying there? what is the real Spirit, the real words about that… it is troubling to me, what it seems to say, or is it my own corrupted mind, that sees destruction, whereas You see that a man does destroy himself, by not crying out for help to You. As You always hear those who sincerely call on You.
    It really helps me, by the way, by directly talking to God, instead of arguing with fellow christians about it. And it does not help when fellow christians ru it in the face that it literally says so in the bible, that God does destroy our souls in hell, and I better accept it. It really does help sooo much to start a converstaion with God Himself, and not let any other human interfere. I continually have to think about Moses, who was daring enough to withstand God in His prophecy: I will destroy this people!
    It was a clear promise of God, and yet….
    Moses told God: You cannot do that, You have promised Abraham that You would rescue his people, and now You won’t.
    This going against what God promised He would do, is so intriguing to me.
    SO in that spirit, I talk to God: It seems You say so in the Bible: destroy our soul in hell.
    But I do believe I missed out on Your real Spirit, and I do believe that You are able to say what Jesus said:
    “But when I am lifted up, will draw all men to Myself”
    John 12:32

    But while I was searching through Hebrews, I found that the thing is:
    Through the cleansing of the blood of Jesus all sins will be forgiven.

    We can all agree that there is a way out of destruction:
    The blood of Christ.

    And we are given back life, and we live in faith in the Life of Christ, He talking to our hearts directly, and guiding us, as He sees fit for the moments, and that leading is not to be found in 10 rules, or in keeping of any days, or of eating some kind of food, but is a spiritual leading, that He only knows between His heart and the heart of His child.

  148. SFDBWV says:

    Not sure if you did or did not find the Scripture I paraphrased in the death of the soul, but it is Matthew 10:28 KJV

    Steve

  149. SFDBWV says:

    Foreverblessed, I have always believed the Scripture verse found in Matthew 28:10 as meaning that only God has the power to destroy both body and soul.

    It is so that we know exactly that God is God and has no equal.

    Some people will only obey the law of the land because they are afraid of being caught and punished, while others obey the law because it is the right way to live among others.

    In a way, God is saying to those people who aren’t yet on a course of fellowship with God, “if you won’t just live right because it is the right way to live, then at least do so out of fear of eternal punishment”.

    Even in such a statement, God is giving the reader a way out. Come to Him who has such power and you will be safe.

    Want also to say I agree fully that when we have a question, to take it to God who has the answer. He will always provide conformation through others as is His way of giving us confidence and encouragement.

    Argument and strife is not from God, but rather from the flesh of the offender.

    Our friend Pat sent me several pictures of parade floats made entirely of flowers of a holiday there in, I believe, your country. Very amazing, very beautiful.

    I hope you day is filled with such beauty and blessings.

    Steve

  150. SFDBWV says:

    As you see I made a typo error between Matthew 10:28 and Matthew 28:10…it is early and I haven’t had enough coffee to properly wake up. I guess.

    Sorry for any confusion.

    Steve

  151. jeff1 says:

    As someone where the battle is much greater in the mind than in the body I find too, Forever, that when I am alone with God and not listening to others I am opened up to a God who is trying to show me that His way is best and I can trust Him.

    Then I hear of a preacher who is preaching of hell at a funeral of a young man who died of drug abuse when he should be comforting the family of the young man instead and I despair.

    This world is not my home because it lacks the presence of God in it and why listening to God Himself rather than others who are spouting what their God looks like will bring me closer to Him so that I will no longer listen to others who don’t know better but to the living God who does know better.

    Walk with me, Lord, walk with me
    Walk with me, Lord, walk with me
    While I’m on this tedious journey, Lord
    Walk with me, Lord, walk with me
    Yeah

    Hold my hand, Lord, hold my hand, yes
    Hold my hand, Lord, hold my hand
    While I’m on this, while I’m on this tedious journey, Lord
    I want You to hold my hand, Lord, hold my hand, yeah
    Hold my hand, Lord, yeah

    Walk with me, Lord, walk with me, yeah
    Walk with me, Lord, walk with me, yes
    While I’m on this, this tedious journey, Lord
    Walk with me, Lord, walk with me, yeah

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
    Oh yeah

    Don’t leave me alone. Lord, no
    Don’t you leave me alone
    I need You to hold my hand, Lord
    Hold my hand, Lord
    Yeah, yeah, yeah
    Hold my hand, Lord

  152. foreverblessed says:

    Again, so true, Jeff: Hold my hand Lord!!!
    Steve, you are up very early!
    Thanks for your comment, and the sotthing wayof saying things, not stirring up strife: Thanks a lot.
    In our country we have ndeed manymany flowers. When I was in Canada, I found that they have lots of plastic flowers, and they save them, for weddings, festivities, funerals.
    I wwent back home, looking at the fresh flowers, and thought that to be a blessing. And to be thankful for a blessing!

    I looked it up in the biblehub, and read the commentary of Matthew Henry, and found it good.
    But I am still studying the Floyd Phillip study on God’s vengeance,
    and I am amazed at how twisted my own interpretation of God’s vengeance is: how persuasive the lie of Satan about God is: That God is looking for wrath, He is angered at us going wrong, and if we do not listen, that is how eventually will treat us: In anger destroying us.

    A great lie, while God whows Himself in Christ:
    Sufferin for the redemption of all that is lost.

    THAT is God’s vengeance, He destroying evil in the Cross of Christ.
    The great Love, that cleanses, The great Light that shows the error of our ways, the everlasting kindness of GOd, the mercy of God, will never never end.

    God will always be the same, as He was in Christ, who showed Himself on the Cross, who He was, and as He always will be.

    To God be the glory , and honor, and praise, forever and ever.

    May you have a blessed day too

  153. jeff1 says:

    I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore
    Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more
    But the Master of the sea, heard my despairing cry
    From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.

    Love lifted me, love lifted me!
    When nothing else could help
    Love lifted me!

    Love lifted me, love lifted me!
    When nothing else could help
    Love lifted me!

    All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling
    In His blessed presence live, ever His praises sing
    Love so mighty and so true, merits my souls best songs
    Faithful, loving service too, to Him belongs

    Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
    When nothing else could help
    Love lifted me!

    Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
    When nothing else could help
    Love lifted me!

    When nothing else could help
    Love lifted me!

  154. poohpity says:

    I believe that there is nothing hidden from the eyes or ears of God, nor is He limited by time or space and all knowledge and wisdom are found and sourced in and through Him. I am but a single grain of sand or one single star among so many but Yet He knows my name and how many hairs are on my head. He knows what I have done or what I will do, what I know and what I don’t, He knows my motives and intentions and yet because of who He is has made the choice to offer me His love, mercy, forgiveness and grace. All I can say is WOW thank you so much from my heart to yours.

    One either wants Him in their life or they make a choice to not want Him. It seems He never forces His words, His love, His presence or anything else on anybody but wants them to come to Him of their own free choice/will. He does not force His way of life on anyone nor force anyone to follow Him but He knows who will and who won’t. He knows who calls on Him yet they have a heart far away, He knows those who call on Him from a sincere heart and want to be close, HE KNOWS ALL THINGS. God is the only one that no one is ever able to fool in anyway.

    We stand naked in His presence and we can either be ashamed or confident.

  155. Beloved says:

    Love lifted me! How true. Our Daily Bread has an awesome message today also. Peace all.

  156. Beloved says:

    Walk with me Lord.
    I’m thinking help me to walk with You as only You know the way through all my troubles. My ways always lead to destruction, His ways to extinction of sin. I’m so prone to sin that I can’t trust myself. Only Jesus can guide and direct me in His ways which I am ever learning about.

  157. poohpity says:

    A man went to his father and said:
    ‘Father, I can’t take it anymore, my wife(or anyone else in our lives) is driving me insane!!! I want to kill her, but I’m afraid someone might find out I did it. Please help me?!

    The Father replied:
    ‘Yes I can help you, but there’s a but… you’re going to have to make amends with her so no one would suspect that it was you, when she dies… You’ll have to take very good care of her, be kind, grateful, patient, caring, less selfish, listen more and help her with chores… you see this powder here? Every day you have to put a little in her food. So, she dies slowly.

    Thirty days had passed and the son came back and said to his father:
    ‘I don’t want her to die! I have come to love her. And now… how do I cut the effect of the poison?’

    Then the father said:
    ‘Don’t worry! What I gave you was rice powder. She’s not going to die, because the poison was in you!’

    ‘When we feed grudges, our love slowly dies. When we make peace with ourselves and with those who offended us, then we can deal with the other, as we would like to be treated.’

    Then, we will have the initiative to love, to give, to offer, to serve, to care for… and not just have the need to win, to be served, or to take advantage of and exploit the other.

    We all need to stop, pray and ask for that antidote called forgiveness.

  158. jeff1 says:

    Why me Lord? What have I ever done
    To deserve even one of the pleasures I’ve known
    Tell me Lord what did I ever do to deserve loving You?
    And the kindness, You’ve shown

    Lord help me Jesus I’ve wasted it
    So help me Jesus, I know what I am
    Now that I know that I’ve needed You so
    Help me Jesus, my soul’s in Your hands

    Try me Lord, if you think there’s a way
    I can ever repay, all I’ve taken from You
    Maybe Lord, I can show someone else
    What I’ve been through myself
    On my way back to You

    Lord help me Jesus, I’ve wasted it
    So help me Jesus, I know what I am
    Now that I know that I needed You so
    Help me Jesus, my soul’s in Your hands

  159. Beloved says:

    Street mentioned Matt 10:16 so read some commentaries and Matthew Henry had some interesting things to say about it. What struck me was his statement that the worst persecution came from within his group of peers. Interesting I think. It gave me an epiphany regarding those few within the church that have persecuted me. I’m beginning to feel normal, lol. And blessed!

  160. Beloved says:

    Street I heard the story about a 75 year old Russian lady who experienced Gods grace, and set her free! I can’t tell you how meaningful that was for me. Memories long forgotten came to mind for healing. Bless you.

  161. jeff1 says:

    I have discovered something about myself, Beloved, and that is that the memories of when people abused me either knowingly or unknowingly does not go away they become less prominent in my mind over the years but if I see the person who relates me to them then I want to run from that person.

    It isn’t that I am hating them anymore because I have given it to God so that they don’t have that hold on me but the fact that I haven’t forgotten the suffering they caused me.

    They send me running to Jesus as fast as my legs will take me because I know that it is only He can heal my mind from the distress I feel.

    I cannot do anything about how other people will treat me as I only have control of how I treat other people and I am finding the closer I stay to Jesus and the more I ask myself what would Jesus do then the less other peoples actions matter to me as I am now focused on pleasing Jesus the comforter and Saviour of my soul whom I can never repay nor does He ask me to and why He wants me to listen to Him and not those around me as He knows better when it comes to His child.

    If I have done likewise to another I have to make my peace with them if they will allow it and if not I have to leave it with God and get on with my life because He knows very well that there are people who won’t forgive.

    When I look at the politics in my country it makes me sad as those who have been voted in by the people have locked horns rather than doing the right thing and showing good leadership to the people.

    Jesus always took the higher ground but it is not in people to do that as our ways are not His ways and it is when I realise that I know how much I need Him in my life because no other can take me to that higher ground and why He wants me to follow Him above all other.

    Jesus does not say He has my best interests at heart without meaning it while I cannot trust another not to have ulterior motives as that is human nature.

    Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
    Through eternal ages let His praises ring;
    Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
    Standing on the promises of God.

    Standing, standing,
    Standing on the promises of God my Saviour;
    Standing, standing,
    I’m standing on the promises of God

    Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
    When the howling winds of doubt and fear assail,
    by the living word of God I shall prevail,
    Standing on the promises of God.

    Standing, standing,
    Standing on the promises of Christ my Saviour;
    Standing, standing,
    I’m standing on the promises of God.

    Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord,
    bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord,
    overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword,
    Standing on the promises of God.

    Standing, standing,
    Standing on the promises of God my Saviour;
    standing, standing,
    I’m standing on the promises of God.

    Standing on the promises I cannot fail,
    listening every moment to the Spirit’s call,
    resting in my Saviour as my all in all,
    standing on the promises of God.

    Standing, standing,
    standing on the promises of God my Saviour;
    standing, standing,
    I’m standing on the promises of God.

  162. poohpity says:

    I received an anonymous quote years ago that reads; “If I live for the praise of people, then I will die under their criticism.”

    Jesus said in John 5, “41 I do not accept glory from men, 42 but I know you, that you do not have the love of God within you. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you have not received Me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe if you accept glory from one another, yet do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?”

  163. Beloved says:

    Thanks for sharing that Viv. No we never forget really but we can take our own sins and transgressions to the cross. Oh what a Savior we all have for we all are sinners in need of grace. Bless me now my Savior I come to You.

  164. jeff1 says:

    Who drives me to the arms of Jesus but the empty praise of people unless I recognise the spirit in which it is given to me where I welcome it with open arms knowing its source and intention.

    Trusting in Jesus, my Saviour and Friend,
    Upward to heaven my praises ascend;
    Trusting in Jesus, all troubles must flee,
    Glory to Jesus, my spirit is free!

    Trusting in Jesus, I’m happy and free,
    Moment on moment in Jesus I stay;
    Trusting the future will ever be blest,
    Trusting, yes, trusting, my soul is at rest.

    Trusting in Jesus, the mighty to save,
    He is the fountain that breaketh the wave;
    Down from the bosom that’s shielded by trust,
    Falls every dagger that Satan would thrust.

    Trusting in Jesus, however you feel,
    Trusting in Jesus, if prayerless you kneel;
    If all the heavens as brass should appear,
    Only keep trusting and Jesus is near.

    Trusting in Jesus, yes, that we can do,
    While we remember that Jesus is true;
    Trusting, yes, trusting, and that is the whole,
    Trusting forever, it’s well with my soul.

  165. Beloved says:

    I think viv that it is in our Best interest to follow and obey even if it means facing our worst fears. I’ve always either retreated or pushed through with contempt driving me, instead of love and faith. Love can be very dangerous, look at what happened to Jesus, Paul, Peter etc, all killed because they loved. I think to be willing to lay down our lives for Love is how we die daily. I know that within me is very little ability to love, but Love makes up for what I can’t. He loved me when I couldn’t even love myself, much less my own children. Love is action not feeling. I’ve failed many to protect my own bleeding wounds. But God loves me enough to heal me with His blood and teach me how to love others even as I love (self-protect) myself.

  166. Beloved says:

    Revelation 13:10 says 10 Anyone who is destined for prison will be taken to prison. Anyone destined to die by the sword will die by the sword. This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently and remain faithful.

    Patience and faithfulness holding fast to our Epiphany.

  167. jeff1 says:

    I know it is Beloved, but I have to be honest with myself and I am not good at facing my worst fears.

    To love as God loves is what Jesus, Paul and Peter did as they were fulfilling His will.

    I believe I find love so hard because I lived so long with hate and though I no longer have hate in my heart it falls short of loving my enemies.

    To love like Jesus, Peter and Paul did is way beyond my understanding but it wasn’t my dad’s and so why I know that it is love that brings me closer to God.

    I have hope and faith in God but its the love I find keeps me distant from Him and it is lacking within myself for myself as much as for others.

    Thinking of what Paul said about not having love and knowing that what He says is truth as it is how I feel that nothing can replace the love that eludes me and why I am my own worst enemy when it comes to God.

  168. Beloved says:

    I’m not good at facing my fears either. I strugg!e almost daily. But I recall street saying that fear is caused by being punished, and that perfect love casts out fear. I’m trying to figure out the difference between punishment and correction ( discipline) Its hard but I press on. The world continues to be a dangerous place. So thankful for this blog and Marts wise teachings bringing me closer to know True Wisdom, God. The Holy Spirit is truly my Comforter.

  169. Beloved says:

    Loving/forgiving enemies, going the extra mile, putting self last, giving up everything; all these commands are hard but we have help while we are learning. A favorite story is about Joseph and how he himself needed time to forgive his family for betraying him. Yet God used him for a greater plan in spite of or even because of his difficult beginning. God knows how human we are (thinking of Jesus, God become flesh) and understands our finite limitations. Grateful for His perfect timeline.

  170. jeff1 says:

    When I am feeling anxious about the world I find listening to comforting songs like this one my dad loved so well keeps me focused on Jesus who has overcome rather than my fears which can overwhelm me.

    Welcome to my world
    Won’t you come on in?
    Miracles, I guess
    Still happen now and then

    Step into my heart
    Leave your cares behind
    Welcome to my world
    Built with you in mind

    Knock and the door will open
    Seek and you will find
    Ask and you’ll be given
    The key to this world of mine

    I’ll be waiting here
    With my arms unfurled
    Waiting just for you
    Welcome to my world

    Waiting just for you
    Welcome to my world

  171. Beloved says:

    I grew up hearing country music. My dad perverted the lyrics and would sing them to me as a prelude to abuse. Poison for me. I replaced all the old songs in my mind with songs of victory in Jesus. Yes there’s power in the blood!

  172. jeff1 says:

    We have lived in such different worlds, Beloved, I cannot begin to understand what you have come through but it has led you to Jesus.

    I ran from God for most of my life because I didn’t understand Him as I was listening to the wrong people and that poisoned my mind and heart.

    My heart is mending easier than my head is and why I find songs of old so easy to listen to.

    Yes, there is power in the blood and it is keeping focused on that truth that matters as this world can do its worst but God has already done His best.

    Would you be free from your burden of sin?
    There’s power in the blood, power in the blood
    Would you o’er evil the victory win?
    There’s wonderful power in the blood

    Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?
    There’s power in the blood, power in the blood
    Sin stains are lost in its life giving flow
    There’s wonderful power in the blood

    There is power, power wonder-working power
    In the blood of the Lamb
    There is power, power wonder-working power
    In the precious blood of the Lamb

    Would you do service for Jesus your King?
    There’s power in the blood, power in the blood
    Would you live daily His praises to sing?
    There’s wonderful power in the blood

    There is power, power. wonder-working power
    In the blood of the Lamb
    There is power, power, wonder-working power
    In the precious blood of the Lamb

    Lord how we need Your power
    Every day and every hour
    Lord, how we need Your power
    Every day and every hour

    Lord how we need Your
    Power, power, wonder-working power
    In the precious blood of the Lamb

  173. Beloved says:

    Spurgeon said to kiss the wave that slams us against the Rock of ages, or something like that. Yes my troubles always pointed me to Jesus, He was all I had then and He’s with me yet. He’s enough.

  174. jeff1 says:

    I am thinking Beloved that your faith has surely been tested and you have come through like a shining star.

    I don’t think I am anything like a shining star as I have more demons in my head than I have had in my life so I think I am more like a dim light wavering in the dark but trusting God because I have run out of anyone else to trust.

    In this house we’ve built of make believe
    Loved ones go long before its time to leave
    But we will learn how to grieve, to forgive and receive
    ‘Til we see them there in that City
    Span of stars overhead as we walk this road
    While this darkness remains I will bear your load
    And together we will tend the seed He’s sown
    As we walk along that 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 who’s 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’ll 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 will rise and turn our eyes
    To the Lord, Jesus Christ
    He’s the light of that City

  175. poohpity says:

    Col 1: 13 For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, 14 who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.
    15
    Christ is the visible image of the invisible God.
    He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation,
    16
    for through him God created everything
    in the heavenly realms and on earth.
    He made the things we can see
    and the things we can’t see—
    such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
    Everything was created through him and for him.
    17
    He existed before anything else,
    and he holds all creation together.
    18
    Christ is also the head of the church,
    which is his body.
    He is the beginning,
    supreme over all who rise from the dead.
    So he is first in everything.
    19
    For God in all his fullness
    was pleased to live in Christ,
    20
    and through him God reconciled
    everything to himself.
    He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
    by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.

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

    23 But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it.

  176. Beloved says:

    Keep doing as you do, dear Vivien, allowing Gods truth through music and liturgy to fill your heart and mind. Your perseverance is testimony to the great love of Christ we all need. The demons will always be with us often in the form of our own thoughts. However, we know that God is greater than us or the demons. In that we can rejoice and give thanks for daily.

  177. jeff1 says:

    Thank you Pooh for those verses so very reassuring.

    Yes, Beloved, it keeps me from getting fearful when I keep focused on what you mentioned. I believe the demons will eventually depart as I become more and more dependent on Jesus and for all of us whose struggles are more of the mind.

    Why should I feel discouraged,
    Why should the shadows come,
    Why should my heart be lonely
    And long for Heav’n and home,
    When Jesus is my portion?
    My constant friend is He:
    His eye is on the sparrow,
    And I know He watches me;
    His eyes is on the sparrow,
    And I know He watches me.

    “Let not your heart be troubled.”
    His tender word I hear,
    And resting on His goodness,
    I loose my doubts and fears;
    Tho’ by the path He leadeth
    But one step I may see:
    His eye is on the sparrow,
    And I know He watches me;
    His eye is son the sparrow,
    And I know He watches me.

    Whenever I am tempted,
    Whenever clouds arise.
    When songs gives place to sighing,
    When hope within me dies.
    I draw the closer to Him,
    From care He sets me free;
    His eyes is on the sparrow,
    And I know He watches me;
    His eye is on the sparrow,
    And I know He watches me.

  178. jeff1 says:

    My mum was a keen gardener and I can still remember the pathway around our house and the smell from the roses that aligned it.

    I now have a love of cottages with flowers all around like the picture from ‘My Utmost for His Highest’ today.

    She would have stayed all day in the garden and often did and I think it’s where she felt near to God as nature does that for many.

    If people dressed in colours
    According to their deeds
    Then many leading men would dress in black
    And lots of unsung heroes
    Who never made a name
    Would be walking round
    With gold upon their backs

    Heaven knows
    You’re a rose
    And the love inside your heart
    Just grows and grows
    No one sees
    I suppose
    That it’s something only me
    And heaven knows

    If people were like flowers
    Imagine what you’d see
    Thorns in highest places
    Where the roses ought to be
    And down along the hedgregrows
    Among the grasses tall
    You would find the sweetest
    Roses of them all

    Heaven knows
    You’re a rose
    And the love inside your heart
    Just grows and grows
    No one sees
    I suppose
    That its only something me
    And heaven knows

    If people were like music
    Some hearts would never sing
    Think of all the happiness
    A song like yours could bring
    You fill the life I’m living
    With love and harmony
    And your the sweetest song
    I’ll ever see

    Heaven knows
    You’re a rose
    And the love inside your heart
    Just grows and grows
    No one sees
    I suppose
    That’s its something only me
    And heaven knows

    Heaven knows
    You’re a rose
    And the love inside your heart
    Just grows and grows
    No one sees
    I suppose
    That’s its something only me
    And heaven knows

    That it’s something only me
    And heaven knows

  179. Beloved says:

    Lovely about your mother, think I’ll go buy a rose.

  180. Beloved says:

    Today a local pastor and wife came for our twice monthly hymn sing. Even though pain kept me awake last night which effects me negatively all day I bought a bouquet of flowers and shared with them. Flowers can brighten anyone’s day but songs like Amazing Grace, What a Friend We Have In Jesus, The Butterfly Song and others are so encouraging and make you forget your small troubles which are common to all actually. Thanks Viv you encouraged me today and I in turn encouraged others!

  181. jeff1 says:

    Do, Beloved, it’s a beautiful flower and I think God wants us to enjoy the beauty of things around us and not always be focused on the ugliness in the world which can give me an unbalanced view and distract me from the fact that God is present and does not abandon us in our time of need which Satan wants us to believe as it fits his purpose which is to keep us from God.

  182. foreverblessed says:

    Jeff, I very much liked that cottage too!
    With all those flowers, thank you for telling about your mother, that she enjoyed being outside, with the flowers.

    I was also thinking about the war in your country between cathlics and protestants, we have had this war almost 500 years ago! For 80 years. It is called the 80 year war, against the Spaniards.
    It was devastating.
    In April I went to a place near Brussels, commemorating someone who had died 400 years ago, and that city was in ruins, 400 years ago. We just saw the pictures of some city in Syria that was freed from rebels, the destruction, the ruin. Well, that’s how it was here too!

    Why I wanted to say this is, that after all these years, there still must be reconciliation!
    5 years ago we were also there, joined the cathlic church in commemorating this man, it was the oldest son of William of Orange, when he fled Brussels to save his life, his son was taken hostage, and taken to Spain, where he was held for 20 years, and got a real catholic upbringing.
    William of Orange was more the guy who said: leave everybody alone in their personal faith. Let no king persecute his people for their faith.
    He actually wrote that in letter, you can still read it now: I cannot pledge true loyalty to you, the king of Spain, my conscience forbid me to do so.
    And that was very courageous of him, because he lost all, and the bann was on him.
    He always was my hero, but now I heard, at that commemoration, that William became bitter against the Spaniards. And that at times in his rage he has fought,during that war he sometimes allowed that a village was cruelly attacked, many citizens killed. The south remained Catholic, and did not want to fight the Spaniards. But the Spaniards were very very cruel.
    But I didn’t know that William had his missteps. That he had his hate.

    I still believe that non-fighting is God’s way: seeking His family e with all of our hearts, and let the wrath be left to God Himself.
    Maarten Luther said: Do not take up arms, anyone who takes up a sword will die by the sword.
    So in our country they followed Calvin, who said that if a ruler goes against at God, you can take up arms.
    And so we have this calvinistic religion, and not the Lutheran.

    But what I wantex to say: this Catholic priest had a to 5 years ago, that this oldest son of William was the oh one who stayed loyal to the one and only true faith! ( The Catholic faith)
    That was 5 years ago!
    Instead of getting upset about the man, I layed the case before Christ, and blessed the man.
    We went again in April, with our choir, joining in that Catholic church, and lo and behold:
    This priest had a whole different message!
    I was stunned!
    He talked about reconciliation, about letting go go of differences, he talked about God Who does not live in churches, but Who looks at any man who seriously seeks Him.

    Didn’t I write about it before?
    I had a personal feast, me a d Jesus, for joy!

    So Jeff, all these religious differences will be worked out! And I pray that it will not take 400 years!

    May the God of peace and reconciliation, and of healing be the One in your country who is King.

  183. jeff1 says:

    Beloved, I do not think your troubles are small nor does God I imagine as indeed you were a child and innocent when bad things happened you that most of us cannot begin to understand.

    I was an adult and made my own bad choices in life and I have myself to blame for my head being in a mess though God is merciful to us both it is you who is blameless before Him as you have suffered at the hands of someone whom you should have been able to trust and for someone like myself who had the exact opposite earthly dad then I had the right start in life but allowed others to lead me astray which speaks of my foolishness in life.

    You are much more the victim, Beloved, while my waywardness from God has come about by my own hand and folly.

    You are much closer to God than I am because of who you are Beloved as God sees your need for Him.

    I don’t always see my need of God and think I know better and that as always been my weakness and who I am.

    I run ahead of God but He won’t allow it and reins me in for my own good as I am too headstrong.

    Until I know my own weakness I blame God but that just shows my ignorance of Him in not trusting that He knows His child better than I know myself.

  184. jeff1 says:

    If I were listening to those of my generation Forever, I would despair at their being any hope of reconciliation but its up to God and not down to men when it comes to the future and like you I pray that it won’t take another 400 years.

    I have no time for religion anymore and I take a person as they are rather than whom they are.

    I was singing the sash my father wore which is the William of Orange song since I was a small child not having a clue about what it was all about but because it was the culture I was born into. (Never did Irish history at school only English)

    My dad informed me when he was well on in years that he was an orange man and I said you never march or wear your sash and he said it was his inheritance but I have never seen the need to wear it and I know now that his heart would not have been in it as he didn’t see himself on one side or another but on God’s side.

    Wisdom, my dad had it in abundance but I cannot say the same for his fellow countrymen.

    One of my son’s is now an orangeman who lives in England since he was 23 and now 32 he never misses a 12th of July.

    I will attend the 12th July celebrations not because I am a die hard protestant but because I enjoy the day out listening and watching the bands and meeting friends that I haven’t seen for years.

    I also love to look at the banners from the orange lodges which depict biblical scenes.

    I will sing the sash not because I hate Catholics but because I have been singing it since I was a child and getting into the spirit and mood of the day so that I enjoy the comradeship of others who share my culture.

    The Sash My Father Wore

    Sure I’m an Ulster Orangeman, from Erin’s isle I came,
    To see my British brethren all of honour and of fame,
    And to tell them of my forefathers who fought in days of yore,
    That I might have the right to wear, the sash my father wore!

    cho: It is old but it is beautiful, and its colours they are fine
    It was worn at Derry, Aughrim, Enniskillen and the Boyne.
    My father wore it as a youth in bygone days of yore
    And on the Twelfth I love to wear the sash my father wore.

    For those brave men who crossed the Boyne have not fought or died in vain
    Our Unity, Religion, Laws and Freedom to maintain,
    If the call should come we’ll follow the drum, and cross that river once more
    That tomorrows |Ulsterman may wear the sash my father wore!

    And when some day, across the sea to Antrim’s shore you come,
    We’ll wecome you in royal style to the sound of flute and drum
    And Ulster hills shall echo still, from Rathlin to Dromore
    As we sing again the loyal strain of the sash my father wore!

  185. poohpity says:

    Human religions, rulers, leaders come and go but only what is eternal lasts forever and is worth the time to pursue as a treasure of infinite value and worth. A relationship with God is the only thing that no one can take away from me as I cling to Him as if my life depended on Him which it does. All human beings are imperfect in some form or fashion, some hide it better than others, but they are imperfect none the less so why not hold tight to the One who is, believe in who He says I am and how much I mean to Him. The experience of contentment, peace and joy is soon to follow on this journey of life even in wars, hatred, starvation, deprivation, oppression because contentment, peace and joy come from within not what is going on around us.

  186. Beloved says:

    Viv we are all victims at one time or another. God doesn’t love us any differently. Its sin that separated me from God, yet He was faithful and just to forgive my sin and cleansed me from all unrighteousness. If I had been born in a perfect God fearing home and raised to know and love God I would still have to repent, as I did for my sins even though I was a victim and not faulted for the sins of my parents. My reactions to my parents were sinful as have been my reactions to those in the church who have harmed me. I have sinned against God because I held sin in my heart I did not want to let go of. I have harmed myself and others. That’s what sin does, it harms which is why God hates it so and why we needed a Savior. I know that nothing good dwells in me and understood that from a very young age, my gift from God to draw me to Him.

    Viv for a long time I struggled with the sins of the fathers visited on the children. Yes we are all born in sin through Adam. But born again through Jesus Christ! Repent and believe, He makes it quite simple, we make it hard.

  187. jeff1 says:

    As I see it while we are on this earth and in these destructible bodies then we are prone to being both victim and perpetrator as repentance of sin does not bring relief from sinning or the consequences of it.

    Jesus wants us to trust Him that we are forgiven for all sin so that we can have peace of mind and He can use us for His purpose while on this earth.

    It is listening to the wrong people that makes it hard but if I am listening to Jesus then it is finished because He says it is and His word is truth.

    The struggle is here and now within and without but God who has saved us will also deliver us and that is the truth we have to hold on to that Jesus does not forsake us which is what Satan wants us to believe.

    It is more than just repenting and believing it is walking with Him until He calls time.

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

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

  188. bubbles says:

    Please pray for Mtnman, his wife, and their dogs. They had to evacuate their home due to forest fires too close. His post was terrifying to read. They could feel the heat through their car doors; their dogs are traumatized. They were going to camp but a pole broke rendering their tent useless and now are at a hotel. Please pray for God to spare their house. I did not ask permission to post this here but I think we all need to pray for these friends. I cannot imagine how scary this would be. Thank you.

  189. Beloved says:

    Yes praying for mtnman.

  190. foreverblessed says:

    Thanks for telling, Bubbles!

    I was reading My utmost of June 27 again,
    Was thinking about that picture of a cottage. Why I liked it souxh,
    Is it because we want to feel “at home”?
    Is it because we deep inside long to belong and have a secure home.
    The only secure home is the one Jesus is preparing for us in heaven.
    The only security is staying close to Jesus now, in our spirit we are secured. But our body, our home… what the adversary can do with it, as God allowed him to do with Job, will not touch our secure place in Christ.
    Oswald writes:
    ” God promised Jeremiah that He would deliver him personally — “Thy life will I give unto thee for a prey.” That is all God promises His children. Wherever God sends us, He will guard our lives. Our personal property and possessions are a matter of indifference, we have to sit loosely to all those things; if we do not, there will be panic and heartbreak and distress. That is the inwardness of the overshadowing of personal deliverance.”

    That is called the first death, we did to our old man, to things of this earth, and we trust Jesus completely that He will take care of us, even in our earthly ruin.

    I was just thinking, how do we get there? As I was thinking that when our earthly home would be destroyed I would be trembling:
    Hab 3:16

    Habakkuk trembled, but also said:
    Yet I will patiently wait
    v18 I will rejoice I in the Lord
    I will be joyful in God my Saviour
    The sovereign Lord is my strength,
    He makes my feet like that of a deer,
    He enables me to go on the heights. v 19

    I pray that over Mtman and his wife, and dogs.

  191. jeff1 says:

    Yes, God allows things in our lives to teach us His ways are not our ways and though I lament and argue I know in my heart that God knows His children best and what is good for them.

    God is in control of everything and when difficulties come as they always do I must be able to trust Him and not on my own understanding as I do not always understand what God is doing in my life or those around me. I see that in the characters in the bible that they did not always understand God’s reasons but they trusted Him which is all God asks of us and I make it hard on myself when I falter from this truth.

    Believe God that He will do what He promises which is to deliver us from evil and remember that it cost Jesus, Paul and Peter and many others much suffering to fulfil God’s will as He does not promise us an easy ride.

    Wrong expectations on my part does not change God’s providence and I can thank God that it doesn’t and why He is worthy of my praise and adoration as it is He who is making it possible.

    One more step along the world I go.
    One more step along the world I go.
    From the old things to the new,
    Keep me travelling along with you:
    And its from the old I travel to the new;
    Keep me travelling along with you.

    Round the corners of the world I turn,
    More and more about the world I learn;
    And the new things that I see
    You’ll be looking at along with me.
    And its from the old I travel to the new;
    Keep me travelling along with you.

    As I travel through the bad and good,
    Keep me travelling the way I should.
    When I see no way to go,
    You’ll be telling me the way, I know.
    And its from the old I travel to the new;
    Keep me travelling along with you.

    Give me courage when the world is rough,
    Keep me loving though the world is tough;
    Leap and sing in all I do,
    Keep me travelling along with you:
    And its from the old I travel to the new;
    Keep me travelling along with you.

    You are older than the world can be,
    You are younger than the life in me;
    Ever old and ever new,
    Keep me travelling along with you:
    And its from the old I travel to the new;
    Keep me travelling along with you.

  192. phpatato says:

    I will be keeping Mtnman, his wife and dogs in my prayers.

    Thank you Bubbles for alerting us to this.

  193. poohpity says:

    Wow that is just horrible to hear about mtman and family and I will also join in prayer for them. :-(

  194. narrowpathseeker says:

    Prayers out for Mtnman and his family. Thank you Bubbles.

    Also, hoping all is well with Steve. Prayers out for him, Matthew, and Glenna as well.

  195. bubbles says:

    Mtnman said theee hours ago the fire was near their home. It spread quickly and is 10,000 acres. Please pray for their dogs because they keep trying to escape the hotel room when they open the door.

    Spoke with Glenna this morning.

    Sorry to be off topic, but I think we should all pray fervently for this. Nothing is impossible with God.

  196. SFDBWV says:

    June 30, 2018
    Working Out Our Salvation
    “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)

    We are not told here to work for our salvation, but to work it out—that is, to demonstrate its reality in our daily lives. Our salvation must be received entirely by grace through faith, not of works (Ephesians 2:8-9), or else it is not true salvation. Works can no more keep our salvation than they can earn it for us in the first place. It is not faith plus works, but grace through faith.

    Nevertheless, a Christian believer, if his salvation has been real, can testify that “I will show thee my faith by my works” (James 2:18). Good works—consisting of a righteous and gracious lifestyle, considerate of others and obedient to Christ’s commands—are the visible evidences of salvation. We have been “created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).

    The context of our text, in fact, assures us, on the basis of Christ’s sacrificial death, glorious resurrection, and exaltation (Philippians 2:8-11), that “it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (v. 13). God is thereby enabling us to “work out” our salvation in visible practice, through the indwelling Holy Spirit of God.

    Thus, it is beautifully appropriate that the life of a genuinely born-again Christian, possessing true salvation, should be “blameless and harmless, the sons of God, . . . as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life . . .” (vv. 15-16). We do need to “examine [ourselves], whether [we] be in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5), and we are admonished that “we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments” (1 John 2:3). HMM

    This is from my “Day’s of Praise” daily devotional. I thought you all may enjoy it as it follows as how we as Christians should all behave in the shadow of our Lord.

    Praying for Bruce and Carol and their dog’s as well. He had a comment this morning on his blog about the destruction of the fire in the area of Colorado where they live.

    Steve

  197. poohpity says:

    Our Daily Bread today speaks of “Epiphany” as Jesus addressed the seven churches of those who already thought of themselves as believers but live with indifference to His teaching, His Ways and His Will. Jesus repeats seven time; “whoever has ears, let them hear” or “whomever has eyes, let them see”. Coming up on “Independence” day I have to ask myself have I experienced the freedom from the ways of the world or am I still trapped in using envy, swagger, posturing, or bluster to make a name, following, and personal fortune for myself?

    Have my eyes been opened or do my ears hear the calling of Jesus to “Come follow me” because of my need of Him and because of who He is or am I still living this life the way I always have chained to my flesh in attitude, behaviors and actions? Jesus stands at the door of my heart and knocks. Have I kept Him at arms length or just allowed a small opening rather than fully opening that door and asking Him to come in to take part in all the rooms of my heart even the hidden ones?

  198. poohpity says:

    Steve, that was a beautiful devotion from “Days of Praise”, thank you for sharing it.

  199. poohpity says:

    Paul explains what an “Epiphany” is in his letter to the Corinthian believers.

    1 Cor 2: However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him— 10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

  200. Beloved says:

    John Piper

    The Powerful Root of Practical Love
    We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. (1 John 3:14)

    The Bible sometimes makes love the condition of the ongoing and final experience of future grace. It does not mean that love must precede faith in the promise. On the contrary, it means that faith in the promise must be so real that the love it produces proves the reality of the faith.

    Thus love for others is a condition of future grace in the sense that it confirms that the primary condition, faith, is genuine. We could call love for others a secondary condition, which confirms the authenticity of the primary condition of faith.

    Faith perceives the glory of God in the promises of future grace and embraces all that the promises reveal of what God is for us in Jesus. This spiritual apprehension and delight in God is the self-authenticating evidence that God has called us to be a beneficiary of his grace. This evidence frees us to bank on the promise as our own. And this banking on the promise empowers us to love. Which in turn confirms that our faith is real.

    The world is desperate for a faith that combines two things: awestruck apprehension of unshakable divine Truth, and utterly practical, round-the-clock power to make a liberating difference in life. That is what I want too. Which is why I am a Christian.

    There is a great God of grace who magnifies his own infinite self-sufficiency by fulfilling promises to helpless people who trust him. And there is a power that comes from prizing this God that leaves no nook and cranny of life untouched. It empowers us to love in the most practical ways.

  201. Beloved says:

    I had a personal epiphany in my struggle with sin, that the more I love God I want to sin less. The more committed I am to knowing God the easier it becomes to love myself and others. His yoke is easy and His burden light.

  202. Beloved says:

    Steve how can I find his blog?

  203. SFDBWV says:

    Wildfires burning in Colorado have triggered hundreds of evacuations, closed roads and destroyed an unknown number of structures.
    The Spring Fire in southern Colorado has scorched nearly 60 square miles and was 0 percent contained as of Saturday afternoon, according to Inciweb. The fire that was sparked on Wednesday 9 miles north of Fort Garland has closed Highway 160 at La Veta Pass. Authorities say there is no estimate when the highway will be reopened.
    Fueled by high temperature, winds and low relative humidity, the fire forced the evacuation of some 350 homes in the area.
    Authorities say an unknown number of structures have been destroyed.
    The fire is one of a handful of fires that are burning in the state amid dry, hot and windy conditions.
    The Sugarloaf Fire in the Williams Fork Range near Silverthorne, Colorado, was sparked by lightning on Wednesday. It has burned more than 1,300 acres.
    The 416 fire burning near Durango in southwestern Colorado broke out on June 1 and has burned more than 73 square miles as of Saturday morning, according to Inciweb. It remains at just 37 percent contained and remains under investigation.
    A small fire in Grand County near the Rocky Mountain National Park triggered evacuation orders Thursday for 300 homes but was later lifted.
    Another fire north of Durango has burned 65 square miles. No structures have been damaged.
    (MORE: Why We’re Entering the Deadliest Time of Year For Lightning)
    Fire weather conditions will generally improve this weekend in Colorado, says weather.com meteorologist Linda Lam.
    “A frontal system will push southward through Colorado Saturday,” Lam said. “An isolated shower is possible, but the higher chance for rain and storms will be east of the fire areas.”
    Temperatures will be cooler this weekend than Friday and relative humidity will also be higher.
    “It will be breezy at times over the next few days but, not wind gusts will not be as strong as Friday,” Lam added.

    I copied this from the weather channel news, for any interested in the situation Bruce and Carol and his dogs are in.

    Steve

  204. jeff1 says:

    I love the words of this hymn our Rector concluded this summer with in the Parish News.

    The final verse of W Walsham How’s hymn which says

    “We will never doubt you, though you veil your light; life is dark without you, death with you is bright. Light of light, shine o’er us on our pilgrim way; still go on before us to the endless day.

  205. Beloved says:

    I found Bruce’s blog. Such a terrible thing to go through. And with German Shepherds!!! Praying God will spare their home and all the hard work they put into it. This line from Jeff’s hymn is so appropriate “Light of light, shine o’er us on our pilgrim way; still go on before us to the endless day.” It is so good to know God is always a step ahead of us preparing the way, LORD bless them with your peace in this unsettling time. Grant all the animals also safety, shelter, water and food as their home is destroyed. Amen

  206. Beloved says:

    Mart said we all need grace to see our shared need of Him. Reading Jeremiah 17:9-10 this morning I’m reminded of the progression involved in growing in holiness and though we are saved already we’re not Home yet. Praying for grace that only God an give me. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.

  207. SFDBWV says:

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the example Jesus gave us and how we don’t copy it; rather we create a lifestyle using it as a banner and corrupting it to justify our behavior.

    Today is July 2, we are coming into the anniversary of the epic battle of Gettysburg and the turning point of the American civil War.

    Like our friend Viv talks about how people in her country killed each other while both claiming to be Christian and both believing God to be on their side. So it was during the American civil War.

    Foreverblessed brought up William of Orange and Viv added the story of the sash and song that went with it.

    Commemorating and remembering the men who fought and died for the “cause”

    Here in America only recently has there been an effort to attempt to erase the memory of Southern “hero’s” by removing statues of them and changing the names of schools or buildings named in their memory. Further dividing our culture and creating more anger and hate as a result.

    Whereas the southern “cause” was a wrong cause insofar as slavery was concerned, still the men who fought and died are remembered as fallen hero’s to their descendants. Just as the men on both sides of the issue in Ireland and Northern Ireland are concerned.

    The killing of people over a political issue is in no way from any example Jesus gave us, yet both sides of the American Civil War could quote chapter and verse as their being on the right side, just as both sides of the argument could in the British Isles.

    The failure of living as Christ would have us is not unique to the two examples I have given, as culture after culture country after country living under “Christian” rule all are guilty of it.

    As Mart has rightly stated, “we are like one another in kin, sin, and our need of Him.”

    84 degrees in the mountains not much stirring.

    Steve

  208. Beloved says:

    The problem lies in worshipping nationalism and using God to justify that idolatry. The kingdom of God is anathema to world kingdoms.

  209. jeff1 says:

    I know my dad had the wisdom to see the folly of it but his fellow country men did not agree with him but it didn’t change him because he knew he was on God’s side and that is because he knew God better than most.

    What I can tell you after 20 years into a peace agreement that the two sides are still divided because their religion and cultures are very different and if we cannot agree to accept each other as we are, rather than one side trying to force the other to think as they do, then we will not be able to reconcile our differences and another generation will suffer because of our foolishness.

    I agree, Pooh, man will never understand God’s ways as they are alien to him.

    Men change God to their way to justify their actions and they don’t even realise that they are doing it until it is too late and why history just keeps repeating itself.

    Ignorance of God is still the cause of our problems as the bible get it right everyone goes their own way which is what God knew thankfully for all our sake.

  210. poohpity says:

    Gosh I am really confused I thought we celebrate the end of the American Revolutionary War with freedom from the rule of Great Britain for the fourth of July 1776. They thought that we should celebrate on July 2nd when the Declaration of Independence was finished but July 4th was when the Continual Congress adopted that Declaration.

    The American Civil War was fought almost 90 years later in 1861-65.

    Viv, I did not say that we will not understand some of God’s ways because we have Jesus who revealed the Father to us as well as the Holy Spirit that God has allowed to reveal things about Himself to us but we will not understand all there is to know because just the enormity of God is more than our human mind can fathom or comprehend but God has revealed a lot to us.

  211. jeff1 says:

    Not all who seek God are doing so to understand His ways but to justify their own ways and why the world is messed up.

    If we don’t put God first that is what happens as God won’t reveal unless we are pure in our seeking and this world proves that men have their own agenda’s and not God’s.

  212. poohpity says:

    No one can fool God!! He knows those who truly are seeking Him and it just does not matter about anyone else, what they think or what they say or what they believe because after all it is just between you and God. It is a personal experience, one on one. Who cares if someone has any other kind of agenda.

  213. jeff1 says:

    I’m simply saying it is why the world is messed up and what God knew in advance.

    You are right, no one fools God, and why it is His will that will get done on earth and no one else’s and we can all rejoice in this truth.

    God knows best and why His ways must be fulfilled above all other.

    It is up to God how He does that and for us to follow and it is when I understand this truth I find peace with Him and others cannot disturb my peace because I know He has me and I have Him which is what He wants me to know so that I am trusting Him and not on my own understanding.

  214. SFDBWV says:

    When our topic runs on for weeks like this one has I wonder what’s going on with Mart. He is about a year older than I and I know only too well how some days I feel like enough is enough, but for me God has not yet said so.

    Faith is always a journey across uncharted territory with only the vision of hope that steers us onward.

    Like learning how to swim, I have no memory of it. It seems I always knew how. Somewhere in my journey I no longer worried about myself, but rather the ones I love, I would like also to reach that place where my worries are secure in Christ for them as well.

    In truth it may very well be that I am already there.

    Elijah tired from his work for God and ask to be relieved of it, Elijah should have known that even in God removing him from his work at that time, his work was not yet complete. Only in God’s time is our work finished for Him. Jonah learned we cannot escape from God’s will and we all should learn from their examples.

    A foggy morning at 64 cool degrees.

    Steve

  215. poohpity says:

    Why would anyone want to escape God’s Will? He has told us what that Will is and that is to do what is right(towards Him, others and for ourselves), love and show mercy while walking humbly with Him. Pretty simple but can only be accomplished with His divine help hence the walk(live, abide) humbly with Him.

  216. jeff1 says:

    Forward, soldiers, bold and fearless,
    Hear the call of God;
    Prove your courage in the conflict,
    Tread where brave men trod.

    Lift aloft the cross of Jesus,
    Hold it high and strong;
    Shout the name of him who saves us,
    Swell the battle song.

    Faith our shield, and hope our helmet,
    Satan’s hosts we face;
    Marshaled in the might of Jesus,
    Win we by his grace.

    Heed the order of our Captain,
    Wield the Spirit’s sword;
    Onward, fearless, press to conquer,
    Slaying by his Word.

    They shall share the glad Hosanna,
    Who on him believe;
    They shall ‘neath his royal banner
    Crowns of life receive

  217. poohpity says:

    Elijah ran in fear from Jezebel because for a time he forgot that God was more powerful than her and Jonah ran away in fear from God showing mercy to those Jonah hated. Adam and Eve ran away and hid from God as well which seems to be the nature of our humanness.

    Oh to be able to have faith that even when we mess up or fail we come to know what Jonah did, “I knew that you are gracious. You are tender and kind. You are slow to get angry. You are full of love. You are a God who takes pity on people. You don’t want to destroy them.” Jonah 4:2 NLT

  218. poohpity says:

    We can listen to Mart 5 days a week on Discover the Word, this week it is about how to dispense grace something we all could use a lesson in.

  219. bubbles says:

    PEOPLE GET TIRED, THAT IS WHY. It is not just physically tired, but mental and emotionally tired.

  220. jeff1 says:

    Yes, Bubbles, I get tired of being in my own head and going from one struggle to another which exhausts me physically and emotionally and so you are right tiredness is the reason I give up.

  221. poohpity says:

    bubbles, are you talking about doing God’s will that people get tired? If that is the case then I would say they are trying to hard in their own strength to please God, earn His love, grace, forgiveness, mercy and to do what only God can do in us. None of that can be earned, it can be received gratefully but not earned in anyway, shape or form.

    Of course people get emotionally, physically and mentally tired but that is from the stress of trying to please someone or everyone all the time, being afraid of rejection or punishment. Knowing that God never rejects us and Jesus took our punishment then we can come to a place of rest, trust and dependence. We can not earn the gifts from God, He gave them to us because of His great love not because we deserve them.

  222. poohpity says:

    It is about letting go of control.

  223. poohpity says:

    Fear is a Liar

    When he told you you’re not good enough
    When he told you you’re not right
    When he told you you’re not strong enough
    To put up a good fight
    When he told you you’re not worthy
    When he told you you’re not loved
    When he told you you’re not beautiful
    That you’ll never be enough

    Fear, he is a liar
    He will take your breath
    Stop you in your steps
    Fear he is a liar
    He will rob your rest
    Steal your happiness
    Cast your fear in the fire
    ‘Cause fear he is a liar

    When he told you were troubled
    You’ll forever be alone
    When he told you you should run away
    You’ll never find a home
    When he told you you were dirty
    And you should be ashamed
    When he told you you could be the one
    That grace could never change

    Fear he is a liar
    He will take your breath
    Stop you in your steps
    Fear he is a liar
    He will rob your rest
    Steal your happiness
    Cast your fear in the fire
    ‘Cause fear he is a liar

    Let Your fire fall and cast out all my fears
    Let Your fire fall Your love is all I feel

    Let Your fire fall and cast out all my fears
    Let Your fire fall Your love is all I feel

    Let Your fire fall and cast out all my fears
    Let Your fire fall Your love is all I feel

    Oh, let Your fire fall and cast out all my fears
    Let Your fire fall Your love is all I feel

    Oh, fear he is a liar
    He will take your breath
    Stop you in your steps

    Fear he is a liar
    He will rob your rest
    Steal your happiness
    Cast your fear in the fire
    ‘Cause fear he is a liar
    ‘Cause fear he is a liar

  224. street says:

    Epiphany
    when someone see Christ in me, and i not even aware of it.

  225. bubbles says:

    No, people get tired of the fight.

  226. narrowpathseeker says:

    I agree Bubbles….tired of the fight …tired of evil…tired of cruel, jealous, hateful, and vengeful people that lack compassion as well as remorse preaching to others how to be kind, humble, loving, forgiving and everything else that we are supposed to be.

    While I think of all that have endured difficult times and are also subjected to rebel rousing tactics I feel terrible for them… However, I think of Steve(who is subjected to the most attempts to torment him …and yes he ignores it all but I and others see) and all the pain and suffering the man has endured so admirably and how he still endures difficulties day after day. YET, he is always there for others doing whatever good he can to alleviate the pain and suffering of others.. When I read the condescending, arrogant remarks meant to belittle and/or provoke him….I have to wonder what kind of person could do that and while claiming to represent Christ Jesus…. no less.. I really have to take another break…Lord have mercy on us all.

  227. jeff1 says:

    We’re all passing through and life is made sweeter by the people we meet on the way and surprisingly it is not always those who claim to represent Christ who give me encouragement and hope but those who in their suffering have found a way to be Christlike to others despite their own difficulties in life.

    Steve is a gentleman and is to be applauded for his patience in not giving into provocation and is showing he is Christlike in his behaviour and God sees what he puts up with and will one day reward him for his endurance.

    I think if we did what the song says and treated others as we would like them to treat us then the world would be a better place and we would be walking the walk rather than talking the talk which would make God a lot happier and that just might rub of on the rest of us.

    I met a man at the airport
    Going home cause his brother had died
    I tried to soften his sorrow
    He smiled at me and replied

    We’re all passin through
    Do unto others as you’d have done to you
    Do what you can
    You’re fellow man is travelin to
    We’re all passin through

    I keep his words in my memory
    They keep my heart from consent
    It’s a lesson for livin
    I’d pass on to all that I meet

    We’re all passin through
    Do unto others as you’d have done to you
    Do what you can
    You’re fellow man is travelin to
    We’re all passin through

    No one knows how long their journey may be
    It’s now how far but how well you have travelled
    That God will see

    The old man smiled and departed
    Our brief encounter ended
    He left the seeds of a memory
    And words I’ll never forget

    We’re all passin through
    Do unto others as you’d have done to you
    Do what you can
    Your fellow man is travelin to
    We’re all passin through

    We’re all passin through
    Do unto others as you’d have done to you
    Do what you can
    You’re fellow man is travelin to
    We’re all passin through

    We’re all passin through
    We’re all passin through

  228. poohpity says:

    May I ask what is provocative about not worshiping a human being as you ladies do Steve and it seems other men as well even when the information he presents is just plain in error. He tells you the sky is yellow and you ladies say oh Steve you are so wonderful and Christlike. I don’t get it? If he was even a little Christ like he would tell you not to put him on a pedestal, the place where only One belongs and it sure is not Steve or any other human being.

  229. jeff1 says:

    Assuming makes an ass out of you and an ass out of me ass/u/me.

    You are making assumptions about how us ladies see Steve. If you think we think he doesn’t have faults then it is obvious you do not credit us to know very much but then that is not news to me because that is the impression you have given me since I came on this site that you know better than the rest of us.

    I give Steve credit where it is due to him and not because I have put him on a pedestal as I grew up with the gospel myself and know well by now the folly of putting others where God should be.

    I think your problem is that you think you are the only one who knows God and I say that is why God doesn’t put knowledge over obedience because he knows exactly where it leads us to and it is not pretty to see those who believe they know God better criticise every thought and word of others whom they see as less knowing as themselves.

  230. SFDBWV says:

    July 4, 2018
    True Freedom
    “As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.” (1 Peter 2:16)

    We who live in what the song writer called the “sweet land of liberty” have a great responsibility to preserve that freedom which our forefathers obtained for us at great cost over two centuries ago. At the same time, we must not turn liberty into license. It would surely hurt those brave and godly men if they could see how we now use “freedom of choice” to justify murdering multitudes of innocent children before they are born, and how we use “freedom of speech” to warrant fouling the eyes and ears of our children with widespread pornography and to promote all kinds of immoral behavior in our society in general. No nation can remain free very long after such practices become widely accepted by its citizens. We need to pray for revival!

    The same warning applies to the abuse of our spiritual freedom in Christ. As the apostle Paul said and repeated: “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient” (1 Corinthians 6:12; also 1 Corinthians 10:23, where he added that “all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not”).

    As Peter says in our text, even though we are “free” and have real “liberty,” we are nevertheless “servants of God,” where the Greek word doulos actually connotes “bond servants,” or even “slaves.” Our liberty in Christ is not freedom to sin whenever we so choose, but rather freedom from our former bondage to sin. “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness” (Romans 6:18).

    Although our nation is rapidly becoming anti-Christian in belief and practice, we Christians can still best serve our nation and our Savior by practicing and proclaiming Christ’s wonderful saving gospel of free salvation from sin and regeneration unto righteousness. HMM

    From “Days of Praise” this morning, enjoy.

    Steve

  231. SFDBWV says:

    Whereas it pleases me that my comments disturb the devil so much that he rails against them, it disturbs me that any are tormented by his accusations and commentary here.

    As for my part in the matter I am sorry any are affected by his acid.

    I am reminded of Revelation 12:12 KJV where the devil’s wrath is displayed because he knows his time is short.

    I would thank all of you who defend me and whereas I cannot protect you from reading the poison cast toward me, I can say that the offender has no power over me or any of you and only shows her heart in her comments and fools no one except herself.

    I got an update from Mtman (Bruce) they are still in the motel awaiting any news about their home. Their internet capabilities are limited, but will keep us updated as he can.

    Prayers for them, Mart and all of us.

    61 degrees with light fog and clearing skies.

    Steve

  232. poohpity says:

    Steve, I do not attack you personally only the things that you teach like the fourth of July being about the Civil War rather than the Revolutionary War for just one example out of many. But I never put you down as a human being or call you names as you and your followers do to me.

  233. jeff1 says:

    Thank you, Steve, there are times when I feel my faith is hopeless these days as it serves no one but myself as those I love around me do not believe God exists.

    There are days when I feel I have given up the fight and Satan wins but I forget how it matters to God that I keep on believing and trusting Him who sets us free from this world and its pitfalls.

    Fight the good fight with all thy might!
    Christ is thy strength, and Christ thy right;
    Lay hold on life, and it shall be
    Thy joy and crown eternally.

    Run the straight race through God’s good grace,
    Lift up thine eyes, and seek His face;
    Life with its way before us lies,
    Christ is the path, and Christ the prize.

    Cast care aside, lean on Thy Guide;
    His boundless mercy will provide;
    Trust, and thy trusting soul shall prove
    Christ is it’s life, and Christ its love.

    Faint not nor fear, His arms are near,
    He changeth not, and thou art dear;
    Only believe, and thou shalt see
    That Christ is all in all to thee.

  234. poohpity says:

    If one is not able to show grace to those who do not deserve it, in our own minds, then that kind of faith is actually no faith at all.

  235. jeff1 says:

    I find it strange that it is those who will proclaim that they are not judgemental who are the most judgemental of all and I believe it is because they put knowledge before obedience and see it as God’s way when it is God who must lead and we who must follow because He knows how we deceive ourselves and why He doesn’t allow it.

    Lead me oh Lord, won’t You lead me
    I am tired and I need Thy strength and power
    To guide me over my darkest hour
    For just open my eyes that I may see
    Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me

    Lead me, guide me along the way
    For if you lead me I cannot stray
    For just open my eyes that I may see
    Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me
    I am lost if you take your hand from me
    I am blind without Thy light to see

    Lord just always let me Thy servant be
    Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me
    Lead me, guide me along the way
    For if you lead me I cannot stray

    Lord just open my eyes that I may see
    Lead me oh Lord, won’t you lead me

  236. poohpity says:

    How many times was Jesus accused of being in cahoots with the Devil? Thank you Steve for that honor, I must be doing something right.

  237. jeff1 says:

    We all know that Jesus was not in cahoots with the devil but human error can mean that I am.

    Jesus can afford to be misunderstood we cannot.

  238. SFDBWV says:

    John 8:44 KJV

    We all here pray for you pooh, so that you may yet hear the voice of God and mend your ways. Turn from sin and turn to Jesus Christ only He can mend your broken heart.

    All of your acidic commentary only condemns you, it does not give you justification.

    Steve

  239. Beloved says:

    Psalm 33:12 What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people he has chosen as his inheritance.

    Steve talked about Gettysburg and I remember memorizing in school back in the 50’s Lincoln’s famous speech with the opening sentence: “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” Emancipation was and still is a great thing indeed, even though it seems to be a work in progress. Reminds me of M L Kings’ “I Have A Dream” speech. There’s been so much pain caused by sin. It’s mind boggling. Then I go back to Mart’s topic and think yes, we are all created equally as God’s offspring; so what is it going to take to get along? If what Mart says is true seems like these American prophets, Lincoln and King, are as voices echoing an age old command, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and thy neighbor as thyself.

    Viv, being a Brit not sure how you feel about it as we celebrate July 4th as our independence day from England, but we sure have messed it up!

    Ideals are noble, but I thank God His plans are always far better than man’s. David Mains said “Thankfulness enlarges the heart”. Giving thanks sets the heart on the right path even when there’s trouble and turmoil. Thankful I’ve learned to tune out some of the voices here, and in my head, praise God. (Some neighbors are loved best by leaving them alone).

  240. Beloved says:

    Let go and let God! An old saying that says a lot.

  241. Beloved says:

    Steve that was very kind of you to address pooh. I pray too she will have ears to hear.

  242. SFDBWV says:

    Joyce I love history and it is impossible to live where I do and not be affected by the Civil War nor the policies from it.

    Just two miles from my door is where Ft. Pendleton stood atop a hill overlooking the Northwest Turnpike (US route 50 now). A union outpost.

    Just east of us off the mountain is a combination of confederate and Union communities where plenty of skirmishes and minor battles took place.

    Up in Beverly WV my own Great-Great Grandfather on my father’s mother side had to be hidden under the floor boards of their house when Union forces were in control and looking for any young men they considered either southern sympathizers or union deserters. He is buried over in Deer Park MD about 10 miles from here along with his wife and other members of our family.

    Just following the war the people up in Wheeling WV who now controlled what was “Appalachia” VA gave away some 95,000 acres of land and mineral rights to the West Virginia Central and Pittsburgh Rail Road Co. in order to build a railroad from Cumberland MD to Elkins WV.

    As the railroad was being built the railroad company built towns along the way in order to cash in on their newly acquired real-estate and also pay for the building of the railroad.

    Kitzmiller, Stoyer, Gorman, Bayard, Wilson, Dobbin, Henry, Thomas and Davis were all towns named after railroad barons on the company board of directors.

    We look a lot like southwestern Pennsylvania as we were built by people from there and populated with many as well, my own family also.

    My first ancestor who came to America came from Switzerland in 1729 and arrived in Philadelphia PA. William Penn owned Pennsylvania at the time and so at Independence Hall in Philadelphia still is the document he signed as an allegiance to William Penn when he arrived.

    His son John was a veteran of the War for independence from England and fought with Colonel Cresap from the Cumberland MD area.

    All of my father’s ancestors were from Pennsylvania into Western Maryland and any of the ancestors or relatives were Union veterans of the Civil War with one relative who died in the Alamo during the Texas war for independence from Mexico.

    Yes I love history. I have one picture that always makes me tear up. It is at the Gettysburg memorial with some of the sons of a veteran of that battle who were some of the first settlers of my little town and we have several Civil War veterans in our cemetery that we still honor with a flag all year long.

    George Washington walked through what would someday be my little town when he surveyed the boundary between Virginia and Maryland and established the Fairfax Stone about 10 miles upstream from here on the Potomac River.

    5 miles east of town along the Northwest Turnpike sets Ft Ogden one of a dozen forts George Washington established for the British Government along a boundary line called the “Kings Command”. A Supposed boundary between the English Colonies to the east and Indian Territory to the west. Established 1763 and never honored.

    No you can’t live here in the Appalachia mountains and not feel the history here.

    Well this has taken all afternoon to do between Matt’s walking, and his shower and some other activities. It is about time for he and I to go into the kitchen and together cook his “Salisbury” hamburger helper…

    Thanks for the time out and I hope for a very happy 4th for you and everyone here.

    Steve

  243. jeff1 says:

    Beloved, it’s a strange world, you are celebrating separating from England and on the 12th July we will celebrate and pray for continued unity with them.

    I have often thought that if the IRA wanted to convince protestants that they would be better in a United Ireland then they went the wrong way about.

    What they did do with their bombs and bullets was convince protestants that they were right for wanting to remain in the United Kingdom.

    If they hated the English because of their violence towards them then whatever made them think that by reversing it the result would be any different.

    Hurt people, hurt other people and the cycle begins and doesn’t end well.

    God knows best because man certainly never learns from what I can see from history.

  244. Beloved says:

    When I was younger my dream trip was to travel the east coast from North to South and read every monument along the way. Stories I read in school fascinated me about life in the early centuries of our country. Switzerland? Never known anyone with those roots. Interesting. I see how living where Steve lives would be so interesting.

  245. Beloved says:

    Viv I vaguely remember something called the Boston Tea Party and tea being dumped into the harbor with people yelling “No taxation without representation! ” The colonies rebellion against British rule. That’s all I remember about that but of course we had our own civil war here too which Steve mentioned. Crazy stuff when two different sides think they are both right and willing to kill for it. Ugh

  246. Beloved says:

    You are so right Viv, not only does God know what is best but perfect for us! His ways are beyond our understanding, but He leads His motley crew to perfection.

  247. Beloved says:

    Street’s Epiphany earlier brought to mind a favorite poem.

    As Kingfishers Catch Fire

    BY GERARD MANLEY HOPKINS
    As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
    As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
    Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
    Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
    Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
    Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
    Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
    Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came.

    I say móre: the just man justices;
    Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces;
    Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is —
    Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
    Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
    To the Father through the features of men’s faces.

  248. jeff1 says:

    I never said that I would give you silver or gold
    Or that you would never feel the fire or shiver in the cold
    But I did say you’d never walk through this world alone
    And I did say, don’t make this world your home

    I never said that fear wouldn’t find you in the night
    Or that loneliness was something you’d never have to fight
    But I did say I’d be right there by your side
    And I did say I’d always help you fight

    ‘Cause you know I made a promise that I intend to keep
    My grace will be sufficient in every time of need
    My love will be the anchor that you can hold onto
    This is the promise, this is the promise I made to you

    I never said that friends wouldn’t turn their backs on you
    Or that the world around you wouldn’t see you as a fool
    But I did say like me, you’d surely be despised
    And I did say my ways confound the wise

    I didn’t say you’d never face the bitter kiss of death
    Or have to walk through chilly Jordan to enter into rest
    But I did say I’d be waiting on the other side (yeah yeah)
    And I did say I’ll dry every tear you cry

    ‘Cause you know I’ve made a promise that I’ve prepared a place
    And some day sooner than you think you’ll see me face to face
    And you’ll sing with the angels and a countless multitude
    This is the promise, this is the promise I’ve made to you

    So just keep on walkin’, don’t turn to the left or right
    And in the midst of darkness, let this be your light
    That hell can’t separate us and you’re gonna make it through
    This is the promise, this is the promise I made to you, oh
    This is the promise, this is the promise I made to you

  249. SFDBWV says:

    McElmurray’s Mountain Retreat!

    Update

    Posted: 04 Jul 2018 08:32 AM PDT

    For anyone wanting to follow this wildfire in S. Colorado, there are some official links. You can go to two sites for County reports: One is on Facebook and one is a web site. Both are slvemergency but the web site has .org.
    The other official site also has two sites, one on Facebook and one a web site. Springfire or Spring Fire with a .gov. When you put the wildfire in your search engine it has multiple sites and some are Spring Creek Wildfire and all other variations.

    I copied this from Bruce’s blog this morning for any interested parties.

    Steve

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